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Does Michigan have to repeat as Big Ten champs to consider 2022 a successful season?

What do the Wolverines have to do in 2022 for the season to be considered a success?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In 2021, the Michigan Wolverines had their best season in nearly 20 years and finally knocked off Ohio State en route to their first Big Ten title since 2004. Coming off of a 2-4 record in 2020, expectations were as low as ever going into last year.

Now, after finally conquering the Buckeyes and reaching the Big Ten’s mountaintop, expectations are high as ever. What do the Wolverines have to do in 2022 for the season to be successful? Some might say they need to repeat as Big Ten champs, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Yes, not winning the conference would be disappointing, but it doesn’t mean the season is a failure. Just ask last year’s Georgia Bulldogs. They fell short in the SEC title game to Alabama, but they still got into the CFP and got their revenge against the Tide by taking them out in the National Championship. That’s obviously a successful season.

Who knows, something similar to that could happen this season to Michigan and Ohio State. The schedules are very favorable for both teams to be 11-0 when they meet in Columbus on Nov. 26. If that’s the case, the winner goes to Indy and the loser could still sneak into the playoff at 11-1, you never know.

Ohio State is going to be loaded this year, so if Michigan drops a close one on the road and wins the rest of its games, there is still a legitimate chance of making the College Football Playoff.

So no, Michigan does not have to repeat as Big Ten champs for 2022 to be successful. However, after what happened a year ago, and with the talent on this team, the Wolverines do need to make it to the CFP for it to be a successful season.

It wouldn’t be shocking at all if the Big Ten East crown is up for grabs in Columbus on Nov. 26. And if Michigan falls in that game but still makes the CFP, the season can still be considered a success.