The hype for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines has never been so high in any offseason under his leadership. Earlier this week, USA Today released their updated spring top-25 following the closing of the transfer portal window, and the Maize and Blue were ranked No. 2.
Now ESPN is following suit, as they released their updated spring power rankings and also have the Wolverines at No. 2 overall, three spots higher than their last edition of the power rankings. Here is what they had to say about Michigan:
With Jim Harbaugh firmly committed to staying at his alma mater, the Wolverines seem to have turned the corner — on the field and the recruiting trail. They defeated rival Ohio State and reached the College Football Playoff in each of the past two seasons. The next step, obviously, is winning a game in the CFP. Harbaugh and his staff dipped deep into the transfer portal to shore up the offensive line. They didn’t have LaDarius Henderson, a left tackle from Arizona State, in the spring. Stanford transfers Drake Nugent and Myles Hinton were banged up. Receiver Peyton O’Leary, a former walk-on, and Benjamin Hall, a lightly recruited tailback, were big surprises in the spring game. Josaiah Stewart, a star pass-rusher at Coastal Carolina, had five tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. Linebacker Ernest Hausmann, a starter at Nebraska, had eight tackles and a forced fumble.
The self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports is cognizant of Michigan’s reloaded offense and defense, highlighting both the offensive line transfer additions, as well as the star defensive transfers as well. The Wolverines also added Jack Tuttle (QB, Indiana), AJ Barner (TE, Indiana) and James Turner (K, Louisville) this offseason via the portal, with the latter two likely to immediately contribute this fall.
Michigan was previously ranked No. 5 by ESPN, so it jumped three spots after spring practices. Previously ranked No. 2 and falling three spots — the Ohio State Buckeyes. Here’s what ESPN had to say about them:
Junior Kyle McCord took the first step in taking over the reins from C.J. Stroud with a solid performance in the spring. Sophomore Devin Brown, another contender, missed the spring game with a finger injury. Coach Ryan Day won’t name a starting quarterback until preseason camp. The Buckeyes are loaded at running back and receiver (Carnell Tate, a freshman from IMG Academy, was a star in the spring), but the offensive line remains a work in progress. Senior Josh Fryar was the No. 1 left tackle in the spring; sophomore Tegra Tshabola was working on the right. After ugly performances in losses to Michigan and Georgia last season, the defense seemed to make some much-needed strides in the spring. Safety Cameron Martinez might help shore up a leaky secondary. Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau are going to be stars up front.
There’s no denying Ohio State will be a tough out this upcoming season. However, ESPN makes some solid points as to why they dropped them a few spots. The quarterback position isn’t solidified just yet, as the battle between Devin Brown and Kyle McCord will wage on into the fall. Ohio State’s offensive line also seems to be a huge problem, as Ryan Day openly admitted he is looking for more consistency from that position group, stating, “I think we believe in the guys that we have.”
That, of course, was said before they added former San Diego State offensive lineman Josh Simmons from the transfer portal, who they hope will be a solution to their o-line issues.
Other Big Ten teams on the list include Penn State (No. 8) and Wisconsin (No. 25).
Here is ESPN’s full top-10:
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Penn State
Do you agree with these power rankings? Is Michigan too high? Or should the Wolverines be even higher? Let us know down in the comments.