The No. 6 Michigan Wolverines are currently 7-0 and beginning to look every bit the part of a legitimate Big Ten championship contender. Outside of a few scares here and there, Michigan's pathway to 7-0 has been relatively painless.
Though fans literally couldn't have asked for a better start to the season, you wouldn't know that after spending a handful of minutes browsing the Michigan social media circles. From a raging quarterback controversy to calls for Michigan's offensive coordinator to be replaced, a good portion of the Michigan fan base appears to be in full panic mode heading into the top ten matchup with No. 8 Michigan State.
If those Michigan fans seem a bit nutty to you for panicking, I can assure you they're not.
Those within the Michigan Football fan base who are struggling to fully embrace Michigan's perfect 7-0 record are simply suffering from what medical professionals often refer to as "memory."
Here's a look at how the Michigan Wolverines fare on the road against AP top ten opponents since 2010:
- 2010: at No. 8 Ohio State
- 2012: at No. 11 Notre Dame
- 2012: at No. 4 Ohio State
- 2014: at No. 8 Michigan State
- 2014: at No. 7 Ohio State
- 2016: at No. 2 Ohio State
- 2017: at No. 2 Penn State
- 2017: at No. 5 Wisconsin
- 2018: at No. 12 Notre Dame
- 2018: at No. 10 Ohio State
- 2019: at No. 13 Wisconsin
- 2019: at No. 7 Penn State
- 2020: at No. 13 Indiana
- Overall record: 0-13
- Overall score: 436-235
- Points surrendered per game: 33.5
- Points scored per game: 18.0
- Point differential: 15.5
Since 2015 (Harbaugh-era):
- Overall record: 0-8
- Overall score: 283-162
- Points surrendered per game: 35.3
- Points scored per game: 20.2
- Point differential: 15.1
The harsh reality is that Michigan doesn't typically perform well in the type of scenario they're going to face this weekend in East Lansing. In fact, Michigan hasn't won a road game against an AP top 15 opponent since 2006 when the Wolverines defeated No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend.
The numbers are what the numbers are.
We all know that Jim Harbaugh wasn't brought to Michigan to beat up on MAC schools and lower tier power five opponents. Jim Harbaugh was brought to Michigan to win games like the one his going to coach in this weekend. It's an in-state rival and top-ten matchup against a coach who's been on the job for less than two seasons.
Put simply, there is no other alternative this weekend. There are no more mulligans, no more excuses, no more "maybe next year." This is year seven and the Wolverines have a very real shot at doing something special in 2021.
The time is now.