Opinion Roundtable: Was Michigan's 2019 Regular Season A Success Or A Failure?
Michigan destroyed Notre Dame and Michigan State but lost to Wisconsin, Penn State and, most notably, Ohio State by 29 in 2019. National title hopes were dashed very early and Big Ten title aspirations were dead before the month of November. Jim Harbaugh could win 10 games again but is sitting at 9-3 after the regular season. Taking all of that into account, was the season a failure or a success?
I think Michigan's season was absolutely a failure. It wasn't a horrible season, but if the two options are pass or fail, it's the latter.
You can't call losing to the three best teams on your schedule a successful season, especially when two of them, Wisconsin and Ohio State, were beyond embarrassing.
In year five under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is still just winning the games it should and losing every game of any substance against teams in the same category as the Wolverines in terms of aspirations and talent. Actually, Michigan is much more talented than Wisconsin on paper, but that didn't matter one bit during this year's contest in Madison.
A lot of programs would take a 9-3 season with losses to three teams in the top 25, but Michigan isn't one of them. Ask the fans, the media or, most importantly, ask Jim Harbaugh. I'm sure he'd tell you the exact same thing behind closed doors.
Undoubtedly it was a failure, given that Michigan accomplished none of its major goals this season. You can't start off back in July with your coach calling his championship shot at Big Ten Media Days, only to end up out of the Big Ten race before the final game (I refuse to refer to that final game as a "rivalry" or with any other reverential term anymore). Then, somehow manage to lose that final game in even more embarrassing fashion than you inexplicably did last season, and call that season a success.
So if this a pass-fail exercise, and you didn't pass, that only leaves the other option. Now, I could be persuaded to reconsider this if Michigan were to face, say, Alabama in the Citrus Bowl and win it. Another 10-win season with no titles doesn't exactly shiver me timbers, but a win over the most dominant program of the era most definitely does.
Simple answer: it was a failure.
Michigan failed to accomplish any of their tangible goals. They didn't win the East Division let alone play for a Big Ten title. They didn't make the playoffs. They didn't beat Ohio State.
They did beat two Top 25 teams (Notre Dame and Iowa) and beat in-state rival Michigan State. Those were good moments, especially bludgeoning Notre Dame (and being able to hold it over the Irish for 14 years) while restoring the MSU rivalry to what it once was and should be was a big step forward. But, U-M got blown out by the two teams in the Big Ten Championship Game, losing collectively 91-41 to Wisconsin and Ohio State. Michigan also lost to the three best teams on its schedule (based on the current college football playoff rankings) for the third straight season (it also lost to the three best in 2018 and 2017 and went 3-3 in 2015-16).
If you want to assign a grade, the Wolverines can take home a B-, but if this is a pass/fail kind of college class, they failed.
What say you? Was Michigan's regular season a success or a failure? Comment below!!!