Ohio State beats #1 Alabama and knocks the SEC out of the National Championship for the first time in a decade.
Michigan State knocks off #5 Baylor, in Baylor's own back yard.
Michigan makes a big national splash by hiring Jim Harbaugh away from the NFL.
Penn State is off sanctions and responded by winning it's bowl game.
The Big Ten East has become a hot storyline in college football. We finally have the first-class coaching to go with our first-class stadiums, fan support, and media markets.
The future looks bright. There are some epic battles ahead that will capture the entire nation's attention. It's an exciting place to be, for fans and recruits.
The first books have opened at Oregon -7:
You had one job. One.
I'm just as bewildered as you guys about how we managed to stay with this OSU team for 3 quarters despite looking like total crap for the other games besides Appalachian State.
But I think it comes down to talent and playing to their potential, and we have it. Gardner played well for the most part that day. For some reason Hoke could get everyone to play well for the OSU game as shown by 2013 as well.
Now we have Harbaugh who will get everyone to play that way for every game. It all comes down to the QB and WR positions for 2015 though.
Michigan's miserable 2014 season depressingly coincided with the advent of the four-team College Football Playoff. Before the events of the last week, we fans probably felt like the possibility of the Wolverines reaching that playoff were a long way off. However, the hiring of Coach Harbaugh certainly gives us renewed hope.
Even then, the Big 10 East is highly competitive and it may take some time for that opportunity to come to fruition. In Harbaugh we trust to return Michigan to prominence, like water finding its level again. So
if when he's successful in doing that, what does that mean in terms of getting playoff-bound? I found a nice "hypothetical" study on this web site...
...that explores what the "Final Four" would have been if the CFB would have been in place since the beginning of the "poll" era in 1936. It seems Michigan would have held their own in the category of "final four appearances." UM would have 15, compared to 20 for Ohio State and 16 for Notre Dame. MSU would have been in 8, including 2013. And these wouldn't have been just 1940's-era or Bo-era appearances from a bygone era. M would have been participants in '86 with Harbaugh at QB, 1989, 1991, 1997 (obviously), 2003, and (again, obviously) 2006.
It goes without saying, but during Bo and Woody's 10 Year War where the winner of The Game consistently went to the Rose Bowl, one or sometimes both teams were virtually ALWAYS in the final four. In 1974 and 2006 it would have been interesting to test the "two teams from the same conference" selection criteria as both teams remained in the top 4 after The Game. It's easy to envision this happening with Harbaugh and Meyer going full-blast in the next decade, with the victor going to the semifinals.
As a comparison, Oklahoma would have been in 27 playoffs, and Alabama 23. Miami (YTM) would have had the longest consecutive streak of 8 years in a row, from 1985-1992.
My point here is that Coach Harbaugh will help Michigan excellence to "find its level" again, and a return to that level will provide UM with the opportunity to play on the biggest stage "as often as anyone" -- This is looking like an average of 3-4 CFP's every 10 years for UM which isn't a bad minimum expectation to shoot for. We have history -- and Harbaugh -- on our side.
Below are the total years for our rivals if you don't want to sift through the entire chart, with asterisks for actual championships won.
1940, 1943, 1947, 1948*, 1964, 1971, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1997*, 2003, 2006
Ohio State (20)
1942*, 1944, 1954*, 1957, 1961, 1968*, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002*, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014
Notre Dame (16)
1941, 1943*, 1946*, 1947*, 1948, 1949*, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1964, 1966*, 1973*, 1988*, 1989, 1993, 2012
Michigan State (8)
1951, 1952*, 1953, 1955, 1957, 1965, 1966, 2013 ... and apologies for that web page's featured image.
And "guh" that our three rivals would have been featured in 2012, 2013, and 2014. But that's all in the past now, it's 2015 ... Harbaugh ... Go Blue.