Yeah, you guys are gonna love this one:
In a year in which Michigan's Charles Woodson won a controversial Heisman vote over Tennessee's Peyton Manning, the Wolverines were voted No. 1 by the AP Poll over an undefeated Nebraska juggernaut, which won the ESPN/USA Today national title.
In the usually tough Big Ten, Michigan ended up being the only conference member to finish in the top 10 of the final AP rankings. Arguably, their best three wins were against Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin, teams that got beaten handily by SEC teams in their bowl games.
Why does it matter that they got beat by opponents from the SEC? Because co-national champion Nebraska steamrolled SEC champion Tennessee in the Orange Bowl, 42-17. Meanwhile, Michigan was scraping by outmatched Washington State in the Rose, 21-16.
Had Michigan and Nebraska played a game for all the marbles, it is likely that the Cornhuskers would've been favored and, as most experts agreed at the time, the Huskers probably would've won the game handily.
What stands out to me is the SEC thing. Why would an SEC slappy argue against the legitimacy of Michigan's '97 title? Nebraska isn't exactly in SEC country. Not to mention that tUoOS played Florida State, not an SEC team, in their bowl. But that's beside the point.
Do the math:
The Big Ten as a whole was 7-0 against the Big XII that years, with Michigan was 2-0 against Big XII opponents that year; two opponents they shared with Nebraska. In comparing the scores from the games with those common opponents, it would appear that Michigan was pretty easily the more solid team.
The author actually says in the comments, "I don't believe in comparing the scores from games with common opponents."
Yet, it somehow makes more sense to him to say that because the SEC had three, er, uh, two teams that beat Big Ten teams in their bowl games, and Nebraska clownstomped an SEC team in their bowl game, and Michigan happens to be from the Big Ten, it must follow that Nebraska would have clownstomped Michigan.
Oh, and the author actually says something to the effect of "The Northern Media is always biased towards the Big Ten" in the comments.