By running this last 3-game gauntlet, Michigan’s 2018 ceiling and floor have moved so far in the positive direction that this is likely going to conclude as the most satisfying season of the Harbaugh era, at minimum.
Ceiling: Win out, win B1GCC, get a favorable seed in the playoff that matches us up with ND or another interloper and not Clemson or Alabama. Not likely (we’ll probably be the 4 seed vs. one of those two), but that would give us a better chance to win the semifinal before likely losing a hard-fought title game. Obviously the ultimate ceiling is winning it all but the honest answer to “what’s our ceiling” is making the title game.
Floor: Win the next two, lose to OSU. If OSU gets left out of the playoff, they will probably get the Rose Bowl bid, but we are already a lock for an NY6 bowl and I like our chances against potential opponents in the Fiesta or Peach Bowl. UM vs. LSU in the Peach would be a lot of fun.
So 11-2 with a win in the NY6 would top 2015. Super-unlikely floor would be losing to Indiana and of course also possible would be sort of “matching” 2015 by losing that NY6 bowl.
In Between: There’s a high likelihood that our floor would actually be the Rose Bowl at minimum. If we beat OSU but somehow are left out of the playoff, we’d be in the Rose Bowl. If we lose to OSU, they likely make the playoff and we get the Rose Bowl (the B1GCC loser will NOT get it this year, with 3-4 losses, obviously). Even losing to Northwestern in the B1GCC would still put us in the Rose Bowl.
So a huge chunk of our “possible outcomes” pie chart is either the playoffs or the Rose Bowl, with a small slice of NY6 Bowl. It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine!