Ceilings and Floors: All Good for UM

Submitted by Moonlight Graham on November 4th, 2018 at 9:48 AM

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!




November 4th, 2018 at 10:01 AM ^

Would losing the B1GCC game really put us in the Rose Bowl? Idk about that. There might be a rule that the conference winner has to go to the Rose Bowl if they don’t go to a playoff. Or is that rule caput after the CFP changes?


November 4th, 2018 at 11:00 AM ^

My wife who is a little more fanatic than I am wants the Rose Bowl so badly.  She's been a fan since she was a little kid, her family has had season tickets since she was 8 and she is alumni.  After 97, her father always said that when Michigan went back to the Rose Bowl they were going.  He passed away almost 6 years ago but I'm going to keep his promise.  I would love to make the CFP though!!!!


November 4th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

This is a 4 game gauntlet.  I don't know why everyone keeps dismissing the rivalry road game against rutger?

The ceiling is winning a national title.  It appears for all the world that Michigan will be a 4 seed if they win out.  


November 4th, 2018 at 10:43 AM ^

I actually expect either Clemson or ND to lose a game in the regular season which would probably move UM to the #3 spot if UM wins out.

Clemson plays a night game at BC which will hopefully be nice and cold so I wouldn't be completely shocked to see BC pull off an upset. ND still has to play Syracuse at a neutral site (the Meadowlands, I think) and at USC. I would be sort of surprised if ND doesn't lose one of those games.



November 4th, 2018 at 11:29 AM ^

Agree.  Only way we play ND in the playoffs is if we are 2/3 or 1/4 seeds.  I don’t see Bama as a 2 or 3 seed.  I don’t see Clemson falling to 4.  I do see a case where we jump ND if we both win out - given that we win a B1G championship game (and ND doesn’t play in one).  That might put us up against Clemson.


November 4th, 2018 at 12:02 PM ^

A)  It's really funny that ND's last four games,   NW, FSU, Syracuse and USC,  the tough games are NW and Syracuse.   That's historically weird right?   ND is playing well, but even though Syracuse is the toughest game, FSU and USC are schools with enough talent that beating ND could make their season.   ND could drop one.

B) Clemson has to play Syracuse, BC and the ACC championship game.   They should win those games, but none of those games are gimmies.

Until we beat them OSU scares me.   I think we'd do much better against NW a second time, but as we saw, they aren't a gimmie either. 


November 4th, 2018 at 12:03 PM ^

BC lost convincingly to Purdue. The only thing keeping Clemson from kicking their ass is a bunch of turnovers.

ND has a huge number of fans in the NY/NJ area so they’re likely to have a very friendly crowd. ND has a large talent advantage over Syracuse too. I agree that USC is a potential mine field for ND out in LA, but the Trojans will have to play their best game of the year to beat ND.


November 4th, 2018 at 12:53 PM ^

I want ND to remain in the top 4 and for us to have a chance to play them again in the CFP.  This would set up the fifth installment of the revenge tour, one that would certainly draw a shit ton of ratings.  

It seems highly unlikely that Clemson or Alabama would lose, so it would take two major upsets (and Michigan winning the Game and the BTCG) to make it happen.  But boy would it be awesome.


November 4th, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

Thank God the players and coaches don't think like you. There are no free wins in this league. They are taking every game one at a time and treating every opponent with respect.l, not overlooking anyone. Go Blue!! 


November 4th, 2018 at 10:41 AM ^

The Ceiling for this team is winning the national championship.

Bamas best wins are against TAMU who is now 5-4 and LSU who is only ranked high for #3 georgia despite LSU having lost to FL the week before. FL who is now 6-3 and just lost to 4-4 missouri.

The SEC may be good but they are all currently propped up by that georgia preseason #3. Instead of maybe assuming georgia shouldn't have been #3 after losing to a team that just lost to #22 florida they just went all SEC slappy and threw LSU in at #3. Their rankings right now are literally just a giant circle jerk of transitive bullshit and no substance.

Now, I do think bama deserves to be number 1 right now (in as much as I don't believe any team should be ranked until the regular season and ccg are over). However, that win over LSU last night might mean nothing as it may be propped by an overranked #3 georgia.

Perkis-Size Me

November 4th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

The Rose Bowl is completely out of the question if we lose in the BTCG. Doesn’t matter what the other team’s record is. They go to the Rose Bowl. There’s no one in the West who would otherwise go to the playoff if they won. We’d end up in the Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl or some other NY6 Bowl. Remember that a 7-5 Wisconsin team went to the Rose Bowl in 2012 after they curbstomped a 10-2 Nebraska team in the BTCG.

Barring meltdowns against Rutgers or IU, I see one of three outcomes:

1) Win out and make the playoff as, probably, the 4 seed against Alabama. Barring a ND loss, we’re not leapfrogging them even with the better resume. They have the head to head win.

2) OSU wins out, wins the Big Ten, makes the CFP, and we go to the Rose Bowl.

3) We win out through the regular season, lose in the BTCG, and we go to an NY6 bowl.

4) OSU beats us, loses in the BTCG, and we end up in an NY6 bowl.

At this point, we shouldn’t do any worse than the NY6.


November 4th, 2018 at 11:00 AM ^

“The honest answer is our ceiling is making the title game”


if you don’t think this team can win it all I don’t know what you’ve been watching the last few weeks. This team can do it


November 4th, 2018 at 11:10 AM ^

I was thinking to how similar this year is to 2016.  We are probably going to be 10-1 heading to Columbus for a monster showdown with OSU.  Kind of crazy that we are staring down 10 wins for the 3rd time in 4 years with the way we complain on this forum (myself included).  I really hope we get over the hump this year with OSU so we can officially quiet all the critics.  We are light years from the Hoke and RRod years.


November 4th, 2018 at 11:30 AM ^

Records might be the same but feeling is much different. Our 2016 offense was very shaky. Speight was a huge liability and shit the bed at Iowa and Columbus. We were just hanging on with stellar defense against the better teams. I had 0 confidence that we would beat OSU in that game. Now I'm at about 70%.