In an effort to minimize the "BAW OMG" overreation of poor performances, and the "WE RULZ! CFP-BOUND!" overreaction of good performances, let's put the season in perspective by ranking Michigan's performances from most-impressive overall team performance to worst. As each game is played, we can slot in the most recently-played game accordingly.
1. Nebraska -- definitely M's best performance thus far. Will it end up being Michigan's best-played game of the season? Perhaps. Definitely expect this performance to finish among M's top 3 of the season.
2. WMU -- certainly a quality performance is aided by inferior competition, but M did exactly what it was supposed to do. If any top-10 team plays WMU, we would expect that team to do to WMU precisely what Michigan did. Quality performance.
3. SMU -- sure, it's easy to rank a decided victory against an inferior opponent over a struggling performance against a quality opponent (ND), but I almost didn't. Certainly, at half of the SMU game M's performance against SMU was less impressive than their disappointing performance against ND and I would have ranked it last despite M having a 2-TD lead. But M's bounceback second half salvaged this game from being their worst performance of the season thus far. Plus, part of perceiving SMU as a poor opponent had to do with them getting racked by North Texas; however North Texas appears to be a pretty good team at this point (I expect North Texas could win at least 9-10 games...with a few breaks possibly have an undefeated season).
4. ND -- very disappointing performance by M's defense, especially in the first quarter. And the offense only mustered 3 points until late in the game. Sure, ND is the strongest opponent Michigan has played thus far, and level of competition always contributes to the opponent's level of performance, but I was really disappointed by M's overall performance.
I could listen to an argument that, factoring in level of competition, we could rank M's performance against SMU below their performance against ND. Share your thoughts if you think these rankings need adjusted.