Check out this excerpt from Pete Fiutak’s Ask CFN (from collegefootballnews.com).
For my variation of a question you probably get 20 times a day: How does Michigan finally turn the corner? I know you’ll want to quote stats showing how the maize and blue faithful shouldn’t be disappointed, but, come on, it’s pretty much national consensus that this team is consistently underachieving. – Matt
A: (Heavy sigh) “Consistently underachieving?!” Turn what corner? Your Wolverines went 11-0, played the number one team in the nation almost dead-even on its turf, and would’ve gotten a rematch had Arkansas won the SEC title or if Florida looked lousy in the win over the Hogs. Forgetting how things turned out after the Rose Bowl, Michigan was this close to playing for the national title, and it underachieved? 116 teams, USC and LSU included, would’ve killed to have been in that spot.
With that said, you are right in a way and I’ll quote stats to prove it. Since winning the 1997 national title, Michigan has gone 3-6 against Ohio State. Quick, name the three biggest wins over a non-Buckeye team since the national title? I’ll help you out: 1) The 35-34 2000 classic Orange Bowl win over Alabama, 2) the 2005 27-25 last-second win over a Penn State team that finished 11-1 with an Orange Bowl win, and 3) the 1998 27-10 win over a Wisconsin team that went 11-1 and won the Rose Bowl. Good wins all, and the Wolverine got another win over a great Badger team in 1999 and gave out the only regular season loss to Illinois in 2001. Where are the Rose Bowl wins? Where are the big bowl victories? Where are the signature key wins that prove the program deserves to call itself the leader and best?
To actually get to the national title game, Michigan needs luck; every top team, for the most part, does. There’s an old adage that college basketball coaches like to use that applies here. Keep cranking out great team after great team and get into a position to be in the national title hunt, and eventually it’ll be your turn.