Jim Harbaugh believes Michigan football is on the precipice of greatness. The team hasn’t gotten over the hump to beat Ohio State just yet, but they have been pretty close to making serious noise a few times.
The 2016 game pit the No. 2 Buckeyes against the No. 3 Wolverines. Ohio State won a dramatic 30-27 double-overtime game, with controversial spots and all. Had Michigan won that one, they would have gone to the Big Ten Championship instead of Penn State to face a Wisconsin team that they beat in October.
A win in Indianapolis would’ve sent Jim Harbaugh’s team to the College Football Playoff, in all likelihood. Because Penn State made it to the Big Ten title ahead of Michigan and Ohio State, the Big Ten was left out entirely. Michigan had another chance to move to 11-1 and go to the Big Ten title in 2018, but got blown out 62-39. The Ohio State games, many of which have been blowouts, color things quite a bit, but Harbaugh maintains that his program is not far from where fans want it to be.
“I mean, just look back over the last years that we’ve been here, last five years,” Harbaugh told 247Sports in a live video chat this week. “About as close as you can possibly be.” Some may take exception with that description of the situation.
Michigan has beaten 12 of its 13 conference rivals under Harbaugh. Ohio State is the only holdout, and it isn’t ridiculous to think that those games have cost the Wolverines a legitimate shot at a national title.
If they are to do it this year, they’ll have to do some on the road at Ohio State. That won’t be an easy task at all, breaking in a new starting quarterback up against a team that reloads every year, and will be a pretty heavy favorite to win the conference.
That game is currently scheduled for November 28.