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Sporting News Releases 2020 Bowl Prediction For Michigan

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sideline against Penn State.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines discusses a previous play with a line judge during the fourth quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions on October 19, 2019 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. Penn State defeats Michigan 28-21. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

It's setting up to be a big year in Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh isn't necessarily on the hot seat, but fans will be grumbling more if he can't lead the Wolverines to a major bowl game this season.

Michigan's been on the cusp of greatness the past few seasons, but just can't seem to get over the hump. The Wolverines have been a step behind the Ohio State Buckeyes over the last decade.

That obstacle will have to conquered if Michigan hopes to accomplish its next major goal - to reach the College Football Playoff. But Sporting News' latest bowl-game predictions has the Wolverines heading to a familiar bowl against an unfamiliar opponent.

Bill Bender of Sporting News predicts Jim Harbaugh's Wolverines will face-off with the Auburn Tigers in the 2021 Outback Bowl. The last time the two teams met came in 2001.

If Bender's prediction comes to fruition, there's no doubt the 2021 Outback Bowl will be one of the most watched bowl games of the entire post-season.

Outback Bowl - Michigan Wolverines vs. Auburn Tigers

Michigan fans wouldn't be too disappointed with a trip to the Outback Bowl this upcoming season. But it certainly seems the Outback Bowl or a NY6 Bowl is the ceiling for the Wolverines with Harbaugh at the helm.

The former Stanford coach knows how to win - there's no doubt about that. But if Michigan can't at least win a conference title within the next two seasons, there will be calls to move on from Harbaugh.

It's a pivotal upcoming season in Ann Arbor.