It's pretty clear that Louisville supporters need to root for Michigan the rest of the season if they want to see the Cardinals reach the College Football Playoff.
If there's one fan base that was disappointed by Tuesday night's College Football Playoff rankings, it's Louisville's. The Cardinals, despite losses by Michigan, Clemson and Washington, came in at No. 5, just outside the theoretical field. But there's a bigger problem looming for the team.
In each of the first two years, the selection committee has taken conference winners from four different leagues. In 2014, the Big 12 was left out. Last year, it was the Pac-12 being left out. This year, it's hard to see that happening again, given how weak the Pac-12 and Big 12 have seemed. But here's what the committee won't do - take more than one team that didn't win its conference.
Louisville, assuming it doesn't win the ACC, is not going to get in over Alabama, Clemson or the Big Ten champion. But it could get in over a 12-1 or 11-2 Washington squad that won the Pac-12.
...which is why it needs Michigan to win the Big Ten, and eliminate Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State from the mix. If Ohio State wins out, beating Michigan along the way, but Penn State also wins out, the Buckeyes don't play for the league title. But if the Buckeyes are the No. 2 team in the rankings before all of that happens, do you really think they'd move down? Nope.
Essentially, the committee has established Ohio State as the best team that isn't in control of its own destiny. The only way that'll change is if the Buckeyes lose - to Michigan next Saturday.