At the start of the 2022 season, with so many college basketball blue-bloods thriving on the field, let’s keep the synergy between the sports for a moment. Let’s take a look at Michigan High School No. 4 as it prepares to host undefeated Maryland, a school that many believe is better known for its hoops.
It’s hard to argue that the Wolverines aren’t deserve their high rating. After all, this is the recent college football playoff team that beat their first three opponents 166-17. However, if you apply the quadrant system college basketball uses to categorize games, the Wolverines will be one of the few Power Five teams that have played Quad 4 games exclusively so far. Home wins over Colorado State, Hawaii, and UCLA in football equivalent to wins over Alcorn State, Fairleigh Dickinson and Eastern Illinois on hardwoods.
With offensively lifeless Iowa and utterly inept Nebraska serving as Michigan’s cross-divisional opponents, the Wolverines’ schedule is ridiculously easy for a team competing in what is often considered one of the toughest divisions in college football. No. 14 Pennsylvania State and No. 3 Ohio State are the only teams on Michigan’s schedule currently holding spots.
What’s the point in all this? It may be that style points are important to Michigan this year if they want to have a margin for error in the playoff picture. Winning a Big Ten Championship match as a one-loss team will no doubt attract the Wolverine, but if they have to do it as a one-loss non-champion, it’s understandable that the weakness of that schedule could end up as a major hurdle.
It’s too early to speculate on such things, but it’ll be interesting to see if Wolverine coach Jim Harbaugh feels it’s necessary to score a few style points to stand out from a schedule that can only provide occasional moments of adversity.
As the events of Week 4 approach, let’s dive into the G-10 list and make some choices.
Third week record: 8-4
Maryland 4th in Michigan
Michigan’s 3-0 start came with Colorado State, Hawaii, and UConn, who are ranked 113th, 125th, and 126th, respectively, in our CBS Sports 131 rankings. The Wolverines have scored at least 50 points in each of those games, but that’s still the case. . due to the fact that crime will return to Earth this week against its first competent adversary. No one would mistake this Maryland defense for the ’85 bears, but at least it has a pulse. Last week, Maryland overcame a whopping 15 penalties to beat a decent SMU team. Some of the automatic touchdowns Michigan has scored against weaker opponents this week could be field goals.
Maryland also faces some offensive slump as it faces the best defense it has ever played. When Maryland first faced a good team last season (Iowa), quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa threw five interceptions. Even if the Wolverines reach a 30-year or 40-year rating, it’s still likely to work. Choice: up to 66.5
Wisconsin 3rd in Ohio
These teams have failed to score 57 points in each of the last four meetings and it will take a breakout game from the Wisconsin offense to win this game. The Badgers scored just 14 points in a home loss to Washington State, and the Bakaev’s early readings suggest their defense is better under freshman coordinator Jim Knowles.
Ohio State showed us in a 21-10 win over Notre Dame in Week 1 that its offensive explosiveness is no lock to use against quality opponents. Wisconsin is solid defensively, as is the Fighting Irish, and should be able to get the Bakaevs to punt at least a few times in a game the Badgers would like to play at a slow pace. Select: up to 57 years old
Minnesota in Michigan
Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan barely played in three games. He’s only been fired once, and the Golden Gophers only allow pressure on 16.7% of dropouts, according to TruMedia and Pro Football Focus. It’s number five in the country, and probably unsustainable in the Big Ten. Minnesota’s opponents were Western Illinois, Colorado, and the state of New Mexico. This is the FCS team and the two worst FBS teams.
Last week, Michigan’s pass defense showed in a 39-28 loss to Washington that the demons of 2021 are still alive. However, Minnesota’s passing attack is nowhere near as explosive as Washington’s, and its offensive line will be put to a much greater test. It will also be the first road game of the season for the Golden Gophers, and Michigan State should be able to hit home against an untested opponent. Pick: Michigan State (+3)
Indiana to Cincinnati