Michigan expected to be good, not great, again with Harbaugh
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has been good, not great, under coach Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh’s sixth season in charge of college football’s winningest program is expected to follow its recent form.
The Wolverines are No. 19 in The Associated Press college poll, way behind rival and sixth-ranked Ohio State. Michigan is also going into the season trailing No. 9 Penn State and No. 16 Wisconsin, two teams that are scheduled to play at the Big House during the Big Ten’s shortened season.
Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye said the team is under the radar and has taken a lot of punches from people.
“Going into the year, people usually say, `Oh, Michigan’s just a decent team,'” Paye said. “But this year, we’re trying to be different.”
Paye acknowledged the outside perspective is shaped by fact that the Wolverines are coming off a four-loss season and have lost four straight bowl games.
“Even our fifth-years, we don’t have rings,” he said. “Bowl games, championships — we don’t have nothing. We’re all hungry.”
Michigan has not won a Big Ten title since 2004, enduring its longest run without a conference championship in Big Ten history.
Losing a record eight straight to the Buckeyes, and 15 of 16 games in the rivalry, has a lot to do with that drought.
Michigan opens the season Oct. 24 at No. 24 Minnesota. The Wolverines host rival Michigan State and its new coach, Mel Tucker, in their second game.