Ahead of Saturday's clash with No 2. Ohio State, the critics of No. 3 Michigan pointed to its schedule. The College Football Playoff selection committee, in particular, knocked the Wolverines for a lack of big wins.
Then Michigan went on the road and beat one of the best teams in the country by three touchdowns.
When the next CFP rankings are released Tuesday, the Wolverines will have two blowout wins over top-10 teams in Ohio State and Penn State. (The Nittany Lions, who entered Saturday No. 11, rolled Michigan State, while No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Oregon all lost.) There's a case to be made that Michigan should leapfrog Georgia at No. 1.
That will be up to the committee.
"I just wanna know what their excuse is gonna be now," Michigan linebacker Michael Barrett said after Michigan's 45-23 win over Ohio State. "There were a lot of excuses about, you know, we were the underdogs and this and that, but just turn on the tape. That’s how I see it."
The Buckeyes were favored by as many as 9.5 points over Michigan, and lost by 22. And when the Wolverines hosted Penn State as 4.5-point favorites in October, they won by 24. Michigan has come a long way from beating up on Colorado State, Hawaii and UConn in its non-conference schedule.
Georgia will have one top-10 win in the next CFP rankings, at home against Tennessee.
At the beginning of this season, Jim Harbaugh set four goals for Michigan:
beat Ohio State, beat Michigan State, win the Big Ten Championship and win the National Championship. The Wolverines are halfway there.
Running back Donovan Edwards, who rushed for 200-plus yards including two long touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal Saturday's win, said, "We want to beat all the States and then we want rings. ... After this, we just gotta focus on the Big Ten championship, and then after that and after that."
"The job's not finished," said quarterback J.J. McCarthy. "We got so much more to do and so many places to go."