Michigan football has a bye at the midway point of the 2021 season and following a 6-0 start, here’s what we’ve learned about the Wolverines.
Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football program were in desperate need of a bounce-back season and through six games, the Wolverines have delivered.
Michigan football is currently ranked in the top 10 in the AP and the Coaches polls and tied for first in the Big Ten East, albeit with all the big games to go: Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State.
Still, for the Wolverines to have clinched a bowl berth already, thanks to back-to-back road wins over Wisconsin and Nebraska, is a huge accomplishment.
Most fans would have been happy with 4-2 at this point prior to the season, but Harbaugh and his team are just taking it one week at a time. Yet, it’s clear guys like Aidan Hutchinson have bigger goals than just respectability, although they have attained that.
As Josh Ross said during Big Ten Media Days, last year’s team wasn’t Michigan football. It wasn’t but this looks like a Michigan football team — warts and all.
It’s hard not to fall in love with this team. It’s gritty, tough and these guys love playing for each other. You can see it each week. It’s infectious.
And Harbaugh is the man in charge of it all. He’s given his players more of a say with his leadership council and hired a bunch of young assistants, which has breathed life into the program.
Jim is pushing all the right buttons right now and as Michigan football takes this week off, we look at five things we learned about the Wolverines so far this season.
Jim Harbaugh is back
This has been a common refrain: Jim is back.
Whatever it is, Harbaugh just seems different — he was always different — but he feels like the old Harbaugh.
This feels like the guy who coached the 49ers to three straight NFC championship game appearances and went for two at Stanford against USC just because he wanted to.
That’s the guy Michigan football needs if its ever going to beat Ohio State. The guy who’s tough, innovative, and unapologetic.
While Harbaugh isn’t calling plays, the offense has regained its identity. This offense is built around the O-line and the running game and it’s been great to watch. The front five has been spectacular, even with a bunch of moving parts.
You can’t say enough about Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins, especially Haskins, who is only going to become more valuable as we get deeper into Big Ten play.
The Wolverines don’t win at Nebraska without him. The way he gutted out those first downs and ripped off that 50-yard run, well the result would have been different without him.
Through six games, Michigan looks like a well-coached team. The Wolverines have been excellent on special teams, have committed few penalties and mistakes, and are just playing good, fundamental football.
It’s been a thing of beauty and Harbaugh deserves plenty of credit.