Michigan football vs Alabama: Matchups and Misconceptions in the Rose Bowl

Digging into some of the matchups and misconceptions for Michigan football vs. Alabama in the Rose Bowl.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh waves at fans after the Wolverines' 26-0 win over Iowa in the
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh waves at fans after the Wolverines' 26-0 win over Iowa in the / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Adressing the Misconcseptions- Michigan doesn't have the talent to Compete

The most common argument that I've seen made for why Alabama will undoubtedly win is because they have simply out recruited the Wolverines. Austin Meek of The Athletic wrote an article that talked about the talent desparity between the two teams. He mentioned that this Alabama team has a higher recruiting score than any national chamion in the CFP era. He also mentioned that Alabama completely outclasses Michigan in terms of five-star recruits with 18 compared to just 2 for the Wolverines.

What he didn't mention is first -- it's been six years since the team with the highest recruiting ranking has won the national championship. Coincidentally -- the last time a team did it was Alabama in 2017. The other thing that this argument doesn't take into account is how many elite players Michigan football has brought in and developed that weren't five-star recruits.

In the 24/7 sports composite rankings many of Michigan's star players weren't listed as five-stars coming out of high school. This includes both guys like Donovan Edwards who barely missed out on being a five-star composite but was a five-star on several sites -- to players like Blake Corum, Trevor Keegan, and Mason Graham who were considered good but have completely transcended their high school recruiting rankings becoming elite college players. It also includes guys like Mike Sainristill, Kenneth Grant, and Kris Jenkins- all likely early NFL draft picks with unbelievable athletic talent who were rated as just three-star prospects out of high school.

No team in the country has developed better than Michigan football over the past few seasons and if you were to re-rank the recruiting classes, Michigan would be right there with Alabama.