Might Michigan leapfrog Alabama in USA TODAY Sports activities AFCA Coaches Ballot?


It had been a decade since Michigan final topped Ohio State, although it felt even longer than that. The 42-27 win seems like an enormous exhale for a program that had imagined moments like Saturday for the reason that second Jim Harbaugh returned to campus in 2015.

Michigan would be the greatest riser on this week’s USA TODAY Sports activities AFCA Coaches Ballot and the Buckeyes among the many greatest tumblers after a sport with deep implications for the Faculty Soccer Playoff.

The Wolverines may soar to No. 2 and are available in simply behind Georgia, ought to sufficient of the voting panel be swayed by a efficiency outlined by a dominant show of aggression on the road of scrimmage. Michigan is definite to leap forward of Cincinnati, which remains to be undefeated after caring for East Carolina.

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Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara greets fans as he exits the field after the Wolverines beat Ohio State.

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara greets followers as he exits the sphere after the Wolverines beat Ohio State.

This is how the highest 10 of this week’s ballot may look:

1. Georgia (12-0)

After shutting out Georgia Tech 45-0, the Bulldogs are greater than able to tackle Alabama within the SEC championship sport. The query is not whether or not the protection is able to assault Bryce Younger and the Crimson Tide. However what if Alabama does discover success by the air, forcing Georgia to maintain tempo? Which will determine whether or not the Bulldogs keep on observe for a historic nationwide championship.

2. Alabama (11-1)

There can be voters who need to reward Michigan’s win towards Ohio State, however that will be a four-spot bounce for the Wolverines — in all probability an excessive amount of of a transfer even after such an awesome win. So search for the Tide to stay at No. 2 after needing 4 overtimes to outlive Auburn and win the Iron Bowl.

3. Michigan (11-1)

However Michigan is a straightforward decide for No. 3 after doing what no Large Ten crew had achieved to Ohio State in years: bully the Buckeyes up entrance on offense and protection. The Wolverines ran for almost 300 yards, did not permit a sack, shut down the OSU operating sport and pressured quarterback C.J. Stroud. Up subsequent is Iowa within the convention championship sport.

4. Cincinnati (12-0)

Cincinnati now prepares for Houston in a sport that may determine whether or not the Group of 5 sends a crew into the playoff. A loss is an apparent eliminator. However does a win make it sure? That is very doubtless true, however there’s a sliver of doubt over how the playoff choice committee will take a look at one-loss Oklahoma State in comparison with the unbeaten Bearcats.

5. Notre Dame (11-1)

Notre Dame will come up simply wanting the playoff in what has been the best teaching job of Brian Kelly’s tenure with this system. And this can be a crew clearly discovering its groove after destroying Stanford 45-14. A problem deep into the second half of the yr, the protection allowed a mixed 23 factors in November.

6. Oklahoma State (11-1)

The Cowboys topped Oklahoma and stay the largest menace to Cincinnati’s probabilities of reaching the playoff ought to Alabama upset Georgia to win the SEC. And if Alabama loses, the controversy over which crew will land in fourth as a substitute focuses on OSU and Notre Dame. Search for the Cowboys to have the sting in that comparability.

7. Ohio State (10-2)

Saturday’s loss goes to linger for the following yr, coloring what can be a extremely scrutinized offseason for coach Ryan Day. What must be mounted? Line play on each side, for starters. Whereas the Buckeyes will land in one of many New Yr’s Six bowls, perhaps even the Rose Bowl, that is a really small optimistic after a crushing defeat.

8. Ole Miss (10-2)

Lane Kiffin and the Rebels received the Egg Bowl towards Mississippi State, basically locking this crew into the New Yr’s Six. Wanting again, the one actual bitter second of the common season was the 41-20 loss to mediocre Auburn. The place does this rank amongst groups in latest program historical past? Proper close to the highest.

9. Baylor (10-2)

The Bears survived an in depth name towards Texas Tech to achieve double-digit wins for the second time in three years below two totally different coaches. (That is three such years in seven seasons below three totally different coaches going again to Artwork Briles.) Beating the Pink Raiders 27-24 was enormously vital: Baylor will face Oklahoma State within the Large 12 championship after the Cowboys eradicated the Sooners.

10. Oregon (10-2)

Iowa, Michigan State and Oklahoma State are choices for this spot. However Oregon could be prepared to maneuver up one spot after rebounding from an horrible loss at Utah by executing a pleasant sport plan in beating Oregon State within the Civil Warfare. This was not your regular yr within the rivalry: OSU has made enormous strides and had already clinched a bowl berth with room to spare heading into Saturday.

Comply with schools reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Coaches ballot predictions: Might Michigan leapfrog Alabama for No. 2?



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