The Michigan Wolverines win their first national championship since 1997
The GIST: As mentioned, the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines crushed No. 2 Washington 34–13 on Monday to win their first national championship since 1997. More impressive? The scandal-plagued Wolverines exceeded their sky-high preseason expectations despite heaps of off-field chaos. Hail yes.
- But the highlight was their trademark gritty D, which limited Washington’s high-powered offense to just one touchdown (TD). Guess defense really does win championships.
What it means: Everything. The Wolverines faced many (self-imposed) obstacles this season, but they turned the criticism into fuel, and they insist they earned this title fair and square. It’s hard to argue with eight straight wins — five of ’em over Top-25 teams — after the sign-stealing news hit headlines.
What’s next: The drama isn’t over yet — the NCAA’s still investigating Michigan for alleged misdeeds. And the investigations could be wearing on the aforementioned Harbaugh, who could now make the jump back to the NFL, a move he’s been flirting with for years.
- With or without him, Michigan’s roster will have some major holes to fill next season — but hoisting hardware should supercharge recruiting.