ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - SEPTEMBER 23: Semaj Morgan #82 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates his first half touchdown with Donovan Edwards #7 while playing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Michigan will play for a national title after defeating Alabama in an overtime thriller in the Rose Bowl. Leading up to the game, there were plenty of negative narratives surrounding the Wolverines are somewhat of a tumultuous season but now, most of them are dead and buried.

1. Michigan Isn’t Quite Good Enough To Advance In The Playoffs

Before Monday’s Rose Bowl this one had some credibility. After the 2021 campaign, Michigan was dominated by Georgia in its first College Football Playoff appearance and really looked outmatch. Granted, that was one of the best college football defenses and teams ever assembled, but no one cares about that. If you’re in the playoff, you should be competitive, and Michigan wasn’t. Last year, the Wolverines were expected to advance as heavy favorites over TCU and again, couldn’t get the job done. JJ McCarthy threw two pick-sixes and the Wolverines just didn’t look ready after a month of preparation.

But now, the Wolverines are good enough to advance and good enough to win the whole damn thing. Nick Saban and Alabama are CFP veterans and the maize and blue made more plays than the Tide and outlasted a team that doesn’t lose games like that.

2. Jim Harbaugh Can’t Get It Done In The Postseason

This one obviously contains Michigan’s last two playoff appearances but the postseason struggles go back much farther than that. Before Monday’s Rose Bowl, Jim Harbaugh possessed a 1-6 record in bowl games and hadn’t won one since 2016. Obviously now he’s still just 2-6, but winning the Granddaddy Of Them All, with a chance to play for a national, title pretty much wipes out those other losses in terms of how they feel. Michigan fans are already on cloud nine after beating Alabama in overtime, and a national championship will certainly make it easier to forget about a random Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina back in 2018.

. JJ McCarthy Isn’t Good Enough Against Good Teams

This one wasn’t based on fact necessarily, and certainly didn’t hold water amongst the Michigan fan base, but outlets around the country were trying to push a narrative that took away from just how good JJ McCarthy is as a quarterback. The main one was that McCarthy wasn’t playing well over the five games preceding the Rose Bowl.

Obviously McCarthy’s numbers are pretty modest during that stretch, but anyone who watched Michigan play understood and saw clearly that it wasn’t because he was playing poorly. It’s because he was running the offense and doing exactly what he was asked to do in order to win, and win they did. Not surprisingly for anyone who chose to pay attention, McCarthy was fantastic in the Rose Bowl. He finished 17-of-27 for 221 yards and three touchdowns. He took perfect care of the ball and he also had 25 yards rushing. For some reason, people didn’t want him to be as good as he is, but Michigan fans all knew he’d show up when it mattered most.

4. The SEC Is Still Just Too Good

Sure, Michigan was favored heading into the Rose Bowl, but you’d never know it if you were around any national, SEC or Alabama media folks while out in California.

Over and over and over you’d hear questions like, “How special would it be if you could actually beat an SEC team like Alabama in this one?” directed at Jim Harbaugh or Michigan players. “Do you think teams like Ohio State or Penn State prepared you for what you’ll see on Monday?” Almost like Alabama was from another planet or something. It was like the southern slappies couldn’t comprehend the Wolverines beating their precious Tide. Well, they did, and now the cute little team from up north is playing for a national title.

Dead. Done. Over with. Nonexistent. Overblown. Not a factor.

Michigan is good because they’re good and the sign stealing thing was never really a thing at all. Yes, Michigan obtained signs in a way that they shouldn’t have, but having the signs didn’t give them any sort of advantage. Anyone that says otherwise now is either wearing green or red underwear. Period.

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