A few days ago former Michigan offensive lineman, Taylor Lewan proclaimed the Wolverines were the better team with better coaching and would beat Alabama Football by "double digits."
Based on Michigan message boards, Lewan's claim was tempered optimism compared to bold predictions being made by Michigan fans. There is still confidence in the Michigan fanbase, but realistic concerns have surfaced.
The Michigan site Maize N Brew first offered a take on the five reasons why the Wolverines will beat the Crimson Tide. What has followed is a more sober look that admits five reason why the Crimson Tide will win the Rose Bowl.
According to Maize N Brew Alabama Football Will Win - because ...
- Nick Saban's coaching experience and the excellence of the Alabama Football program exceeds that of Jim Harbaugh and Michigan.
- Jalen Milroe is the most athletic and explosive quarterback the Wolverines have faced, and has played "at a really high level in the second half of the season."
- Alabama's "relentless pass rush" against a "weakened" Michigan offensive line.
- The Wolverines have "stunk in CFP and bowl games" under Jim Harbaugh. Any Michigan fan thinking 'stunk' is too harsh a word must have blocked out that under Harbaugh Michigan is 1-6 in such games, with the one coming in his first Michigan season.
- A general lack of confidence in J.J. McCarthy because he "does not take care of the football."
More elaboration is needed about the Maize N Brew perception of McCarthy.
"McCarthy was elite at the beginning of this season, but since Harbaugh’s suspension, he has dropped off quite a bit. Since the calendar turned to November, McCarthy has thrown one touchdown pass (against Ohio State) and one interception (at Maryland). At one point, he was the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but he ended up finishing 10th."- Maize N Brew
In fairness to McCarthy, some NFL mock drafts project him as a first-rounder. As a running threat, he is no Jalen Milroe, but he is elusive and fast. When protection breaks down, he can salvage plays. That he is now doubted from a Michigan perspective says more about the Wolverines' offensive line than it does McCarthy.
A sub-plot to concerns about Michigan is potentially a game-changer. Players, and especially quarterbacks cannot be doubters. Do the Michigan offensive staff and offensive teammates doubt J.J. McCarthy? Does he doubt himself? The 2023 Alabama Football defense is not one of the Tide's greatest. But it brings more than enough talent and determination to dominate any offense that is unsure of itself.
Michigan has good reason to be concerned.