As the Notre Dame Fighting Irish prepare to take on the Michigan Wolverines, fans are going back and forth about the Domers chances in this critical game. Stats are being tossed about, and really — you can take a pot full of stats and boil it down to anything you like.
With that in mind, I’m going to share a few of my favorite stats for the Wolverines during the Jim Harbaugh era. Just a few things that most of you already know, but it should at least be said before we move forward this week.
HARBAUGH WANTS YOUR RESPECK
After three years on the job in Ann Arbor, Jim Harbaugh has compiled a fairly respectable record.
- 28-11 overall (10-3, 10-3, 8-5)
- 1-2 in bowl games (Won Citrus in 2015, Lost Orange in 2016, Lost Outback in 2017).
NOT SO MUCH RESPECK
Have you heard? Michigan can’t beat anyone worth a damn. They especially can’t beat anyone worth a damn on the road. Maybe they ate too much chicken?
- Michigan is 5-7 in the Harbaugh era against Top 25 opponents.
- 4-3 at home vs Top 25 opponents.
- 1-1 in bowls vs Top 25 opponents.
- 0-3 on the road against Top 25 opponents.
It’s been a fairly soft schedule for the last three years, so maybe 28-11 should lack a bit of RESPECK.
Michigan’s road woes are over a decade old. They haven’t beat a Top 25 team on the road since the 2006 Notre Dame game.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT THEY WERE GOOD
So much of the talk and the focus leading up this game has been about this Michigan Don Brown defense. Season stats can be a bit misleading because some teams play a much weaker schedule than others. So, let’s take a look at those 4 Top 25 ranked teams that they played in 2017 and see how that defense did:
- #17 Florida Gators W 33-17
- @ #2 Penn State Nittany Lions L 42-13
- @ #5 Wisconsin Badgers L 24-10
- #9 Ohio State Buckeyes L 31-20
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a 1-3 record with an average score of 29-19. Twenty-eight points isn’t exactly the pinnacle for a top defense.
To be fair, and for what it’s worth, Michigan lost to the Michigan State Spartans 14-10 last season, and that’s probably a score closest to what the game on Saturday night will be.