Several of the college football preview magazines were high on Michigan in 2019, and now Phil Steele can be added to that list.
Steele’s annual college football guide is now out on newsstands, and it includes some heavy praise for the Wolverines this fall.
The long-time college football analyst and prognosticator has Michigan finishing in the top four nationally and earning its first-ever berth to the College Football Playoff, a semifinal game against Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28.
And that’s not all.
“Michigan has not beaten Ohio State since 2011 yet were favored in Columbus (last year) and lost again 62-39,” Steele writes. “While I have picked Ohio State higher than Michigan in the magazines for 12 straight years, this is the year it changes.”
Steele predicts Michigan to finish first in the Big Ten East and win the league title game on Dec. 7 in Indianapolis. If that happens, it would be the first time the program has reached the conference championship since it began in 2011.
Michigan came a game away from qualifying for the Big Ten title game in 2018, but a blowout loss to the Buckeyes derailed that. The Wolverines instead went on to play Florida in the Peach Bowl, losing 41-15.
“I like the Wolverines’ new offense and Don Brown’s D figures to be in an angry mood after their last two games,” Steele writes. “Michigan gets all three of their rivals (ND, MSU, OSU) at home in the Big House and Jim Harbaugh finally wins the Big Ten in year five.”