ATLANTA – OK, just for the sake of the argument, let's assume that Michigan didn't really want to play in the Chick-File-Peach Bowl on Saturday.
No. 7 Wolverines came from an epic loss for rival Ohio State more than a month ago, costing them their first Big Ten Championship since 2004 and knocking them out of College Football Playoff.
Wolverines played short hand after four of their best players decided to skip the bowl to either recover from injuries or prepare for the NFL draft.
In addition, indifference seems to be a pretty practical excuse for SEC teams lacking the after-season.
But what does it really say about Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and the direction of his program if he could not get his team motivated to play in a New Year's Six Bowl game?
Michigan not only lost its third consecutive bowl game on Saturday. It was walloped 41
That's what $ 7.5 million per season gets Wolverines? In year 4?
Harbaugh, the former Michigan quarterback, has won 38 matches in four seasons on his alma mater. He has not won a Big Ten title, has not beaten Ohio State and is now 1-3 in bowl games.
Before being embarrassed by Gators, Wolverines had not taken the ground since a loss of 62-39 in Ohio State on November 24, which will easily go down as the most humiliating loss in its history .
A victory over Florida, which ended third in the SEC East, would not have dried the defeat of the Michigan Memorial Bank. Heck, filling up the Mercedez-Benz Stadium with correction fluid could not have erased the painful memories.
No, the 23-point loss to the hated Buckeyes will hang over Wolverines over the next three months in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And then into the spring and summer, when preparing for what may be a now or never season for Harbaugh.
Before another blowdown, Michigan fans thought they had reason to hope. Urban Meyer, who won two national titles in Florida and one to Ohio State, announced his retirement just 10 days after his team beat Wolverines for the seventh straight time.
Meyer will coach Buckeyes for the last time against Washington in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual on New Year's Day before Ryan Day takes over the team's 39-year-old offensive coordinator. Buckeye's quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who threw six touchdowns against Michigan and 47 this season, is expected to enter the NFL draft as a third year champion.
Meyer does not add that Michigan will turn the script into what has become a one-sided rivalry. Oklahoma was supposed to glide after the long trainer Bob Stoops retired and left the keys to wunderkind Lincoln Riley. It didn't happen. About something, Sooners has become better under Riley and reached CFP in all their first two seasons.
While Michigan has many issues, the title in the post-season – its offensive philosophy – initially marks – Gators must be excited about their future under Mullen, who was Meyser's offensive coordinator when he won two national titles at the UF 2006 and & # 39 ; 08th
Mullen inherited a team that went 4-7 last season and ended up with former coach Jim McElwain before being fired after seven games. The Gators went 10-3 in Mullens debut, which is one more than Meyer and the beloved Steve Spurrier won during his first seasons.
Mullen pushed everything out of this team and disturbed LSU and ended a five-match detachment band to Florida State and then the winning school's first New Year's Six Bowl game since 2012.
Most Impressive Turned Mullen sophomore Feleipe Franks to a useful SEC quarterback. Franks is not spectacular and still has a long way to go, but he was much better than he was in his first season.
Against France, Franks completed 13 of 23 passes for 173 meters with a touchdown, while driving 14 times for 74 meters with one point. Another offseason with Mullen, who coached Tim Tebow in Florida, could make him even better.
At least there is reason for hope in Florida.
Michigan fans must start wondering if they can say the same. ]