Ranking Michigan football's resume against every other one-loss team in Power Five

Wolverines ranked No. 5 in AP Poll for second straight week

Shea Patterson reacts to a teammate's second-quarter touchdown against Michigan State at Spartan Stadium on Oct. 20, 2018, in East Lansing, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Shea Patterson reacts to a teammate's second-quarter touchdown against Michigan State at Spartan Stadium on Oct. 20, 2018, in East Lansing, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – It was another wild weekend in college football as 11 ranked teams went down, including eight against unranked opponents.

Michigan was on a bye, but it was still a successful weekend as several other College Football Playoff contenders were eliminated.

The first CFP rankings will be released Tuesday, and while the top three teams -- Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame -- should be fairly straightforward, the rest of the top 12 will be difficult to determine.

Michigan will be in the mix for the No. 4 spot, but could also be several spots lower in the first rankings. Here's a look at how the Wolverines stack up with the other seven one-loss Power Five teams.


Best win: Florida
Loss: LSU

Georgia bounced back from a blowout loss to smash rival Florida in Jacksonville. The game was close into the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs ran away from the Gators with a pair of late touchdowns.

Georgia's win over Florida is definitely better than any single win on Michigan's resume and that caused 15 AP Poll voters to put the Bulldogs ahead of the Wolverines this week. But 45 voters still think Michigan has the better resume.

The overall schedule strength favors Michigan. Georgia has played Austin Peay -- an FCS team -- and Middle Tennessee in the nonconference.

Florida and South Carolina are the only Power Five teams with winning records that Georgia has beaten, and that's a measuring tool the CFP committee has used in the past.

Plus, the Bulldogs have lost a game by 20 points.

EDGE: Michigan


Best win: Florida
Loss: Texas A&M

Kentucky's win over Florida is a little better than Georgia's because it came in the Swamp, but rest of the resume is similar.

Texas A&M hung onto the last spot in the AP Poll at No. 25, so Kentucky's loss looks a little better, but Michigan's loss to No. 3 Notre Dame is much more defensible.

Kentucky has a solid win over Mississippi State and also beat 4-3 South Carolina, so the resume is strong. But the Wolverines have won four straight games against Power Five teams with winning records and have a better loss, so they have the better resume.

EDGE: Michigan



Best win: Georgia
Loss: Florida

Unlike the two teams above, LSU lost to Florida, but neither of the others has a win as good as the 20-point blowout of Georgia.

LSU rose in the AP Poll because of wins over then-No. 8 Miami and then-No. 7 Auburn in September. But both of those teams have lost three games and don't look much better than Michigan's wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State.

If you have to rank LSU's four wins against winning Power Five teams, it would probably be: Georgia, Mississippi State, Auburn, Miami. Michigan's would be Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Maryland.

While Michigan's loss to unbeaten Notre Dame looks better than LSU's loss to 6-2 Florida, the Tigers' top four wins are significantly stronger.

It's a close call, but LSU has wins over the current No. 6 and No. 21 teams.



Ohio State

Best win: Penn State
Loss: Purdue

Ohio State's win over Penn State still looks great, especially on the road. But it's not quite the gem it appeared to be after Penn State lost to Michigan State and struggled against Indiana and Iowa.

More damaging than Penn State's decline was Ohio State's 29-point dismantling at the hands of a 4-4 Purdue team that had lost to Eastern Michigan and Missouri in the same stadium. Maybe Purdue just got a lot better? Well, it followed up the Ohio State win with a loss to Michigan State.

Penn State is the only team on Ohio State's schedule with a winning record. Minnesota and Purdue are 4-4, but six of the Buckeyes' wins came against losing teams.

The Penn State win is better than any of Michigan's wins, but the blowout loss to an unranked team and the lack of a second strong victory brings Ohio State down.

EDGE: Michigan


Best win: Iowa State
Loss: Texas

There's no shame in losing a shootout to Texas, especially during a rivalry game, but Oklahoma has very few impressive wins.

Army and Iowa State are solid teams, and winning in Ames, Iowa, is Oklahoma's most impressive accomplishment.

The Sooners get a lot of love because of Heisman Trophy candidate Kyler Murray and an explosive offense, but the resume isn't very impressive.

Army is no pushover, but it took overtime for Oklahoma to win that game at home. Four of Oklahoma's wins came against teams with losing records.

Oklahoma will have an opportunity to strengthen its resume in November with road trips to Texas Tech and West Virginia.

EDGE: Michigan

Washington State

Best win: Utah
Loss: Southern Cal

Washington State is having en excellent season, but it has two major factors working against it: a pitiful nonconference schedule and a weak Pac-12 Conference.

The Cougars didn't challenge themselves at all outside the Pac-12, playing 3-6 Wyoming, 1-7 San Jose State and FCS opponent Eastern Washington.

Mike Leach's team beat ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks to rise to No. 10 in the AP Poll, but both Oregon and Stanford have since fallen out of the top 25 with their third losses.

Washington State's win over No. 16 Utah is better than any of Michigan's wins, and it has three victories over winning Power Five teams. There isn't a wide gap between the two resumes.

But the Cougars have played four absolute cupcakes in eight weeks, and a loss to USC no longer looks great as the Trojans fell to 4-4 this weekend.

Michigan's much superior loss, combined with only two games against teams with losing records -- Nebraska and SMU -- are the difference.

EDGE: Michigan

West Virginia

Best win: Texas Tech
Loss: Iowa State

There's a reason West Virginia has struggled to rise in the AP Poll despite winning six of seven games: the schedule is extremely weak.

A loss to Iowa State on the road is understandable, but West Virginia got smashed by 16 points. That doesn't bode well for a team that has just one win over a team with a winning record.

Tennessee, Kansas State and Kansas are all 3-5, and Youngstown State is 3-5 in the FCS. The quality wins simply aren't there for West Virginia, and the loss to Iowa State is much more damaging than a loss to Notre Dame.

EDGE: Michigan

One-loss resume rankings

  • LSU
  • Michigan
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Washington State
  • Oklahoma
  • Ohio State
  • West Virginia

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