ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan football moved all the way up to No. 4 in this week’s AP poll after a blowout win over Colorado State in the opener.
The Wolverines began the season as the No. 8 team in the country. They figured to move up at least two spots after No. 7 Utah lost at Florida and No. 5 Notre Dame lost at Ohio State on Saturday.
But voters also took the liberty of nudging Michigan above Texas A&M and Clemson, two teams that won by 31 points in their first games. Texas A&M took down FCS Sam Houston State 31-0, while Clemson pulled away from Georgia Tech in the second half Monday night to win 41-10.
The four-spot jump might seem a bit surprising after Michigan played such a weak opponent, but the preseason poll only had Texas A&M ahead by nine points, and Clemson ahead by 89 points. Most likely, a few voters who weren’t sure about Michigan coming into the year felt a bit more confident after Saturday’s win.
Nobody knew what to expect from the Michigan defense this season. Not only did the Wolverines have to replace defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, they also lost three stars in Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, and Daxton Hill, as well as every starter in the secondary.
But Jesse Minter’s first test since taking over for Macdonald went about as well as he could have hoped. Michigan sacked the Rams seven times, finished with 11 tackles for loss, and allowed only seven points.
The offense generated 440 total yards and scored 44 points (one of Michigan’s touchdowns came on a scoop-and-score). It looked pretty much the same as last year’s Big Ten championship offense.
Michigan shouldn’t have any issue holding onto a top five ranking the next two weeks. It’s a 50-point favorite against Hawaii on Saturday, and then hosts Connecticut in the final non-conference matchup.