Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp was not high on Michigan heading into this season. He termed Hoke “delusional” for believing he could compete with the SEC, because of the conference’s recruiting advantage. He believes Michigan has lost the “natural expectation of being good.”
We might point out Hoke nearly beat South Carolina last year, landed Top 10 recruiting classes in both 2012 and 2013, has Rivals’ No. 2 overall player in 2014 verbally committed and is a finalist for the No. 1 overall player. Michigan ranked 20th via Football Outsiders in 2012 and 9th in 2011. But who is counting?
Sharp left Michigan off his initial ballot. Fair enough. He was not sufficiently impressed by a 59-9 dismantling of Central Michigan to add them after last week. Again, fair enough. But the decision, to leave out the most popular team among his readership, seems a bit odd juxtaposed with being the one voter to keep Boise State, after being blown out 38-6 by Washington, in the Top 25 at No. 23.
Did Sharp see latent greatness in the offense which converted systems and averaged just 3.93 yards per play? Perhaps it was the defense which conceded 592 total yards (6.96 per play) and stopped just four of 15 third down conversions? Maybe Sharp thought Washington was such a juggernaut that debacle was understandable? Nope. He ranked Washington 18th.
I guess this is one decision we’d have to be within the Ivory Tower to understand.