ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan continues to steamroll through its schedule, and continues to remain in the top 3 in the two national polls, the latest of which were released Sunday. But one poll did deliver a surprise.
On Saturday, the Wolverines (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) defeated Maryland 59-3, their sixth win by a margin of at least 33 points this season.
Michigan is No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, yet dropped a spot to No. 3 in the USA Today Sports Coaches poll.
Michigan is No. 3 in the current College Football Playoff rankings. Updated CFP rankings will be released Tuesday.
Previous rankings (AP/Coaches): No. 2/No. 2
New rankings (AP/Coaches): No. 2/No. 3
Last result: Beat Maryland 59-3 on Saturday.
What it means: Michigan continues to rack up blowout wins through the course of a largely unbalanced schedule, and has outscored its opponents 432-96.
The lopsided wins only help strengthen Michigan’s résumé, but Clemson’s 54-0 win against Syracuse counted for more among the coaches who vote in the weekly USA Today poll; Michigan and Clemson traded places this week in the poll.
This week, however, brings a different challenge. Michigan plays only its second out-of-state game this season when it travels to Iowa for a night game next Saturday. A win on the road — especially a dominant win against an erratic Iowa team that lost 41-14 Saturday at Penn State — would further strengthen Michigan’s résumé for the poll voters and the CFP committee.
Michigan remains the Big Ten’s only undefeated team, and is one of five remaining undefeated FBS teams. Michigan defeated Maryland convincingly on Saturday while Alabama’s 10-0 win Saturday at LSU is the Tide’s narrowest margin of victory this season. That could work in Michigan’s favor for now — but the bottom line is that the Wolverines need to keep winning, even as also-undefeated Clemson, Washington and Western Michigan continue to win.
Up next: Michigan plays at Iowa at 8 p.m. ET Saturday at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.