Michigan/Notre Dame A "Hot Seat" Game

Dennis Dodd weighed in on Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer, and the upcoming college football season, among other topics

August 21, 2018 - 8:56 am

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The college football season hasn’t even started, but you can probably make an educated about which teams will make the playoff and which team will actually win it.

“You can probably throw a napkin – not a blanket, but a napkin – over the teams that can really win it,” CBSSports.com college football writer Dennis Dodd said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s probably been like this before, but I can’t remember. There’s probably about six teams that can win it, and you can’t go much farther than that. Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Washington, Wisconsin – maybe Michigan State. I just can’t see anybody else winning it. It’s become a closed shop.”

Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, and Ohio State are ranked in the top five of both the AP Poll and the Coaches’ Poll. Those four programs have accounted for 10 of the 16 playoff spots to date.

“I don’t think Miami wins it or gets in it because for Miami to get in, they have to beat Clemson,” Dodd said. “I don’t think they’re there yet.”

Notice that Dodd said nothing about Michigan and Notre Dame, which square off in South Bend on Sept. 1.

“That game is fascinating to me because the loser of that game is on the hot seat automatically, especially if it’s Jim Harbaugh,” Dodd said. “There’s really no excuses now. He’s got a quarterback. Without throwing a pass, Shea Patterson is the best quarterback Jim Harbaugh has had at Michigan. The defense, we know, is good. There really aren’t any excuses – except he plays in the toughest division in college football. So he’s going to have to get past Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State. So right off the bat, this is almost a must-win for Jim Harbaugh.”

As for Ohio State, Dodd expects Urban Meyer to be back on the sidelines for the Buckeyes. According to sources, he will likely be suspended, not fired, for his handling of the Zach Smith situation.

“It confirmed my suspicion, if you will,” Dodd said. “(It’s) a middle way out for him. There’s kind of a middle ground. I don’t think it satisfies anyone, but he gets suspended for, let’s say, two to four games. I think he’s going to be back in some form on the field. He’s going to be Ohio State’s coach again.”