The buzz after Alabama's convincing 21-0 win over LSU suggests that the Wolverines will be no match for the Crimson Tide when they open the 2012 season at Cowboys Stadium.
The Crimson Tide had just wrapped up their second BCS title in the last three years, and it was also the SEC's sixth straight championship since Texas defeated Southern Cal in 2006.
The SEC is no doubt the dominant conference in college football today.
"I think it's different styles of football," LSU center P.J. Lonergan told a New Orleans television station." Over here at LSU and the SEC, we are a lot more focused on running the football and big-time defense. I just think those are different styles of football. We just play different here."
It's also no secret they play with better, faster players, packed stadiums, and an excellent recruiting base. The population shift from the rust belt to the sun belt has helped in that regard.
But the top teams in other conferences play similar football.
Except for the last few seasons, Michigan has done well against SEC competition. Overall, the Wolverines are 20-6-1 during the regular season and 7-3 in bowl games. Hopefully, performances like the 52-14 loss to Mississippi State have been tucked away in the past.
Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke is slowly reviving the SEC's staple of running the ball and playing good defense. Recruiting the fastest players (with size, too) will come in time, and Hoke is making inroads there, too.
Scout.com has Michigan's 2012 recruiting class rated third in the nation, ahead of every SEC school except Alabama.
With National Signing Day nearly three weeks away (Feb. 1), there's still room for the Wolverines to add three or four players. One possibility is cornerback prospect Armani Reeves, who conceivably could contribute immediately.
The most likely commit to play right away is 6'3", 320-pound tackle Ondre Pipkins, who would move into Mike Martin's nose tackle spot.
The Wolverines must fill a few other spots, but defeating Alabama is entirely possible.
Let's see what Michigan must accomplish to bring home a victory: