We got a good look at the Michigan Wolverines and their impressive offense on Saturday, and that offense is what will put them into the early talk as contenders for a BCS bowl.
The Wolverines showed up big time at home on prime-time television Saturday night against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in what will be the last game in this rivalry for the foreseeable future.
The Wolverines won the game in a 41-30 shootout that was one of the best games of the night.
Devin Gardner had a huge game for the Wolverines. He went 21-of-33 for 294 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception through the air while racking up 82 yards and another score on the ground. He led some critical drives during the game, including the game-sealing touchdown drive in the fourth quarter to ensure the Wolverines' victory with just over four minutes to go.
Not only did Gardner impress in the win, but he also showed up former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who struggled mightily against the Irish last season.
While a lot of the talk is going to be about Gardner, it feels that just as much should be going towards Jeremy Gallon, who might have had the game of a lifetime. He had eight catches for 184 yards and three scores. He also had the play of the game, on a 61-yard touchdown during which he broke a number of tackles on his way to the end zone.
As a senior, Gallon just put his name on the map, and now he could be gaining the attention of NFL scouts. In just two games, he already has 231 yards and four touchdowns.
This offense has a lot of weapons, and that's a very good sign for the future. While the Wolverines struggled last year due to the passing woes of Robinson, Gardner actually provides more of a legitimate threat in the passing game.
Some may think that this is an overreaction, but the Wolverines truly proved that they are legitimate contenders for a bid to a BCS bowl this season after that big win against a respected program.
Looking at the schedule, there's a good chance that the Wolverines can win 10 or 11 games. As the standings are right now, the Wolverines will play three more ranked teams in Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State.
The Wolverines have three pretty easy games coming up, against Akron, Connecticut and Minnesota, so it's not a stretch to think that they can get to 5-0. After that, they should be the favorites in all of their contests up until the final game, against Ohio State.
If Michigan were hypothetically able to remain undefeated up to that point, the odds are that the Wolverines would be going to a BCS bowl regardless of whether they won or lost against the Buckeyes.
The point is that the Wolverines offense looks good enough and the schedule looks easy enough that Michigan could have a very successful season. While it may not be a national championship contender, Michigan still has a shot to be good enough to make a prestigious bowl game.
Still, nothing is ever that simple in college football, and there are sure to be some surprises along the way.
However, the Wolverines are currently averaging 50 points per game, and, with Gardner under center, this offense is looking like one of the most exciting in the nation.