LAS VEGAS -- A buzz is surrounding Jim Harbaugh again, although it’s fair to wonder if the Michigan coach truly has a team worthy of the hype.
The Wolverines’ 4-0 record includes nonconference victories over Washington, Western Michigan and Northern Illinois. Michigan opened Big Ten play last week with a 20-13 win against Rutgers that raised some red flags.
Harbaugh is a conservative playcaller, and his offenses have lacked imagination and a vertical passing threat in recent years. The Scarlet Knights limited the Wolverines to 47 total yards and no points in the second half. Next up is Wisconsin, which has the No. 1 run defense in the nation and will load up to stop the run and dare quarterback Cade McNamara to make plays.
The Badgers also have obvious offensive shortcomings. Graham Mertz threw four interceptions in a blowout loss to Notre Dame last week, so he’ll be on a short leash this time as Wisconsin plans to win the game with its running attack and defense.