In response to a heretofore unseen-in-magnitude real-time cheating scandal, the Big Ten issued an in-effect-on-Saturdays-only suspension of Michigan's head coach and the NCAA, citing its own red tape, declined to act in season, despite the Wolverines' unprecedented improprieties striking directly at the heart of the game's very integrity.

The College Football Playoff committee? Well, that's another story.

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Despite saying six weeks ago that it saw U-M's scandal as an NCAA issue, not a CFP issue, the committee reversed course Sunday, coming down on Michigan in the harshest way possible: Setting U-M up on a date with a revitalized, pissed-off, and suddenly-peaking Alabama.

Can you imagine Nick Saban's reaction on Sunday? Michigan has struggled for three straight weeks against Maryland, Ohio State, and Iowa. The Nicktator now gets a month to prepare for U-M's sputtering offense.

The Wolverines are putting on a brave face, but they know what's coming.

"No, we’re excited to face them," Jim Harbaugh said Sunday afternoon when asked during the Rose Bowl press conference if he and his team were disappointed with their Playoff draw.

As has been the case with Michigan football a lot lately, their actions didn't line up with their words.

Yeah, that audible gasp didn't sound excited in the least. What it actually sounded like was a room full of guilty grifters realizing the jig is up and their uppance has inevitably come.

You just hate to see it.

Blake Corum wants you to know, though, that Michigan isn't intimidated by the Crimson Tide, who have won six national championships over the last 15 seasons.

"We're not going to go in there saying, 'Oh, this is Alabama, a team that's won and won and won and won,'" Corum said. "No. We're that team."

Is Michigan that team, though?

AlabamaMichigan
Bowl Record Under Current Head Coach16-6 (.727)1-6 (.143)
CFP Record Under Current Head Coach9-4 (.692)0-2 (.000)
CFP Championships Under Current Head Coach30
National Championships Under Current Head Coach60

Turns out Corum knows as little about his own team's actual accomplishments as he purports to know about LLC ventures with Connor Stalions that were operated in his name.

It's not all bad news for Michigan, though. In case you didn't know, U-M is ranked No. 1!  It's practically impossible not to know, though, considering the Detroit media covered the Wolverines' move to the top of the polls the way North Korean state-operated media covers literally anything Kim Jong-Un does (or doesn't do).

Surely the Free Press had some hard-hitting coverage of Michigan's formidable Playoff opponent. Let's check in and see how the paper of record in this state approached that story.

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That tracks.

Nothing to worry about! Michigan is totally not scared of Alabama. The Wolverines aren't even a little upset that they drew the greatest college football program over the last two decades. Nope! It's of no concern that the program they'll face, aside from all the crystal footballs, has far and away produced the most NFL players of late. No. 1 Michigan isn't worried at all about having to play the team that's 5-0 all-time versus teams sitting atop the CFP rankings (no other school has beaten the CFP No. 1 more than twice).

Michigan fans have inundated Twitter with their completely genuine and not at all self-preservational campaigning for Florida State, which U-M loyalists say deserved the final Playoff bid over Alabama.

That's right! You should totally believe that Michigan fans have all of a sudden honestly and earnestly taken up the cause of the disenfranchised and less-fortunate. They're doing so from a place of sincere compassion for the undefeated ACC champion Seminoles, who were so blatantly and unjustly ripped off Sunday when the CFP committee gave the fourth and final Playoff bid to the 12-1 SEC champion, healthy-quarterbacked Crimson Tide.

It has absolutely nothing to do with an ulterior motive to, say, effectively give Michigan a bye in the CFP semis. Why would anyone ever suspect U-M of subverting processes and institutions to give themselves an unfair advantage?

Michigan Scandals, Controversies, and Embarassments During Warde Manuel's Tenure as Athletic Director

Michigan athletics has been engulfed by multiple scandals, controversies, and embarassments over the last two years, all occurring on athletic director Warde Manuel's watch.

As the issues continue to mount, and Manuel continues to be practically invisible to the media and public, it's a wonder Manuel hasn't been fired already.

Gallery Credit: Getty Images

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