The Michigan Wolverines came into the Orange Bowl with a lot of hype and the kind of excitement that has been rare in Jim Harbaugh’s tenure as head coach. Thanks to a win over Ohio State and a Big Ten title, a lot of people were thinking that Harbaugh had turned the corner and made Michigan the championship program that he’d been expected to be all this time.

And then they go thoroughly outplayed and outcoached by the Georgia Bulldogs in a 34-11 loss that wasn’t even that close. Georgia moves on to play for the national title while the Wolverines head home to wonder what could have been.

The big loss also gives Harbaugh’s detractors a lot of ammo to work with as his reputation starts to descend back down to earth. Given that the biggest knock on Harbaugh was that he couldn’t get Michigan to win when it mattered most, Friday’s outcome certainly didn’t help matters. And while the Ohio State win was impressive, the all-SEC championship game also illustrated that Michigan and the rest of college football still need to do more to compete.

College football folks on Twitter certainly weren’t as kind to Harbaugh on Friday following the game as they’d been to him in earlier days.

It was a very successful year for Harbaugh and Michigan but this loss is going to sting for a while, especially as it’s what people outside of Ann Arbor are going to remember most. We’ll see if they’ve got another run in themselves next year and if Harbaugh will ever be able to get over the hump.

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.