Jesse Minter calls CFP 'the Alabama invitational' to describe UM's underdog mentality
Jesse Minter knows Michigan does not have to look far to find an underdog mentality. Despite possessing the No. 1 overall seed, Alabama has become a somewhat trendy pick to get the Rose Bowl win in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Part of that is understandable given Michigan’s 0-2 record in the Playoff. The Big Ten also does not have a national championship since 2014 when Ohio State captured the first edition of the 4-team CFP.
On Tuesday, Minter admitted the Wolverines have a chip on their shoulder after getting to this point but falling short in the past:
“Well, I don’t think it’s taken much to create it,” said Minter in regard to the underdog mentality. “With the guys that we have, when we got back together, particularly as a defense and as a team, a lot of these guys, this is what they came back for. 13-0 is fantastic, nobody has ever won three-straight outright Big Ten Championships like this group has, like Coach Harbaugh has. But, at the same time, the group has been driven to get to this moment so past failures often lead to that mentality, the chip on your shoulder. Even though we’ve had the success and it’s great, nobody is ever going to take that away, it’s really this moment, to a man, everybody said this is what we’re gunning for, this is why we’re coming back. That’s why all the wins along the way are so crucial because it kept you on-path to get here.”
As for the matchup with Nick Saban, Minter said his team views themselves as the underdog in part to the success of the Crimson Tide. However, he also called to “bring on the best” to find out where Michigan is really at.
“Now we’re here and now it’s on us to try and get further than we have and reach our ultimate destination. It doesn’t guarantee that but I do think having that mentality of we feel like we’re hungry, we feel like we’re the underdog,” Minter explained. “This is the Alabama invitational, they’ve played in 8 out of the 10 playoffs, they’ve won a bunch of them. The SEC has won four or five in a row. Let’s go. Let’s bring on the best and let’s play them and see where we’re at.”
We’ll see how that plays out on New Year’s Day.