In a recent interview with 247Sports, Jim Harbaugh was asked about how close Michigan is to a national championship and offered the following as his reply.
I mean, just look back over the last the last years that we've been here last five years. About as close as you can possibly be. But you got to put it over the top. That’s what drives us.
This is, of course, the same Michigan team that under Harbaugh has never won a Big Ten title. Or even played in the conference championship game. And while they're on top of the head-to-head with Penn State in that span (3-2), they've yet to beat the rival Buckeyes under Harbs, and have been humiliatingly outscored 221-126 in that time.
But hey, maybe Jim has a different view on what "as close as you can possibly be" actually means. So with that in mind, we've decided to compile a list of the other things that were as close to happening as a Michigan national title since 2015.
Rutgers BEcoming Nationally Relevant
You may not have realized it, but Rutgers has been as close as you can possibly be to being a national power. Art Sitkowski has basically been an all-conference performer and has more or less led the way for the Scarlet Knights to become a consistent bowl team with fringe-top 25 potential year-in and year-out. Well done, Rutgers.
The Star Wars Community Universally Praising the New Trilogy
Few thought they could pull it off but after three of what were essentially the most well-received and clearly-thought out movies of the franchise, it's clear that Star Wars episodes VII, VIII, and IX will go down as some of the best entries in the universe. The actors were as close as they could have possibly been to saying on record that they thought the writing and character development was brilliantly done, and that they wished they could do six more movies in those roles.
Game of Thrones Having the Most Satisfying Finale Season Of all Time
David Benioff and DB Weiss had quite the challenge in front of them when it came to wrapping up the cultural phenomenon, Game of Thrones. Yet, they were as close as one could have possibly been to pulling it off perfectly. Fans were borderline ecstatic with the willingness of the show to protect main characters with plot armor and the ever-decreasing amount of political conversation that made the earlier seasons so boring. In effect, everyone was wishing for just one more dimly-lit battle scene in Winterfell.
The United States Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup
With its qualifying hopes on the line, the United States came as close as it could have possibly come to defeating Trinidad and Tobago and securing its spot in the 2018 World Cup tournament. Tim Howard pretty much was able to save that first miracle goal and keep the hopes alive for the U.S. and fans were nearly able to enjoy seeing Christian Pulisic and his squad underneath the bright lights of the world's biggest tournament.
It's been quite the half-decade, wouldn't you say, Jim?
Leave a comment below with other things that have come as close as can possibly be to happening since 2015.