Michigan would have spiraled out of control if they fell at home against Nate Stanley and Iowa Saturday, but Jim Harbaugh managed to right the ship just enough and squeeze out a 10-3 win in a game that epitomized the worst of stereotypical Big Ten football.
Defense reigned supreme as Stanley tossed three interceptions, bailing out another poor showing from Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
As much as the Maize and Blue faithful might like to believe otherwise, Harbaugh is by no means out of the woods.
The Hawkeyes have a pretty solid defense this year, led by future first-round pick AJ Epenesa, but that is not an excuse for a pathetic performance from the Michigan offense. Patterson just looked unsure of himself, and the running game was akin to banging one's head against a concrete wall for 60 minutes.
This team won because Stanley, a poor road performer, shrunk in the Big House, Iowa was woeful inside of the Michigan 40-yard line, and the normally disciplined Hawkeyes beat themselves with penalties in key moments.
If Iowa puts together even a fleetingly competent performance, it's likely that they find the end zone at least once, and the "Michigan is back" conversation isn't even a daydream. Harbaugh better watch himself, as this team still has a long way to go before they can be considered a contender in the Big Ten and a College Football Playoff threat.