Saturday, August 25, 2012

Michigan Season Breakdown

Just like I did yesterday, by breaking down the Michigan State season and giving my prediction for the season, today I do the same for the Michigan Wolverines.
As I make these predictions, keep in mind I can’t assume injuries, and I am expecting Fitzgerald Toussaint and Frank Clark to sit out the season opener with Alabama.
2012 Michigan Schedule & Predictions
Sept. 1 vs. Alabama: Sorry Wolverine fans, I don’t see this going well. It doesn’t mean that Michigan won’t have a good season, it just means the Wolverines aren’t at the Alabama level quite yet. (L, 0-1)
Sept 8 vs. Air Force: There is some potential for trouble here due to the quirky Air Force offense, but I suspect Michigan will be ready to put on a show in the home opener. (W, 1-1)
Sept. 15 vs. UMass: This shouldn’t be much of a game at all. If it is, that is a bad sign. (W, 2-1)
Sept. 22 at Notre Dame: Notre Dame has payback on the mind, but I think that Michigan edges the Irish on the road. The Irish have had problems dealing with Denard Robinson, and I suspect that will continue. (W, 3-1)
Oct. 6 at Purdue: Purdue should be improving, but not enough to beat Michigan this year. The Wolverines should be able to take the Big Ten opener comfortably. (W, 4-1)
Oct. 13 vs. Illinois: With MSU lurking next week, I see the potential for a letdown in this game, but I still think Michigan will pull out the win. Tim Beckman will have a wide-open offense, but I don’t look for the Illinois defense to be able to contain the Wolverines. (W, 5-1)
Oct. 20 vs. Michigan State: If you read my MSU breakdown already, there is no surprise here. I think Michigan ends the losing streak to the Spartans in a hard-fought game that will come down to a few big plays. (W, 6-1)
Oct. 27 at Nebraska: Michigan handled Nebraska last year at home, but the Cornhuskers are much tougher in Lincoln. After beating MSU, I see Michigan having an off day and getting their first Big Ten loss. (L, 6-2)
Nov. 3 at Minnesota: The loss to Nebraska will be a wake-up call for the Wolverines and they will come into Minnesota and make a statement on the Gophers. (W, 7-2)
Nov. 10 vs. Northwestern: Northwestern can be a problem for teams, but the Wildcats are too inconsistent to pull the upset in this one. (W, 8-2)
Nov. 17 vs. Iowa: Iowa is a team that has given Michigan problems in recent history and I expect the same thing in this game. Look for this game to come down to the wire once again, only Michigan finds the way to win in the home finale. (W, 9-2)
Nov. 24 at Ohio State: I don’t see Michigan getting this one. The Buckeyes still have some issues, but with the postseason ban, this is their national title game. Urban Meyer has been very open with his passion for this game and he will have his team, and the home crowd, ready to go to war with Michigan. The Wolverines will be in the game until the end, but come up short. (L, 9-3)
Dec. 1 vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship): Despite 2 Big Ten losses, I see Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, and Iowa all huddled up in the Legends Division race. Michigan will get the nod on a tiebreaker. In this game, I see the Badgers having the edge. They will have an easier road to get to the title game and the experience of being in the game last year. I think Wisconsin has the steadier offense that can keep Denard off the field for long periods of time. (L, 9-4)

So, 9-4. I know Michigan fans will feel bittersweet about this. They will like beating MSU and making the championship game, but probably disagree about losses to Nebraska and Ohio State, and maybe even to Wisconsin. I think this schedule is too tough for Michigan, much tougher than last year. To me, if Michigan makes it to the title game, it is a much bigger accomplishment than the 11-2 record of last year.

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