Gettin my head & heart back into Michigan football and here’s my preseason prediction for 2018 record.
At this point I’ve got the Wolverines penciled in for 7 wins; 1 loss with 4 games as tossups.
This assessment will most likely be completely adjusted after what I see take the field at South Bend. If Michigan plays like they did in the bowl game its going to be a long long season maybe even finishing at 7-5. If they can be competitive in a hostile game 1 environment; losing by no more than a field goal then I can see the Wolverines at 9-3. If they escape with a narrow victory as Georgia did last season then maybe 10-2 or 11-1 and if they win convincingly by 2 TD’s or more……?
Maybe Michigan goes 15-0.
All depends on that first game play against ND.
As I See It…………INTJohn
I will give my thoughts. 11-1.
Michigan should win 8 games pretty stress free (pre big ten schedule, Neb, NW, Mar, Rut, IND). Looking at Michigan they bring back one of the best defences in the country, that SHOULD get them through that group. ND being the best team in that group, but they have some big losses from last year and I suspect UM’s defense will control those games.
I can’t remember a defence as stacked at all three levels for Michigan, I think every starter on the defence and some backups will probably play in the NFL at some point. There is potential for a few first round picks, across all 3 levels. The team overall probably has more productive 5*’s than at any point I remember.
Then we come to the offence, after playing 3 QBs behind a poor performing offensive line and seemingly disconnected offensive coaching, while breaking in a new receiver core, it appears they should be significantly better. Realistically that means they could only be average. But the defence with an average offensive performance makes this a much better team. It is a team that was in a lot of close games last year. If the offensive line had decent players and bad coaching/scheme last year maybe they are good this year. If Patterson is good to great and Peters or DMcC develop this offence could be lights out… Skill positions are stacked! It has been a while, as everyone know it is all about the line and QB’s. They should each be better naturally, but a big step up out of either and this is a bloody good football team.
My guess is that with an average offensive team they go 2-2 in the other 4 games. However, I suspect they are going to be primed for MSU and OSU. If I had to guess I would say this is their year to beat each (might be more hopeful than anything). My guess for how each of the remaining 4 games rolls:
Wisconsin – Loss, but close. Wisc are bloody good this year. We are all looking forward to our D-Line vs their O-line.
MSU – Win. UM and Harbaugh need this game, the football gods can only fall MSU’s way so many times. Um could easily be 3-0 against MSU under Harbaugh.
PSU – Win. This is a home and home series. UM wins at home as does PSU.
OSU – I think UM wins this.
My prediction is 11-1. It might be somewhat optimistic, but UM has talent, a bruised ego and desperation. I still think they have really good coaching. I like that combination a lot.
I would guess that would leave UM playing Wisconsin in the B10 Championship, that would be a toss up. They would obviously have to win to be considered for the playoff.
On the flip side, if Michigan bumbles this year. I will have a 180 on the coaching and think Harbaugh should be on the hot seat or fired. He has simply not closed, with his history I am assuming he still can. If he doesn’t this year, that will be enough evidence for me to say he can’t win big games and needs to be fired or be on the hot seat. As I assume recruits will feel the same way and it will suffer greatly.
Yes, I think 11-1 as a preseason prediction is unrealistic – i won’t say its delusional but certainly homer optimism.
First Michigan is playing the toughest schedule in the nation and they could be significantly better on the field from last year and still lose 5 games…….
The ND game , at this point is one of my toss-ups. First game of the year in a hostile environment against a very talented ranked team. Michigan with a completely unproven offense; sorry best I can do here is ‘tossup’
……and give NW some respect. This is not the Northwestern that Bo played in the 70’s & 80’s. They won 10 games last year & Fitzgerald is a damn good coach with smart talented players; And the game is played in Evanston; And Harbaugh has shown he can’t win on the road against a good team. The NW game to me at this point is one of my ‘toss-up’ games.
Wisconsin coming into AA is the only reason I call this game a tossup. If it were in Madison I’ld call it an L. To repeat too many ?’s at this point re Michigan’s unproven offense and the Badgers are totally proven with one of the best QB’s in the B10 who has seen Michigan’s defense before.
Then the Wolverines travel to East Lansing. I’m calling this game, at this point a toss-up; only because its such a rivalry game. The Spartans are actually my preseason pick to win the B10 East. They have one of the top 10 maybe top 5 best coaches in College football; they have the best QB in the B10 in Lewerke – another dude QB that Dantonio will be sending to the NFL; they have 19 of 22 starters returning from a 10 win team last year AND they have both Michigan & OSU at home AND Dantonio seems to be the only B10 coach who has both UM & OSU’s number……..
My L for Michigan is in Columbus.
One thing you haven’t addressed is Special Teams. Also an unproven unit from last year’s not great at all ST unit. So, Offense Defense Special Teams…… Lose 2 of 3 battles here you most likely lose the game and 2 of these 3 units for Michigan are unproven.
Again after I see what takes the field in South Bend, I may revise all my verbage………..INTJohn
I can’t disagree with your assessment.
UM usually wins the difficult preseason game though and ND’s strength last year was o-line and this year our strength will be D-liine while they usher in a new o-line… I expect our defence to be next level with better safety play.
My belief would be that if they finish with 3 losses Harbaugh would be fired most likely this year or probably the year after or the Program would accept mid tier status in the Big 10. What do you think his prospects will be if they lose three games?
As I said, I believe that Harbaugh is a good coach, that has proven to be able to win big games in the past. Michigan has had some unfortunate breaks the past couple of years. I like the fact that they have been embarrassed and have a burr in their saddle. I put a fair bit in that. It is the playoff or execution for them essentially.
I wholly agree about Dantonio and MSU. As good as they have been though they have never been elite or been able to hang with the elite. They return a lot from a 10 win team. They have a lot of good but I can’t say anything great, maybe linebackers? I would rank Dantonio as the best pure football coach in the NCAA, but he has never had the horses to be elite. Where are the first round pick projections for next year? They are always consistently good but not great. Which is a lot better than Michigan. They have an established qb, UM doesn’t. However, they will be in a world of hurt if he gets injured. How many MSU players would you take over UM players of you could swap them on rosters? Lewerke jumps out, maybe an o-lineman, possibly a d-tackle. I would take are skilled players on offence, secondary, linebackers, ends… (the whole defence). Is Lewerke better much than Shea?
My belief rests strongly on the fact that UM’s defence will be better this year, the offence was brutal last year and being average is a huge step up. This is a team fighting for it’s coaches life, I believe in the coach.
I don’t want to get to deeply involved regarding Harbaugh’s HC status at Michigan in this thread as I simply meant it to be a slapping up of my pre-season intuitions regarding how the overall big picture Wolverine results may be.
If you want to start a thread on Harbaugh’s future at Michigan based on possible, theoretical & philosophical won loss scenarios I most likely would participate.
Thanx and Go Blue!
Also, regarding MSU The road team has won 6 times since and including 2007 and the last 3 years. Not a significant home field advantage.
There is one other that agrees with me.
I was not going to start a new thread about harbaugh… I jus don’t want to put the negative energy out there!
I would be keen to compare UM v. MSU person by person or group by group though.
I enjoy reading your opinion.
I’ll hold off on specifics regarding UM v MSU as that game is 2 months off and a lot will happen between now & then to both teams but I don’t mind elaborating a little on the ND game.
If Michigan had anykind of a proven offense I would give a thin lean to the Wolverines. But after all the hoopla for the last 3 years; ‘bait & switch’ regarding Harbaugh’s vaunted Offensive Coaching Prowess he’s gotta show me he can build an offensive unit that can both score a td & not turn the ball over…….
That being said, ND’s offense has never played agaisnt a defense as talented, well coached and schemed like that of Don Brown’s. The Irish can study film all they want; till they actually have that defense literally attacking their ass they will not really be able to get a handle on it. Expect that ND offense to look confused and unsure – tentative at least thru the first half. The Irish will be intimidated by it having never actually played against it before.
Michigan’s other tough foes – Wisky, MSU, PSU & OSU suffer no such unfamiliarity with the Wolverine defense and they all beat Michigan last year. Those opposing Offenses; They’ll all be ready, respectful BUT unintimidated…….
As I See It……..INTJohn
Now that I’ve watched the ND game my ‘preseason’ record for Michigan is 7 wins 4 losses; I still have the NW game a toss up & the way PSU played against App St in Happy Valley, Michigan should be able to handle them at home.
I’ve seen nothing in this game what so ever that tells me the Michigan Offense has improved at all from last season:
Play calling was boring, predictable & non creative; still Can’t score a td and still turns the ball over. The vaunted Defense absolutely sucked in the first half and special teams even with the KO return 4TD was marginal…….
The Wolverines could even go 6-6
I completely agree. I would say my revised prediction would be 7-5 or 6-6 and Jim will be fired or engineer his exit towards the end of the year if not sooner.
I based a big part of my assessment on the coaches being able to bring this group together, as they are fighting for the program and the coaches lives. Tonight was more mistakes, more weak play, more mistakes and a fair bit of stupidity. I am really surprised as a team they didn’t man up to fight for the coach or program.
Don Brown, for all his accolades, does not have a defence that wins games. It may play well statistically but has yet to win a game when they have the lead or keep the other team from getting one, which makes it entirely average. Against a good team there are always times when they get walked over like the first quarter or more usually in the 4th.
Culturally there is something wrong with this program, Jim has to wear it. I am no longer sure if he is a good coach. The team simply cannot make a big play and makes stupid mistakes that cost it games. This team is lacking character, toughness and the will to win. This is a better team than 7-5 or 6-6 or 9-9 in it’s last 18. There is not one player on this team that has done what is needed to win or coach that has coached that way. Jim is the opposite of Mark Dantonio (it really pains me to say that). At this point, as long as he is there, they will eat Michigans lunch while Michigan watches and quivers.
How the line is still one of the worst in college football and the quarterback play is still poor I have no idea, there has been ample time to fix it. Why do Michigan players, insiders and coaches pump them up so much in the pre-season? STFU and stop embarrassing yourself. Sam Webb appears to be an idiot at this point. He knows football as well as I know general surgery (I am not a surgeon or medical professional).
The problem is that when Jim is replaced it will be difficult to get a better coach than Mark or Urban, if not impossible. This is Why OSU did not get rid of Urban!
Anyway, I can rant forever. It as another disappointing performance but the exact same performance we have seen over the past 4 years, no improvement whatsoever. Can we clone John Beilein? Or worse MD or Urban?
I was optimistic… Can’t wait to hear how this is the best line in world after they destroy North Western Idaho state and the defence is the greatest ever. I am obviously frustrated, I was overly optimistic and put too much confidence in a coaching staff that has not earned it.
I thought I would revise after 5 games. They are 4-1 now and have 3 games left I would classify as wins (Mar, Rut and Ind). I would say they have 4 toss ups:
Wisc. – Home and Wisconsin does not appear to be as good as originally thought. 65-70% chance UM wins.
MSU – On the road, also not as good as we thought, with poor offensive play at all positions. 50-50
PSU – Heartbreaking loss to OSU, still a top ten team. But UM seems to have their # at home. 50-50
OSU – As a UM fan I have to call it a rivalry game, but logic makes that a challenge. Their QB appears to be amazing. I would say UM have a 15% -20% chance on winning.
I am going to say they go 9-3, no idea who the wins and losses are. The one thing I like about this team at the moment, they seem to have depth all around (aside from DT and OT).
Surprises for me so far have been:
Poorish secondary play
Not coming out ready to go
Improved Oline play – They appear to be getting better
Strong depth on Dline and linebacker
Gary is either hurt or a guy that won’t be at the level where he puts his stamp on a game.
Shea is as expected (which is good). – Also developing… Nice to see
Notre Dame appears to be very good and that loss doesn’t look as bad now.
In a general overview agree with you on the first paragraph. I’m going to wait tho before any elaboration till after the Maryland game and then I’ll spill a mid term update.
Michigan will be heading into the meat of the schedule with, as everyone generally agrees are 4 potential losses in the 6 remaining games.
All in all I’m content with 4-1 at this point, Terp’s are really schizophrenic with thier home play so expect Michigan to handle them at the Big House upping the Wolverine record to an expected 5-1 at the season midpoint…….INTJohn