A quick look at Michigan’s 2017 schedule

A quick look at Michigan’s 2017 schedule


January 4, 2017

 

There’s been a lot of talk about Michigan’s 2017 schedule. Some people think Michigan blew a prime opportunity to go undefeated and make the playoff in 2016 because of an easy schedule, and now they’ll have a tougher go of it in 2017. Here I’ll take a glance at what’s coming this fall with the teams’ 2016 win-loss records in parentheses:





September 2 vs. Florida (9-4) in Arlington, TX: Florida has won the SEC East two years in a row under Jim McElwain. The offense still hasn’t been productive, but they play good defense. Michigan beat them 41-7 in the bowl game after the 2015 season. Early guess? WIN.

September 9 vs. Cincinnati (4-8): Tommy Tuberville is being replaced by former Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. Cincinnati has had some solid teams over the years, but it will be tough for them to top Michigan, especially in Fickell’s first year. Early guess? WIN.

September 16 vs. Air Force (10-3): Air Force is always tough and almost pulled off an upset at Michigan Stadium a few years ago, but that 10-3 record was against zero ranked teams. The last time they beat a ranked team was Boise State in early 2014. Early guess? WIN.

September 23 at Purdue (3-9): Purdue hired Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm, who has run some high-powered offenses. Still, it’s an uphill climb to beat Michigan when the Boilermakers got blown out by the two top-10 teams they faced in 2016 (111-44 total against Penn State and Wisconsin). Early guess? WIN.

October 7 vs. Michigan State (3-9): Michigan State will be breaking in a new quarterback. They took a major step back in 2016, and they lose some of their best underclassmen in Montae Nicholson and Malik McDowell. I do think Mark Dantonio is a good coach, but I don’t think 2017 will be another banner year. Early guess? WIN.

October 14 at Indiana (6-7): Another team breaking in a new coach, Kevin Wilson was fired for mistreatment of his players. Good coaches or not, Indiana always struggles to beat Michigan. Early guess? WIN.

October 21 at Penn State (10-3): Penn State just played a great Rose Bowl against USC and they’re developing an explosive offense. They also return almost all of their young talent at the skill positions. Maybe James Franklin has finally hit his stride in Happy Valley. Early guess? LOSS.

October 28 vs. Rutgers (2-10): Michigan beat them 78-0 this past year. Early guess? WIN.

November 4 vs. Minnesota (9-4): The Golden Gophers will be on their third coach in three years now that Tracy Claeys has been fired. Going back to 2008, Minnesota is 0-33 against teams who ended the season ranked in the polls. If Michigan is 7-1 in November, they’ll definitely be ranked. Minnesota will also have to break in a new QB. Early guess? WIN.

November 11 at Maryland (6-7): I like the direction Maryland is going under D.J. Durkin, and they’re bringing in some high-quality talent. But that talent will still be very young in 2017. Michigan beat them 59-3 this past season, and I don’t think they’ll be able to make up that differential in just one year. Early guess? WIN.

November 18 at Wisconsin (11-3): This game will be at Wisconsin, which makes things more difficult. The two teams played a close 14-7 win for Michigan this past year. The Badgers are losing some key players (Vince Biegel, T.J. Watt, Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale, etc.), but they should still be tough. Early guess? LOSS.

November 25 vs. Ohio State (11-2): The Buckeyes will be bring a lot of guys back next year, and even though co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck has been hired by Texas, they won’t skip a beat. In fact, it sounds like former Indiana coach and Oklahoma offensive coordinator might be his replacement in Columbus. I don’t think Michigan will make up any ground, especially because Michigan loses a lot and OSU loses relatively little. Early guess? LOSS.

So there you have it. I see Michigan having a 9-3 season next year with losses to some of the prime suspects. Florida will also be a tough game, and teams like Air Force and Michigan State linger, as well. The Wolverines need some offensive players to mature and some young defensive players to take a step forward if they want to win, but I don’t see them winning their division next year, let alone the conference.

56 comments

  1. DonAZ
    Comments: 327
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Jan 04, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    Small correction — Under the review for Wisconsin you have: “The Gophers are losing some key players …” Change “Gophers” to “Badgers”. Nit, but we strive for perfection here. 🙂

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say we go 10-2, with one of the losses you have listed flipping to a Michigan win. My best guess is either we beat Wisconsin in Madison, or we sneak by OSU at home.

  2. Comments: 15
    Joined: 12/13/2016
    vlacca
    Jan 04, 2017 at 7:17 AM

    Damn those gophers. They lose some Wisconsin guys but once they sneak their ringers into Wisconsin position groups we’re doomed.

  3. Comments: 666
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Jan 04, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    9-3 is probably a reasonable projection at this point, but it will be a disappointment if Harbaugh never gets this team playing over their heads or winning any games they’re not supposed to win.

    • DonAZ
      Comments: 327
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      DonAZ
      Jan 04, 2017 at 9:16 AM

      I tend to agree with this. My post above predicting a stretch 10-2 season was an expression of my belief (and hope) Harbaugh does achieve a stretch win … one that they shouldn’t win on paper, but do win it on the field.

      In the RR/Hoke era we saw Michigan beating teams they should beat, but not always convincingly (2013 Akron and Connecticut), or sometimes not at all (2014 Rutgers). They generally lost games to traditional powers.

      Harbaugh has turned that corner — we beat those we should, and for the most part we do it fairly convincingly. (Losing to Iowa this past year is an example of losing one we shouldn’t, but do.) The next step is stretching and taking games, such as the upcoming PSU, Wisconsin or OSU games. If that next step can’t be achieved, then it’s a flashing red light something is amiss.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3460
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 04, 2017 at 1:22 PM

      I would rather we avoid situations where we are not supposed to win. If Alabama is the goal…

      • Comments: 666
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 04, 2017 at 2:59 PM

        Well, if we ever find ourselves in a situation where we’re predicted to win the NC every year and are favored in every game we play, then it won’t be a flaw to never exceed expectations. Until then, you would expect that one of the things an elite coach does is to win more than people expect with the talent he has.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3460
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 04, 2017 at 4:22 PM

          Michigan was favored in every game this year save OSU. If they had won the ones they were supposed to they’d have been big ten champs and made the playoff.

          I’m just saying that’s a bigger deal than trying to pull off upsets. That’s not what a power program like Michigan is about, though I take your point that they’ll need to do it (against OSU in particular) at some point.

          To that I’d counter:
          I’d rather be favored against OSU next year than not. It’s possible they will be given home field.

  4. Comments: 677
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Jan 04, 2017 at 9:51 AM

    I’d switch Florida and Wisconsin. I think a road game early in the year with a young squad will be tough, but may improve by the time we get to Madison

    OTOH, I would not be surprised (but still disappointed) if we lost both. We’ll need some luck and growing up, fast!

    Go Blue

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3460
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 04, 2017 at 1:27 PM

      Hard to predict this early with so much OL uncertainty but I tend to agree.

      I think a tough early season test away from home makes the team better for the rest of the season.

      I would guess we win either @PSU or @Wisc. Not every year is going to be like this one where every tough road game ends up in a loss.

      Also I think PSU was very lucky this year and likely to regress. Wisconsin is tracking the wrong way as a program IMO and will be very beatable.

      Going back to Florida – they always have a ton of talent and that should help them early in the year.

      • Comments: 666
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 04, 2017 at 3:17 PM

        Not sure why you’re calling Penn State “very lucky”. They got off to a slow start, and they improved steadily. There was no more “luck” involved than with most other teams that have a really good season.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3460
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 04, 2017 at 4:30 PM

          I’m calling them lucky for

          sneaking into Big Ten championship thanks to tiebreakers and OSU getting a bunch of calls against Michigan

          playing OSU at home and barely beating them thanks to a turnover despite getting outgained and outplayed by a wide margin

          They are a decent fringe top 10 team, but Michigan would handle them again right now.

          • Comments: 666
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Jan 04, 2017 at 5:59 PM

            They won their last eight Big Ten games in a row, and then the championship game. How exactly is that “sneaking in”? They tied for the best record in the division (beating both teams we lost to). How is that “sneaking in”? It wasn’t like they won some elaborate 4-way tiebreaker where the final deciding factor was which coach had the most grandchildren. The tiebreaker was head-to-head against Ohio State, which they won. It doesn’t get clearer or more simple than that. Games get decided by blocked kicks and turnovers all the time. That doesn’t mean the team that wins was “lucky”. Winning a game where you get outgained doesn’t mean you were “lucky”, either. It means you made the important plays when you needed to. Penn State made the plays they needed to to win against Ohio State. We didn’t.

            And in any event, nothing that happened in our game with Ohio State has anything to do with Penn State’s record or how likely they are to regress next year. As noted, Penn State won their last 9 conference games, whereas we lost two of our last three and struggled mightily in the one we did win. Not sure how you project us as a clear winner if we played them the last game of the season instead of the first from that. The team they were at the end of the season was nothing like what they were when they played us. Were we “lucky” to have played them at home, in our first conference game rather than our last?

            Did Penn State have some things break their way last year? Sure. As noted, most teams that end with records that good do. It doesn’t automatically make them “very lucky”. There is no convincing evidence that they were a significantly worse team at the end of the year than their record indicated, and no reason to think that they’ll backslide significantly next year.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3460
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Jan 04, 2017 at 6:43 PM

              Snuck in via tie-breakers, narrow victories, turnover luck, and a favorable schedule. PSU badly needed UM to lose to OSU (not to mention Iowa) and they got it by the slimmest of margins.

              If we’re just talking head-to-head, Michigan is the most impressive between the 3 east teams (1-1). Michigan’s second loss happened to be in conference but it was not appreciably worse than PSU losing to Pitt. Outside of the head-to-head where, again, Michigan was most impressive between 1-1 teams, Michigan had a more impressive win resume than PSU (Wisc, Colo vs Iowa, Minn in OT). The Big Ten’s arbitrary tie-breakers and arbitrary scheduling gave PSU the east title that they didn’t really deserve if we’re talking best teams on the field.

              I project a clear victory based on our clear victory. Injuries matter but mostly these were the same teams and the margin was more than decisive in the head to head matchup. The teams are not “nothing” like the teams that they were a few weeks earlier. Mostly the same actually.

              I do agree that they can be a 3 loss team again. One of those losses will probably be to OSU. Another will probably be to Michigan. Somehow PSU got into the big ten championship despite being the 3rd best team in the division – and luck was a big part of that. It’s unlikely to happen again that they lose only 1 big ten game.

              • Comments: 666
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Jan 05, 2017 at 6:41 AM

                Again, what on earth are you talking about when you say “arbitrary tiebreakers”? The first tiebreaker was who won head-to-head. Just like is for every freaking conference in creation. That’s as far from arbitrary as it gets. And what “arbitrary scheduling”? Penn State beat both conference teams that we lost to, so how were they “lucky” with regards to that? Conference championships ARE decided “on the field”, by wins, not advanced stats. Penn State won 8 games and we won 7.

                And if you deny that Penn State improved as the season went on and we didn’t, then you really aren’t worth taking seriously. Again.

  5. Comments: 77
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    AC1997
    Jan 04, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    This is going to be a big year for the coaching staff. I think 9-3 is a good place to settle our expectations because there is a chance it could go a game or two either way from that.

    Reasons for optimism:
    — Returning QB
    — Great coaches
    — OSU & MSU at home
    — Proven RB
    — Strong defensive line

    Reasons for concern:
    — OL is scary
    — WR & DB have depth but not proven
    — Depth on defense is worrying
    — Losing so many seniors is always tough
    — We are no closer to beating OSU

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3460
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Jan 04, 2017 at 1:31 PM

      We were a helluva lot closer to beating OSU this season than we have been in years. We’ll probably lose more talent and experience than OSU this offseason but if JT Barrett ends up elsewhere that could be up for debate.

      • Comments: 666
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 04, 2017 at 3:22 PM

        Maybe so, but in terms of talent and experience, we’re not going to see a much softer Buckeye team than this while Urban Meyer is there. We’re going to have to get even better, because they’re not likely to come any further back to us.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3460
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Jan 04, 2017 at 4:31 PM

          Not arguing. OSU is loaded and will be for the foreseeable future. With JT Barrett coming back they will be favorites to win the Big Ten again and I don’t think it’ll be particularly close.

      • Comments: 5
        Joined: 1/4/2017
        GodSent22
        Jan 10, 2017 at 5:56 PM

        Just curious… Do you think we technically did beat them or no? Almost everyone I have talked to says we beat them. Personally I have a hard time swallowing the fact that we did not beat them. (yes i think we technically did.)

        • Comments: 2172
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Jan 10, 2017 at 7:50 PM

          Technically, they beat us. There’s no way around it. That’s how it goes down in the record books.

  6. Comments: 2
    Joined: 1/3/2017
    bluelam
    Jan 04, 2017 at 11:35 AM

    I’d say 9-3 as well, but the Wisconsin and Penn State are only wins because they have home field advantage. I really hope Godwin and Gesicki declare for the draft.

    • Comments: 666
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 04, 2017 at 11:39 AM

      It’s not a good sign when we have to wish for other teams to be worse than expected to have a hope of beating them.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3460
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 04, 2017 at 1:31 PM

        It is hopeless. Michigan will never be able to beat PSU or Wisconsin.

        • Comments: 666
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 04, 2017 at 3:04 PM

          If you say so. But which would you prefer: hoping for us to be better than expected, or hoping for our opponents to suffer unexpected setbacks in order for us to beat them?

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3460
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 04, 2017 at 4:33 PM

        We don’t need that to have hope. You don’t need to strain to find reasons to ‘hope’ when a few weeks ago you went out and whooped somebodies behind.

  7. crazyjoedavola
    Comments: 173
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    crazyjoedavola
    Jan 04, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    I agree with you except that I see the UF game as a loss. The team will be young and that is their first game of the year. So I see 8-4 on a high end and 6-6 with losses to MSU and either AFA or Minnesota on the low end.

    • Comments: 2172
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 04, 2017 at 2:48 PM

      Florida will be in the same boat, and they’re losing at least three underclassmen to the NFL. I mean, I think it will be a tough game, which is why I said so, but they’re losing guys, too.

      • Comments: 666
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Jan 04, 2017 at 4:23 PM

        Florida will have athletes, no doubt, but their coaching has been nothing special since Meyer left. I think we go into that game a favorite and better prepared.

    • Comments: 666
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Jan 04, 2017 at 4:32 PM

      That’s REALLY pessimistic, dude. I see 8-4 as the low end this year. In spite of what we lose, we’ll still have way too much talent to fall to 6-6.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3460
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 04, 2017 at 4:34 PM

        stop the presses.

        • Comments: 666
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Jan 04, 2017 at 7:27 PM

          Hey, I’d rather be right than be popular. How am I doing?

          • Comments: 920
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Jan 05, 2017 at 1:27 AM

            Relentless, abject failure on both fronts.

            • Comments: 666
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Jan 05, 2017 at 6:46 AM

              And in drops Roanman, who has nothing to say about football worth listening to, but who tries to make himself relevant with petty snark and playground insults.

              Guess what, dude…it ain’t working.

              • Comments: 920
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Jan 05, 2017 at 6:48 AM

                Don’t ax if you don’t want to hear the answer there whiny.

  8. Comments: 136
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 04, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Yes, this thread topic made me chuckle a little as I’m thinking “geez a little early in the year for a thread on this isn’t it?; especially considerring all of the other current Michigan football news swirling about? But hey I’m a good soldier and I’ll roll with it – besides its not like we can’t do it again in July or August……

    The Florida match up is Historical as its the first meeting EVER! between the 2 schools during the regular season and will be played on a spectacular National stage at ‘Jerry’s Hawse’. Michigan holds a 3-0 all time record against the Gators in the previous bowl game matchups and I don’t see Michigan not making it 4-0……… Any possible improvement in Fla’s offense for 2017 probably won’t be realised in the first game of the season against the Wolverine’s hellacious defense. I also don’t expect, in game 1, fla’s defense to be what its been the past 2 seasons either. This game could get ugly on more than one level like the last meeting between these 2 teams when Michigan methodically destroyed Florida and then the Gators resorted to ‘thugball’ in the 2nd half………

    Michigan will remember this; retain poise & discipline and beat the shit out of them again, anyway. I don’t see this game as close & cue 1 of my fav you tubes vids – google it if you care “Cat Bitch Slaps Gator” – If a pussy can do this to Gators what will wolverines do?
    W for Michigan.
    IMHO;
    Thanx………….INTJohn

    • Comments: 2172
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 05, 2017 at 7:37 AM

      …and you thought it was too soon for this topic! We’re up to 43 comments. Well, now 44…

      • Comments: 920
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Jan 05, 2017 at 7:46 AM

        45

        • Comments: 920
          Joined: 8/13/2015
          Roanman
          Jan 05, 2017 at 7:46 AM

          Still chasing Lanky

      • GKblue
        Comments: 198
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        GKblue
        Jan 05, 2017 at 8:17 AM

        Good article once again. Experience and depth scare me, 9-3 is reasonable (+/- one wouldn’t surprise me).

        If the board is to be dominated by a select few, football intelligence and reason and sometimes brevity should be rewarded.

        I do not enjoy bullies or windbags. Period.

    • Comments: 25
      Joined: 1/2/2016
      peterfumo
      Jan 05, 2017 at 8:05 AM

      Hate the fact that it is played at Jerry’s World. I can’t stand the hype.

  9. JC
    Comments: 130
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Jan 04, 2017 at 1:31 PM

    I could see Wisconsin and OSU beating us.

    I could see Air Force sneaking by. I don’t know how Don Brown handles triple options.

    I can’t see Penn State. We beat them 49-10 this year. Penn State is a tough environment, but I still can’t see them beating us right now.

    • crazyjoedavola
      Comments: 173
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      crazyjoedavola
      Jan 04, 2017 at 1:40 PM

      Next year PSU will be a better team than when they played us this year, heck right now they are a much better team than in the beginning of the year. While Michigan will most likely not be as good with a possibility of being considerably worse.

    • Comments: 2172
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 04, 2017 at 2:46 PM

      PSU brings back all the relevant people, and they went on a tear after playing us. Michigan loses a ton of relevant people (and probably Peppers), and we didn’t play extremely well over the final four games of the year (1-3, including an uninspiring win over Indiana).

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3460
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Jan 04, 2017 at 4:37 PM

        PSU’s tear includes getting outplayed handily by OSU at home (no shame in that really but despite the W, they were not the better team that day), needing OT to beat Minnesota at home, giving up 24 point to Purdue, and stepping through the dregs of the Big Ten without issue.

        The most impressive thing PSU did this year was dominate Iowa and hang with USC.

        Credit for an excellent year, but they are no juggernaut.

        While most of Michigan’s big injuries hit later in the year, PSU’s came early in the season. That doesn’t mean they are ascending to national title contention.

  10. Comments: 136
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 04, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    The most interesting thing I’m looking forward to regarding the second game with Cincinnati is what offensive philosophy will Fickell unveil against the Wolverines. He’s a defensive guy and this part of his coaching game is very familiar to Michigan but now that he’s in a position to build the offensive philosophical strategy of his own team, it may give insight to future games years against him down the road.

    This Cincy gig is without a doubt an audition for Fickel regarding any aspirations he may yet hold in a return to Columbus as Buckeye head coach should/whenever Meyer leaves/retires.

    Without a doubt Michigan wins this game big but it may hold a key & give some insight to way down the road future Wolverine vs Buckeye storms.

    IMHO.
    Thanx……………INTJohn

  11. Lanknows
    Comments: 3460
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 04, 2017 at 4:38 PM

    It is very very nice for us to be facing all these first time coaches.

  12. Comments: 136
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 04, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    I always enjoy watching the Service Academy teams play and given that I am an Air Force ‘alum’ – not a USAFA alum – but 11 years enlisted in the employ of the U.S. Air Force many years ago; The Air Force Academy is my 3rd favorite team to root for.

    Air Force like all of the Service Academy teams play hard, tough, clean football and generally play Football the way it should be played. Even tho they generally are outmanned by any of the traditional powers on their schedule and usually suffer a defeat, they generally play as the better team on the field – even in suffering that defeat. They have a profound respect for their opposition as well as for the Rules of the Game & the fight as its training for the rigors of a conduct in Combat that The Rules of War demand………

    No this is no game to these future officers & professional soldiers for they understand completely its importance as a small part of their preparation for something much larger into the future that they must do.

    Michigan will win this game but I will always respect the effort & play on the part of this particular defeated.

    IMHO;
    Thanx……………..INTJohn

  13. Comments: 5
    Joined: 1/4/2017
    GodSent22
    Jan 04, 2017 at 6:09 PM

    Maybe I am too optimistic but honestly I see them winning 10 games.. We beat Florida not as bad as we did in the bowl game though it won’t be that close either. Beat Cincinnati. We also beat Air Force and Purdue convincingly. Indiana and MSU also win soundly. (Not sure whats going on with sparty) Also do not see how Penn State is that good. We will beat them on their turf and no problem with Rutgers.Minnesota has issues right now that will not be fixed most likely by that point and if they are it won’t matter. Maryland is going in the right direction but not yet. We win. Wisconsin in very winnable but a toss up.. They are going to be good. Also really like our chance to beat Ohio at home this year. We dominated that game. Our loss i see is Wisconsin. Your thoughts? Sorry it’s so long..

  14. Comments: 136
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 04, 2017 at 7:50 PM

    Game 4 against Purdue has to be the 2nd most likely victory by Michigan in 2017. How far the Boilermakers have fallen from the days of Drew Brees little lone Bob Griese but hey its a road win and those can never be savored enough…………

    After that its 2 weeks to prepare for the Spartan invasion at the Big House – the instate rivalry game with the painfull memory still haunting us the last time MSU played in AA. The outcome this year will be vastly different and Mark Dan Toenail will be reminded once & for all where the Wolverines are………. Michigan with the W.

    IMHO:
    Thanx…………INTJohn

  15. Comments: 136
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 04, 2017 at 9:22 PM

    This Indiana game on the surface seems like it should be a fairly easy victory and I expect it to be BUT that is why I see it as the most likely game for 2017 to be ‘The Trap’ game. (as Iowa was in 2016)
    And while Indiana hasn’t beaten Michigan in about 30 years, I think, Thunder, you’ve got it backwards in your brief summary, at least of late: Michigan has struggled to beat Indiana the last several meetings……….

    Based on Michigan’s performance the last couple years, I initially had this penciled in as questionable but changed my mind to the Win column upon Wilson’s dismissal and it now fits my definition of the seasons most likely ‘Trap Game’: On the road against a team you should beat while perhaps looking ahead to the next game……..

  16. Comments: 3
    Joined: 8/14/2015
    UncleFred
    Jan 05, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    I think that the Florida game will tell the story for the rest of the season. They’ll be tough and well coached. As others have said they loose some guy too and will have to adjust to their first game. That makes them a pretty solid test for how quickly Michigan can get our guys ready.

    Assuming both teams are and stay healthy throughout the game, if they beat Florida, I can see 11 regular season wins with a really tiny chance at running the table. If they lose to Florida, then I’d guess 8-4 because to me that’s an indication that Harbaugh and his staff are struggling to compensate for lost experience.

    I had similar expectations for 2015 based on the Utah game and Harbaugh exceeded them. So I’m hoping he’ll exceed my expectations in 2017 as well.

  17. Lanknows
    Comments: 3460
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Jan 05, 2017 at 3:05 PM

    Nice thing about tough non-conf games is that they prepare you for the rest of the year (especially if they are on the road) without having consequences to winning the conference title.

    Even if you lose (as we could to Florida), it does not usually hurt you in conference play. Saw PSU win the conference this year despite the Pitt loss while Michigan and OSU went out and beat Colorado and Oklahoma.

    • Comments: 5
      Joined: 1/4/2017
      GodSent22
      Jan 10, 2017 at 6:05 PM

      Honestly I really don’t see us losing to Florida. But I do see what you are saying. But here is a question. With all the losses we have all over the field, why does it seem like nobody has trust in Harbaugh to have the guys ready and at least developed enough to compete against some of the better teams next year?

      • Comments: 2172
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Jan 10, 2017 at 7:56 PM

        I don’t think many people are questioning that we can compete against the better teams next year. Can we go 12-0 or 11-1? That’s the real question. I don’t envision blowouts, but it’s going to be a tough road to sled. Competing with doesn’t equal beating.

        But to answer your question, 2017 will be a year when Michigan’s 2015 and 2014 classes will be juniors and seniors academically. That 2015 class was very small without a ton of talent, and the 2014 class was also small. There was a bit more talent in the 2014 class (Peppers, Bunting, Cole, Mone, Winovich, etc.), but Peppers is gone and none of those guys is a bona fide star. So there’s kind of a dearth of elite talent in those upper classes. I think it’s great that Brady Hoke retained players and recruited high-quality kids, but if they’re not talented, you end up with big gaps.

        • Comments: 5
          Joined: 1/4/2017
          GodSent22
          Jan 11, 2017 at 1:33 PM

          Thank You for the answer.. Makes a lot of sense.

  18. Comments: 5
    Joined: 1/4/2017
    GodSent22
    Jan 10, 2017 at 6:01 PM

    Will we ever see a fair game again? I do think the players need to be able to play the game without the refs chirping in every play but how much can the refs actually let slide or even be so lopsided? Just a question.. I’m having a hard time swallowing the outcome since i feel we did win that game against Ohio poop buckets.

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