this is self evident, really. our schedule probably will be ranked as the hardest by the end of the year, or at least within the top 5. it's made more difficult b/c alabama at the jerry dome really is an away gave even though it counts as a neutral site game.
ESPN ($): Michigan has most brutal schedule
Can't say that I am a fan of the title of the article...
phew, I escaped.
Dammit! I did look at them and now I feel stupider.
Schedule not being as tough as it seems. I think ND has the hardest schedule by far this year.
I'm guessing people might not be including ND on these lists because they don't have a shot in hell at winning some of those games. I doubt anyone would have cared if we had the toughest schedule in history in 2008 or 2009.
I'm in the minority on this, but even though I think ND has a very tough schedule, I really believe that by the year's end it won't seem as difficult as it does now. I think they've scheduled a lot of names that initially seem like they would be difficult, but in this particular year, will not pose as much difficult as in the past. i.e. Miami is going to really struggle this year, Oklahoma will not be the Oklahoma of the past, and we will start to see the Harbaugh/Luck effect at Stanford. If they field a solid squad, they would be able take two out of those three.
Again, I realize I'm in a small minority on this.
We do have a very tough schedule early on and 2-2 is a real possibility. However, should we defeat Alabama and ND we could be ranked #1 in the nation very early on. Considering the past few years (obviously besides last year) even the possibility of being a #1 team in the nation is signifigant progress. We were down but we weren't down for long. I'm proud we're back to high expectations so I love this article.
Our offense plodded vs MSU and VTech, and now gets to face Alabama's D w/o Molk or moonball-catching-release-valve Hemingway, not to mention the losses on the D line. An expectation to compete for the BiG is legit, but hinting an expectation vs Alabama is homer. I for one just want to see us compete at the JerryDome. I'll be OK with a loss under 14 points. The rest of the games on the schedule, especially MSU, are another story.
Totally agree here. Don't embarrass the team/conference against Alabama and then survive against ND and Air Force.
Ha, that's awesome. I used to work with Travis at the Charleston Post and Courier back in the day. I was relegated to working the Charleston Southern men's basketball beat, as well as high school and community sports. Nice to see he made it to the big times.
I am currently stuck in a cubicle job providing customer support for aspiring authors. Ho hum.
Good, when we go undefeated there will be no reason for us to not be in the NC game
No Wiscy and a graduation ravaged Air Force.
Only 4 Big Ten home games.
Hmmmm, you don't say?
But there's no way it's harder than ND's. They're going to get destroyed.
They are convinced they will go AT LEAST 10-2, and could win the NC with a couple of good bounces.
Should be plenty of opportunities for some quality schadenfreude this season.
The article looks at top-25 teams ("or close to it") - perhaps they didn't consider ND close to a top-25 team? In any event, I think their schedule merits consideration here.
EDIT: The article is specifically looking at EARLY-SEASON schedules.
...heading into the year, but I am not sure that is how it will play out at the end of the year.
I think there is a very good chance Bama is not our toughest game. It might be at Nebraska, at OSU or someone else. I don't think any BCS NC team has ever repeated and you normally get a little let down after winning the trophy. I assume Bama will have about 3 losses at the end of the year.
If Bama ends up like that, ND fumbles away the season, MSU struggles with a new QB and OSU has a hard time transitioning to the triple option....we won't have the toughest schedule. I think all or some of those things are somewhat likely to happen.
It is a tough schedule. I believe it to be tough enough to merit consideration for a title game appearance if a loss was to occur early enough in the year.
Obviously a lot can happen though over the next months. Would not be surprised though if this schedule is at least top 20 even if some of the teams end up struggling.
tough schedule but I wish it wasn't all on the road. The home games this year are not worth even close to the season ticket price. You're pretty much paying $400 for an MSU ticket. Praise jeebus that trash bowl 2.0 won't be around this year.
He says... well Michigan might be 2-2, heck 1-3 if they are still licking their wounds from 'Bama v. Air Force... But .... they should be able to beat ND, so 3-1... I mean he has everything covered when he says, Alabama is as vulnerable as ever (read 4-0)... He might as well say UMass, two years ago/The Horror 0-4 and just cover them all...
MSU is in the list of teams. 9 teams are listed in there altogether.
Sill a little unsure as to why Brandon would have scheduled the game with Bama this year? It will be great if we win, but for a former business exec who should have some ability to know these things take time this just seems like a move that should have been made for the 2014 team after Hoke got his stuff going as far as recruiting and style of play.
The benefits of playing in this game far outweigh the risk of a loss. Look at it this way-there are pretty much 4 possible outcomes for this game.
1) Michigan wins in a blowout-This is most definitely the least likely outcome but if it happens Michigan just got paid a ton of money to go "on the road" and annihilate the defending national champions. You may as well pencil MIchigan into the National title game should this happen as long as they only lose one game the rest of the way. On top of that recruits all across the nation just watched Michigan beat the best team in the nation the past 4 years. Can you say hello to all the 5-stars that will line up visits after that.
2) Michigan wins a squeaker-Same as above, but dial back the national title talk a bit.
3) Bama wins a squeaker-Michigan just got paid a ton of money to lose to the best team in the nation the past 4 years. Recruits just saw Michigan hang with Bama and interest in the program is increased.
4) Bama wins in a blowout-Michigan gets to see where it's lacking when stacked against the best the nation has to offer. Recruits see that Michigan is willing to play anybody and recruits everywhere still get to see what Michigan has to offer. The worst part about this scenario is all the SEC chest beating and sports outlets declaring Michigan still has a way to go to (and let's be honest-they do).
Only one outcome out of those 4 can likely be called "bad," and even that is fairly subjective. Brandon and Hoke know what they are doing.
I think he's just thinking that the probability of each of the 4 events shifts meaningfully towards the first 3 if he had waited until next year. Still, agree, a blowout would be bad, but absent that, this game is a positive for the program.
The assumption was that by this point Rich Rod would have been fielding national title contenders too. Regardless, its still a good matchup. Its two storybook programs, both will sell tickets very easily, and both will have a lot of fans tuning in on TV. No matter who loses, this is win/win for both programs.
DB and Hoke care more about Big Ten championships and a game like this is perfect for DB. It gives us a ton of national exposure, against a consistent contender, and might establish an avenue to recruit in the most talent heavy place in the country. If we lose, it sucks short term but long term it's a win regardless.
Sorry to be that guy and threadjack, but to make the game at Jerryworld even more of an uphill battle, I just heard from a friend that the band isn't going to be taken on the trip. It is going to be treated just like any other away game. Since when is a neutral-site game against a defending national champion like any other away game? It just seems odd (not to mention ridiculous) not to have the band at one of the most anticipated and difficult game of the year.
According to the person that told me, the Athletic Department is treating it as 'just another away game' so there is no budget for the band to go. For a group that puts in so much work for the University and really does a lot to help motivate the fans/players during games, it just seems stupid to me.
They were given reserved seating and free entry, according to the contract DB signed. I can't imagine them not going.
See Section 3.
They lose offensive leaders QB Jefferson and star TB Asher Clark, plus leading WR Knauth to graduation. They had a senior-laden offense last fall. Defensively in a word they sucked last year against questionable opposition.
That said, Air Force always plays over their heads on the road vs. better competition. It helps Michigan that Hoke got royally burned by Air Force at SDSU and probably carries over this nightmares and hate into that game after seeing a great season downgraded after losing to them a few years back by just 2 pts points (at home).