games in East Lansing are pretty tight. Not saying UM can't or won't win, but rarely does UM have an easy game in East Lansing.
"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
games in East Lansing are pretty tight. Not saying UM can't or won't win, but rarely does UM have an easy game in East Lansing.
Their biggest issue was their O-line, which was one of the worst O-line units I've seen in the B1G, and I remember Michigan '08. They literally cannot be worse (not saying they will be good, just they can't be worse). Bell was really good, so I'll call the run game about the same. The pass game should slightly improve because of improved O-line play though. I actually don't think Maxwell was that bad, his problem was he got Joey Harrington disease where he freaks out in the pocket and checks down immediately because he knows his O-line sucked. That may ruin him, it may not, but he (or whoever else plays QB for them) will probably be fairly average next year. Their WR started getting better towards the end of the season (sucked up until the Michigan game) and Burbridge looks really good.
I think their defense stays about the same. They lose some guys but have some talent to replace them and most importantly still have their MLB (I think he's a really good player). Defense will keep them in pretty much every game, which means they won't be an easy win by any means. They look like about a 6-9 win team next year with an easier schedule and depending on how their O-line and offense as a whole comes together.
Central Michigan - Win 45-10
Notre Dame - Win 24-17
Akron - Win 55-13
at UConn - Win 38-17
Minnesota - Win 38-24
at Penn State - Win 42 - 10
Indiana - Win 44-24
at Michigan State - Win 31-14
Nebraska - Loss 31-34
at N'western - Win 42-28
at Iowa - Win 42-10
Ohio State - Win 38-35
Big Champ Game vs Ohio State - Loss 42-28
Sugar Bowl vs Stanford - Win 24-17
I don't see it. I really don't see it against MSU or ND depending on who they bring back. Especially when it's going to take time for Michigan's O-line to gel at the start of the season. Your record could be correct (I don't think it is, but it's not completely crazy), but I don't see the offense going that wild.
Defense should be pretty good, some big question marks on offense.
Still a year or two away from a BCS championship caliber team, me thinks.
We should easily be 6-1 or 7-0 heading into November; ND is our only potential loss before then. Once in November, we have three tests: at Sparty, Nebraska, and Ohio (Northwestern will be pretty good, but we should be able to beat them unless things go really badly).
Sparty should once again have a very good defense and a crappy offense, so that should be a tough game. But I think Borges' comfort level with the things Devin can do at QB, instead of his relative discomfort with Denard's skill set, will allow him to counter Sparty's throwing rock (their constant run blitzes), and we escape East Lansing with a W.
Nebraska should be tough as well. Taylor Martinez has beaten the odds and transformed his career in shotput into effective QB play, and their defense is sometimes pretty good. Still, I think we would have beaten them in Lincoln this year if we had non-disastrous QB play in the second half, so I think we'll be able to beat them at home next year.
Ohio is a real wild card. Obviously Meyer knows how to use Braxton Miller, and they should have a pretty scary offense next year as well. However, their defense has regressed badly since the Tressel days, and they were 6-0 in 2012 in games decided by less than a touchdown, which is unsustainable. If I'm doing my math correctly, they had about 9.1 pythagorean wins, which suggests that they were a good team that was extremely lucky to go 12-0. They will probably be better than us on offense, but we will probably be better than them on defense. This game feels like a complete toss-up.
Since I don't think we'll lose to ND, MSU, Nebraska, and Ohio, I think 9-3 is the floor. If we discover even a halfway decent running game, we could go 12-0 with a little luck. I'm going to say we split the games discussed above and go 10-2.
Unfortunately, one of those loses will be to to OSU in the big house. Hoke's seat starts to get toasty.
For a team that will probably have 4 new O-linemen and with at least two of those being freshman. Fitz may not be back entirely by then either, same can be potentially said for Countess. Michigan also replaces two along the D-line, and one at LB and two at DB. While there is talent behind those loses, it is still young. I think what a lot of people on here are predicting is the ceiling (or at least in that direction).
Realistically, next year will be between 7-5 regular season and 11-1 regular season. I think 8 or 9 wins is most reasonable. And for those saying the schedule is easy, I wouldn't go that far. ND (depending on who returns) will still be quite good; @PSU can be tricky regardless of losses; MSU's defense will probably still be able to keep them in every game (not saying they win, but @MSU is no gimme); Nebr. will still be tough, especially their offense; NW's offense can always cause some scares; and OSU should be good again next year.
That's 6 potential areas where Michigan could realisticly lose (individually, I don't think it's realistic to say they lose all of them, nor do I think Michigan won't be favored in any of those games, I just think there is enough odds that either team can win). I also don't see any sure-fire loses at this point. Obviously, a lot depends on who stays and goes, and things can still change dramatically.
I would be disappointed if it is not at least a 10 win season with the all the big games at home. I say back 12 - 2 with loss to PSU and a tough bowl game. Beating Ohio 2 weeks in a row will be sweet.
Quick take on Nebraska next year:
PROs--schedule much easier dropping OSU-WI for Illinois-Purdue, Senior 4 year QB, most of Offense's playmakers returning, Defense with more potential (but inexperienced) playmakers
CONS--losing many Defense starters (maybe a PRO as well :D), schedule has road game vs Michigan
Oh and this is a good time to say how much I enjoyed watching Denard play. Think you guys will be fine with Gardner or backups, RB not so sure.
These probably require more explanation, but snap thoughts.
Central- Should be a decent MAC team, good RB in Zurlon Tipton, but it's a win.
Notre Dame- This Notre Dame resurgence this year was truly shocking when you think about it. They're defense was good last year, but they lost most of their secondary and one of their future studs in Aaron Lynch. Yet they produced an elite defense. So betting on their demise is probably foolish. However, they lose three big receivers (Eifert, Jones, and Toma) and 4 linemen. They'll be able to replace Wood/Riddick with Atkinson, and Golson should be more comfortable, but they're defense won't reach this year's level, and the o won't improve drastically. Plus, Michigan shut them down this year, and should play better O at home. Win.
Akron- Bad Mac Team, next
@Uconn- 5-7 Big East team, so you would guess that we're better. Plus, I've actually had the misfortune of attending a game in Storrs, and that stadium is not intimidating. I saw Navy pummel them there 41-17. Not loud, not big, football team is eh. Win
Minny- Jerry Kill will have Minnesota at Northwestern-esque levels soon. 7-9 wins every year. The way they were able to hang with a more talented Texas Tech team really impressed me, and the fact they were in a bowl is impressive considering they were a tire fire last year. Still, Brady Hoke at home versus an team this caliber is a W.
@PSU-Here's where I see our loss. They don't lose much on offense, and if Bill O'Brien can turn McGloin around, then he should turn better recruits into better QB's. Lastly, I haven't seen Brady Hoke win a big road game yet. Against an offense I expect to be good, like PSU, this is a tough road game. L
Indiana- Good offense, awful defense, we should win at home. W
@MSU- First big road win here for Hoke. They're going to lose Bell, and they still have huge issues at QB. Year after year we here about how the line there is going to finally step up, and each year it underwhelms. I see a similarly defensive game, because they play like al-Qaeda against us, but we're better equipped to take on a D like that with Gardner (they let up huge passing plays, not huge runs).
Nebraska- They return an O we shut down for the most part. They lose 8 guys from a bad defense that could only stop the Bellomy's of the world. We shut them down and torch them like in 2011.
@NW-Lots of people see a loss here. I don't, because of how Greg Mattison responds to bad defensive performances. This year, the D responded to bad performances against ND and OSU from 2011 and kept the team in the game. Next year, he'll draw up a plan to neutralize NW unlike this year. It'll probably involve our improvement on the D-Line with Pipkins and another year of Q Wash coupled with better LB speed from Bolden and Ross. Offense should score like always.
@Iowa-They should improve, they always seem to under Ferentz when nobody likes them, but the talent gap was clear this year. They don't have the guys waiting in the wings at QB and RB (lol) to fuel a huge offensive resurgence. Sloppy, but good win.
OSU-After the way the D contained Braxton this year, and the O showed flashes before going into a shell (and the offensive creativity against South Carolina), the potential is there to correct the past game's wrongs. I see this rivalry as a back and forth affair until Urban's gone, and the game shifts to Michigan. W
At ND, Jones will be back next year, as will 4/5s of the OLine. And the secondary will be much improved and not starting true freshman.
Notre Dame's offense doesn't scare anybody; the heart of the team is the defense. And the defense is losing 4-6 starters, depending on whether Nix and Shembo go pro, including probably the most valuable defensive player in college football. If the defense allows 17 points per game - still a very good number, but a far cry from this year's 10 ppg - then ND looks a lot more like a 9-3 team than a 12-0 one.
With that schedule 10-2 is a disapointment. If we play like we did yesterday with Countess back and another year for Gardner to improve and Mattiosn to work his magic we'll easily go 10-2.
I like how Northwestern was overlooked by the author of the post. If what they put Michigan through this year, their peformance in their Bowl game and the recollect of 2000 (the shoot out at Ryan Field) doesn't open your eyes what will. I would hope teams would not over look NW seeing how they beat a team no one expects them to beat every year.
As for predictions I see Michigan going to 10-2
Losses to either Neb/Northwestern/Penn State/Notre Dame and of course Meyer is gonna come in and rip your hearts out with a lost to Ohio State, I kid I kid but what do you expect me to say Michigan will win. Yeah right!
Have fun playing Penn State at night in the us vs. the world mentality, glad we get them at home this year...
As the OP, I feel required to say that further into the thread, I argued that losing to NW was more likely than losing to PSU.
I'll be the first to admit I'm more of a realist than an optimist when it comes to this stuff. When I see weaknesses or previous failures I am more apt to assume they continue until proven otherwise. That being said we will also break out at some point into a strong team with a suffocating defense and powerful offensive line. I just don't know when that leap will happen.
These are so hard to predict because we will have a number of close games that could go either way. There's an outside chance we could go undefeated and then lose in the NC game and there's an outside chance we could lose 5 games if many things don't work out and/or we have injuries. Just imagine what happens if Gardner goes down for the season.
Our difficult games seem to be ND, at NW, at MSU, Neb, and OSU. My hunch is we drop 1-3 of those and potentially drop one unexpected game. So, I'd guess our regular season finishes 9-3. It's hard to say if that's enough to put us in the B1G championship game. We are probably in the Outback or Capitol one game again and draw another top SEC team like FL, LSU, SC, or A&M, which also could go either way. My biggest concerns are (I can't believe I'm saying this) NW and OSU. I honestly think we win the division if we beat NW, but that's as far as I can say I'm confident we get post-season wise.
I think we have a decent chance at 13-0 heading into a BCS Game, who knows what can happen in a one game win it all situation.
I think we go at least 10-2 and Legends champs, so 11-2 or 12-1 if we stumble only once.
Remeber folks, in 1997 we had a bunch of new guys starting on O-Line and they dominated cause they were really good, I have a feeling that can happen next season too.
Our Defense is gonna be intimidating next year with a lot of depth and speed and strength, teams are gonna have a hard time scoring against us.
If we can get one of the RB's to break out and have Darboh and Chesson help out adequetly as WR's,then the sky is the limit. I have a real good feeeling about next year.
I'd say 9-3. Hoping for 10-2.
I don't like making predictions, but because they're fun to think about, and ive got time to kill at the airport, I'll do it anyway:
Central Michigan-blowout win, Gardner shines
Notre Dame-the ND offense is nothing to be intimidated by, and while they should still have a solid defense, they won't be anywhere near as good w/o T'eo. Michigan will be hungry to put them down in what is likely our last ND home game in a long time. And it's at night. And Hoke doesn't lose at home. Win by 1-2 TDs.
UConn-in what will be a virtual home game for Michigan, every UConn fan will leave by the half wondering when basketball starts.
Minnesota-not a blowout, but UM wins comfortably. Kill has Minnesota on the right path, and I think they will be competitive for at least the first half.
PSU-their defense is depleted of its stars, and the offense is relying on a JUCO transfer or a true freshman with little depth anywhere else. Had they still had their defensive leaders, I'd be inclined to call this a tossup, but I think UM by 1-2 TDs.
Indiana-closer than we'd like, as their offense is clicking, and will give our secondary some issues. But their defense will still be pretty bad, and will be ultimately, yet again, what holds Indiana back from a big win.
MSU-Michigan enters this game in as a top-10 team. MSU will give them all they can handle and then some, and they will be energized by a home crowd and Dantonio having planned only for this game all year. But I'm not sold on Andrew Maxwell at all, who will pick up the load from Le'Veon Bell, and the defense will undoubtedly lose some key players to the NFL. UM by a touchdown.
Nebraska-this could be a beat down, seriously. I'm not sold on Nebraska as being a good team at all. They went to the title game solely because of bad reffing and getting the luxury of playing a Denardless Michigan offense for 3 quarters. The defense is terrible and could get worse. And Brady Hoke does not lose at home. Michigan is ready for revenge in this game. Michigan by 2-3 touchdowns. Pelini's hot seat gets hotter.
Northwestern-Sadly, I'm predicting a loss here. Pat Fitzgerald's team is on the verge of a major breakthrough, they finished a 10-win season, and they bring EVERYONE back. That option will continue to give the defense fits, and I just feel like Michigan will lose one game next year that they shouldn't. Northwestern scores a TD with 20 seconds left to seal the deal. A team that is dreaming of playing for a national title goes home crushed.
Iowa-yeah, it's at Iowa, but as long as they have their current OC at the helm, I'm not worried. Michigan enters this game angry from the week before, and Iowa is their punching bag. Michigan wins by at least 4 TDs.
Ohio-this will be an all out war between what may be two top-10 teams. Braxton Miller will be one year better, which is a scary thought. But the OSU defensive line loses a lot, and will have to rely on young talent. Should fit in nicely with what will be an extremely talented, yet extremely young offensive line for Michigan. This is a toss-up, but I think Michigan pulls through in the end. Derrick Green or Deveon Smith will take advantage of a suspect Ohio front seven. Plus, Brady. Hoke. Doesn't. Lose. At. Home.
11-1 regular season record, meet Ohio in the BTCG game. Beyond that, tall bets are off.
Yeah, I'm a homer.
I like the approach, but I think the odds you have on some games are too low. I don't think UConn, Minnesota, or Indiana would win that matchup 2 times out of 10, and Akron might win 1 out of 100. I think ND and OSU are tossups at home, and MSU should be more like 0.65.
ND and OSU should be 0.5 at the least . . . they're at home. Indiana also should be more like 0.9 (really - it's Indiana).
I feel your assessment is good and possible. I think between the Huskers, ND and Buckeyes we lose one, and then another loss in either B1G championship or bowl game. It all comes down to whether we have a strong passing game or not. A still substantially unproven QB and unknown at RB and whether there is any elite or two really good receivers on team 134 in my mind that could be the downfall.
Too many people see us losing to ND, during Prime Time, at the Big House. Not to mention Brady Hoke is also undefeated in the Big House. Ohio scares me, but look what we did this year. EWe would have won if it wren't for running the same damned play actions, and Vinny Mid sections over and over again. Nebraska is a team that seriously scares me. LOL @ Penn ST. I think we will pull off the shockers. Gibbins wins the Groza, jake Ryan is 1st team Big Ten along with Countess, as he has a breakaway year with Ints, yes I said it INTS! The offense will get by, but we will be know defensively. Last year we ranked 19th, and everyone thought we lost too muich talent to continue. But it was our "explosive offense that let us down this year, as we rose to 11th. Just imagine next year, with our D-Line (they gained so much experience this year by rotating), the young LBs (My God Bolden is going to be good) and the DBs should be inproved( yeah we don't have Kovacs, but Dymonte Thomas??????????? If he lives to the hype and plays well as a FRESH, Countess is back, Taylor should be imporved and Courtney give reliable pass defense from the nickle.)
Sorry for my post appearing like scrambled eggs about ready to be cooked into an omelet. I am actually a writer, but I am hyped for next year. So screw it!
...I remember those. I used to love INTs!
Those were great...
Remember we also get Shallman, Smith, and most likely Derrick Green. RB is a position that freshmen can play right away. see Marcus Lattimore
or TJ Yeldon. or Adrian Petersen. or just about any other elite college RB one can think of.
I think a lot of people underestimate how easily you can win in CFB with great defense and a boring but consistent offense. I'm referring to the msu/iowa teams here and they do it with (usually) a team full of nobodies. How? Have a running game that can get you just 3 a pop and then slant/quick out the opponent to death in the passing game. Both have lived off this for years with Juco kids, walk-ons, moving QB/CBs to WR, etc. Offense is SO hard to f#ck up if you play defense and especially in the B10. I have to really dislike Borges to assume he doesn't get this offense scoring 24 a game with a QB who can, with work, be a QB (love me some Denard but c'mon). From there you just need 3 a pop (Hello Smith & Green?) and experienced WRs who can get out of breaks for quick slants and outs all day. Point being that defense is, IMO, our biggest factor. We proved that even with pressure on a QB we cannot currently cover the pass. Yet, we didn't get much all year so everything outside of LB is a giant unknown as far as play level. Offensively, get Gardner more comfortable/sound and we'll be fine as long as we can count on more of a run game than this year simply because of personel and not being as obvious (Denard cant throw but is lining up at QB, etc).
9-4 (5-3 in B1G), Going to Florida again for a New Years Day bowl
Michigan will be ^-^ in football!
10-2 playing for the B1G championship. I see ND and OSU as the only losses, and those might be winnable. PSU has weapons but no one to get them the ball. Nebraska loses about half of their starters. MSU will still be good defensively even with the players they'll lose, but they won't have a running game (top 2 backs gone and interior line turnover) so they'll have to throw it a lot more, which Maxwell can't do (the job will belong to Cook by then) and if they're one dimensional they'll be eaten.
MSU will be worse next year for sure. Bell was their offense and he's gone now. That'll be one of those games where we have the better team, but it will be close in a hostile environment on the road.
We play a bunch of close, low-scoring games in the regular season and lose two of them. We then either win the B1G championship and lose the bowl, or lose the B1G title game and win the bowl.
Do you down voting turds, even for one second, think to yourself how absolutely ridiculous it is to negatively moderate a post because it predicts a record less than 9-3 in a thread where opinions on records are being solicited?
Alright, Debbie. Check out any of the prediction threads for this year and show me the same level of optimism/homerism.
Healthy gardner and fitz; 9-3. Injuries in the backfield; 7-5.
Fitz won't be back next year. I would highly doubt it.
We play Penn State and Sparty away, I can see us possibly splitting based on...football-ness.
I don't see Hoke suddently losing 2 home games in one season...maybe one. Maybe none.
So that's two poential losses, call them 1/2s...making us 11-1, or 10-2 in the non-conceptual world.
We win the Big Ten Championship game to go 12-1/11-2 and get positioned to play a major BCSpower in a major BCSbowlgame for Hoke's first chance to take on an elite team with a squad of his own slightly-seasoned recruits...
Brady will get his second 11(+?)-win season at Meeeeeeeeeechigan.
Short answer made long and presented as a pair:
12-2 or 11-3.
I may change my answer to 11-1. I thought ND and OSU were the likely losses. Looking at the two teams, ND will struggle next year. They lose a lot of players. OSU, unfortunately, will probably be even better next year. What little they lose is replaced by possibly better players at many spots.
ND doesn't lose a lot of players.
I see one of two things happening this year for the rivalry game.
1. The winner will go to Indy as both teams will need the win
2. Ohio State and Michigan will be on a collision course to play in Indy after The Game? Any thoughts or disagreemenst about this...
I think a lot will depend on whether or not Gorgeous Borges can fix the run game. If Green comes in and lights things up or if one of the current RBs decides maybe to perhaps step it up a couple hundred notches, then I see a great season. Also, I think a lot will depend on whether or not Countess can make a comeback and contribute. I'm not overly impressed with the Taylor-Avery combo. If these things can come to pass then we make it to the Rose Bowl. If not, I think 9-3 is plausible.
10-2 losses to OSU and Northwestern, but we come back and beat OSU in the conference championship game.
with most on here. Its a Rose Bowl type season next year with a good off season of training and that softer schedule.
15-0 counting the spring game.
But doesn't Michigan also technically lose the Spring Game as well? So wouldn't your prediction be 15-1?
Good point. Darn you!