The never too early 2013 College Football Top 25

Submitted by robbyt003 on January 8th, 2013 at 2:40 PM

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1. Alabama - Big surprise

2. Oregon

3. Stanford

4. Ohio State

12. Notre Dame

18. Wisconsin

20. Nebraska

22. Northwestern

23. Michigan

The Wolverines are hoping they'll make the same improvement other recent teams have made in their coach's third season. Michigan went 8-5 in coach Brady Hoke's second season and never really seemed to recover from its 41-14 loss to Alabama in the opener. The good news is juniorDevin Gardner got some experience at quarterback after Denard Robinson was injured midway through the season. Gardner went 3-2 as a starter, completing 59 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns in the five games he played under center. The Wolverines might have to replace four starting offensive linemen if junior left tackle Taylor Lewan leaves for the NFL draft. Six starters are coming back on defense, but they'll miss cornerback J.T. Floyd and safety Jordan Kovacs. Michigan's schedule won't be easy in 2013, with games at Penn State, Michigan State and Northwestern and home games against Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State.

Comments

Michigan4Life

January 8th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

which seems likely considering that he is projected to get drafted at top 10. Michigan will lose their entire starting OL.  Fitzgerald Toussaint is an unknown factor because of his gruesome injury and the RB is a huge question mark considering that they have a lot of trouble running this season.  Luckily, they have Devin returning with starting experience.

On defense, they return players with experience, but no true pass rusher.  Frank Clark have the potential, but haven't showed it yet.  Losing Kovac hurts from the leadership standpoint, but they are replacing him with a better athlete at S.  The CBs aren't terrible, but they're not great either.  One must step up and become a true #1 CB, but we won't know until next season so secondary is still a concern. I expect the defense to be solid which won't be a concern with Mattison at DC.

Michigan have not beat anybody great and their best win is NW in which they were lucky to win thanks to Roundtree's miracle catch.  However, they lost to every team who are good(not sure Nebraska would qualify as good).  They have a pretty tough schedule with NW on the road, ND coming home(but Golson should improve and return key starters from a tough defense), PSU on the road, MSU on the road because of their defense, and OSU at home.

Michigan4Life

January 8th, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^

Both are potential 1st rounders. Nix was dominant last night and had his way against Barrett Jones. He even pushed Warmack 4 yards backward. So they would have quality front 3.

Throw in Golson who has improved leaps and bound and will be a quality QB next year. ND is still a good team but not nearly as good as last year

Perkis-Size Me

January 8th, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

this is right about where we should be. i think next year we'll lose a game or two that we shouldn't, but will enter the 2014 offseason with a ton of momentum. knock off a solid sec opponent in a bowl game, and the defense and o-line start to gel by the end of the year. if gardner gets his rs and comes back, we enter 2014 as a legit top-10 team.

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

January 8th, 2013 at 4:44 PM ^

But ending the season at 23 will be utter despair - likely including losses to ND, OSU, others and probably ceding more recruiting mojo to Urbie and Kelly.

Schedule is much better, players are fully engrained in Hoke-ball and "2.5" recruiting classes on campus.

UM goes 10-2 and #14 before the bowl.

Tater

January 8th, 2013 at 5:53 PM ^

ND not only loses Manti Te'o, but also Tyler Eifert is leaving.  Eifert didn't amass great stats against Michgan, but he did catchone crucial pass each of the last two years, and he did win the John Mackey Award for 2012.  A victory over ND, which should enter the game as a top five team, would go a long way toward helping the Wolverines have a better season.  

 

 

WolverineFanatic6

January 8th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

If we lose to ohio again my head might seriously explode. Meyer is all over espn and has all sorts of unfair recruiting advantages. I love our incoming classes so I'm really hoping we can go on a run of 3 outta 4 vs them or something bc espn and every other media outlet loves those cheating bastards.

Gameboy

January 8th, 2013 at 8:09 PM ^

Sorry, Bennet is an idiot if he thinks Michigan is #5 team in Big Ten. Just from the easier schedule alone, we will win 2 more games next year. The defense will better than last year and you can argue that offense will as well as long as Devin stays healthy the entire year. Anybody who thinks Michigan will have worse record next year than this year has no clue how college football works.

Der Alte

January 9th, 2013 at 8:12 AM ^

Earlier posters have IMO correctly ID'd the 2013 tossup games as PSU,MSU, NE, and NU. Could the presence of Derrick Green in the backfield make a difference in any of these games? I would guess MSU, NE, NU because they're later in the season, when hopefully the new (post-Lewan, probably) OL has had some time to gel. Green could be a major factor in turning a couple of those games from TUs to Ws.