August 21st, 2017 at 12:04 PM ^

I think it's pretty reasonable for Michigan to be at #11. While I guess it's a road trip, though, I don't think Wisconsin is a better team. I'm not super-optimistic about this season (as in, I think 9-3 is a reasonable expectation) but not so much that I think Wisconsin is better. At least, not yet.


August 21st, 2017 at 12:36 PM ^

That's what stood out to me about the poll: Wisconsin retains a Top 10 ranking from last year despite losing their best OL, top 2 RBs, top 3 LBs (two to draft and Cichy with the ACL), and top CB. They retain a great TE, a average-to-bad QB, and top WR who is very shifty but whose hands are just shitty. 


This still may be enough to win 10 to 12 games with their schedule. That doesn't make them a top 10 squad. I think they will win the West and get handled in the B1G Championship game and then get handled again if they face a real top 15 team in the bowl. 


August 21st, 2017 at 3:37 PM ^

1) they return 4 starting OL and are Wisconsin so will probably be ok filling that last spot.

2) The RBs and LBs (especially LBs) will hurt but those are the least important/most commoditized positions on each side of the ball.  They'll be fine at RB.  LB certainly should be a step back, though.

3) They were a top ten team last year with bad-to-mediocre QB play so they're likely to be better at that spot than last year.

I do think they're overrated and should be in the top 15-20ish range, but they didn't lose a ton of guys where there might be a sustantial dropoff (probably only Watt and Ramczyk qualify there) and they return a lot of guys that should improve.


August 21st, 2017 at 12:04 PM ^

Is it possible that Penn State is legit? It seems like no one thinks so except the national pundits and James Franklin, who are generally the last people I would trust.


August 21st, 2017 at 1:14 PM ^

If that game happened early in the season of a new offensive coordinator during a time when we were starting walk on at lb because of injury yeah I think we could find the way to make the argument.  PSU is overrated but they are a good team and that game is going to be seen as a likely loss for anything but the biggest Michigan homer.


August 21st, 2017 at 4:21 PM ^

Really. Please explain why a Michigan team that has more talent than any team they play except maybe the last one on the schedule should not feel confident and favored in every game they play. Once again for those who are not in the know. Michigan has more talent than anybody they play except maybe osu. Call me a homer or whatever, but in my eyes if Michigan is not undefeated coming into the osu game they failed......period.


August 21st, 2017 at 12:29 PM ^

Bill Connelly and his model likes them a lot.  This should be turning Michigan fan's assumptions vs. last season's match-up.  It's possible that they just played a terrible game.  Yes, yes, I know their LB's were hurt.  That doesn't explain that offense doing nothing at all and the game being over a few minutes into the 2nd quarter.  I think every team plays one bad game a year, and PSU's may have come against Michigan. They're probably going to be good.…


August 21st, 2017 at 12:42 PM ^

This is the thing. Their LBs were hurt, yes. BUT, we only need 11 points to win that game. Their vaunted offense looked absolutely inept against us. Their offensive line was an absolute seive and Barkley had his normal poor performance against us. BTW, their defense wasn't super capable of stopping teams when they had their LBs (Wisconsin put 31 on them for God's sake). From that mediocre defense they lose their starting DEs and their top CB. 2 oft-injured senior LBs are also gone. I just don't see their defense being competent enough to win the conference they won in such a flukey fashion last year. If we hold them to 20 or less we will win that game for sure. I doubt they could get to 30 on us, and I think it's a decent bet that we can put 30 on them.

Perkis-Size Me

August 21st, 2017 at 1:02 PM ^

It's possible as Saquon Barkley is arguably the best RB in the country. If PSU's OL takes a relative step forward this year or even becomes dare I say good, he could win almost any game by himself if he had to.

But he can't do it all by himself against the elite of the elite. If they somehow made the playoff, McSorely would need to step up too and show he can do more than throw up Hail Marys. Teams like Alabama are going to pick him off every other throw if he tries that kind of game. Also, their defense needs to take a big quantum leap forward for me to take them seriously as a national title contender. There were times when they couldn't stop a nosebleed (UM and USC games immediately come to mind).


August 21st, 2017 at 1:32 PM ^

I feel like Harbaugh's coaching is kyptonite for PSU more than any other B1G team.

1) OSU- great coaching and talent, thus even when Harbaugh might gain an edge home field and/or specific talent mismatches (or the, ahem, refs) can overcome them

2) MSU- good/great coaching that is focused on UM approximately 350 days out of the year but with talent difference not likely to matter 

3) Wisky- good coaching, good system, and good talent means with home field (night game, etc) and UM mistakes can win not easily but not on a fluke either

4) PSU- this is where I think UM has huge coaching advantage. That's why I am bullish on the PSU away game more than any other save MSU. Looking at last year's game it wasn't just talent that killed them, it was scheme, unforced errors, and a lot more that is at least partly due to coaching. Good friends who are connected with the program consider Franklin a cheerleader at best with a good but not OSU/UM caliber assistants. While the white out home field will indeed give PSU a big advantage (as well as on talent) I would be shocked if any PSU win was more than a close one


August 21st, 2017 at 12:09 PM ^

when we beat those three B1G teams ahead of us in the rankings this year.


Also, couldn't help but notice that Sparty got 1 vote. Jemele? Is that you??

Perkis-Size Me

August 21st, 2017 at 12:51 PM ^

I'm not expecting a Big Ten title this year or a national title, but if we go 8-5 this year like we did in 2012, then this year is an unmitigated failure. We have better talent, a far better coach, and an at least somewhat easier schedule than we did that year. This year's is tough, but 2012 featured playing the #1 (Alabama), #2 (ND) and #3 (OSU) teams, all away from home. Also had to play at Nebraska at night, and they were a 10 win team that year. 

Young team to be certain, but the ability to win 9-10 games in the regular season is not out of the question. That involves beating Florida and beating at least one of the three between PSU, Wisconsin and OSU. Will be tough, but it's doable. 


August 21st, 2017 at 1:45 PM ^

If we go 8-5, it's disappointing, but this is a team that is building for 2018-19. There are going to be some unexpected hiccups.

I'm hoping for a 10-2 type season with an OSU win, and I'll be disappointed if some wheels come off, but if the team can maintain its cohesion and avoid total injury destruction, the future is still ready.


August 21st, 2017 at 3:59 PM ^

I'm not so sure.  At least, one could argue that having the solid upperclassmen we had that year is preferable to having the talented but SUPER young and inexperienced players we have going this year.

Senior Denard plus Lewan, Omameh, Schofield, Gallon, Funchess, Roundtree, Toussaint on offense?  Almost all those guys are multi-year NFL players, and Gallon and Roundtree were very, very good college players despite lacking the size to be pros.

Defense definitely not as talented, but had experienced veterans up and down the two deep. Guys like Kovacs, Roh, Jake Ryan, etc.


August 21st, 2017 at 4:43 PM ^

Comparing defenses would be a joke. Our offense and guys who will be in the pros and drafted. Hmm. Cole,Bredeson, Maybe Kugler will see, Owenu, Bunting, Wheatley, DPJ, Black, Collins, Crawford, Evans,Isaac,Higdon, Walker, Martin. All pro material and there is no comparison to that team. Way way way more talent across the board. I would take Lewan over any lineman we have and that's it. Funchess is good, but would not trade DPJ or Black for him. This team is flat out loaded and has more talent than anyone in the big ten except maybe osu. That is a flat out fact. A lot of naysayers on this board will be eating crow when they see a better Michigan defense and a way better offense.


August 21st, 2017 at 8:34 PM ^

because that's what this discussion is about.

Of course there is more raw talent on this 2017 roster but I'm making the argument that I'd generally take 3.5* upperclassmen over 4* true freshmen, for one season.  A lot of these super talented guys won't be better players in 2017 than many of our guys were in 2012.   They'll be NFL players eventually, but they're far from being that good, whereas those guys in 2012 I mentioned were a lot closer to NFL caliber as upperclassmen that season.

Case in point: who would you take between senior Gallon and true freshman DPJ or second year Crawford? I'd take senior Gallon knowing the odds of the young guys being that good already.

I'd take senior Kovacs over anyone in our back seven this year, for one season, despite the fact that several of them will eventually be better players.

I would take the majority of the 2012 offense over this years offense, if I only had them for one season.  I would obvioulsy take the majority of the 2017 defense, but my point is that in total, the one year rosters are a lot closer than y'all are giving those guys credit for.  There were a lot of really nice players on that roster.

People are also underestimating how much young players struggle, even if they are highly talented.


August 21st, 2017 at 12:22 PM ^

Cue pundits to say 1) Michigan is massively overrated, 2) Harbaugh will never win a big game, 3) Everything he does is considered an antic.

That seems to be a must every time a poll is released.

Mr. Yost

August 21st, 2017 at 12:32 PM ^

You know it's coming...but it caters to the shallow fan and/or SEC. 

It's just part of having a polarizing head coach - people are just flat out not going to like him.

People hate Saban, Swinney, Franklin...all for different reasons, but they're hated nonetheless. Polarizing personalities.

Meanwhile Chris Petersen, David Shaw, and Pat Fitzgerald win and most people are geniunely happy for them unless they beat their team.

It's just like all of these reports we're hearing about OSU fans in love with Peppers all of a sudden. It's more than just switching's because they care about the Browns and pay attention to the team and know the "ins and outs" so now they're seeing and hearing the exact same stuff we've seen and heard the past 3 years. He's not doing anything different than when he was at Michigan.

Media loves ignorance...and you can call Michigan overrated and throw up a graphic to prove it - ignoring the spread or the team Harbaugh had to begin with. You can say he'll never win a big game after a fluke punt block and two losses to OSU.

You can call everything his does an antic, because on the is. But those of us that pay attention to Michigan Football know that's his geniune personality. It's not a charade. We know it because we've seen Harbaugh do crazy stuff that the mainstream media doesn't catch that's just as silly as a rap video or sleepover. It's just Jim Harbaugh being himself.

But we need views and clicks - times are hard these days!


Mr. Yost

August 21st, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

As long as you're in the top 15, preseason polls don't matter a bit if you're in the Power 5.

It's the teams outside of the top 15-20 that have ground to make up.

This is why these polls shouldn't come out until after week 4. But I suppose they have to generate fan interest and have something to talk about.

I'm glad the CFB committee doesn't look at the polls when they make theirs. Because when you see 4-0 Northwestern unraked and 2-2 Texas or Notre Dame each year still in the top 25, it has to set of an alarm.


August 21st, 2017 at 12:25 PM ^

I predict an 8-4 season, but obviously hope we are undefeated. Too much youth and inexperience for me to say otherwise.

This all depends on the game against Florida.