June 21st, 2018 at 5:22 PM ^

9 wins is a pretty safe prediction for anyone trying to guess what UM will do this season. The team should be improved from last year, but the schedule is brutal.  I'm leaning towards 10-2 regular season then a very nice bowl win to end 11-2 and top it off with a top 5 recruiting class.


June 21st, 2018 at 5:24 PM ^

9 wins is, frankly, not enough. That both implies some gut-wrenching losses and a relative lack of progress from last year, which for all of its problems still netted 8 wins in the regular season. 

Yeah, yeah, the schedule is tough and all: So what. Last year's team had issues and needed to build with a lot of young players, and I have been on the forefront of saying that. This, however, is the year for the growth to show on the field. The lackluster recruiting results of the past year show that the need is urgent. Yeah, it's stupid for Purdue Staff Guy to be taking shots at us, but he's also not wrong and if he's saying it so are guys from OSU, PSU, and everywhere else. 

Michigan has enough talent to go into the game in Columbus with zero or one losses. It should do so. If it goes into that game with two losses, the season and the future probably hang on beating OSU on the road. I can't think of any scenarios in which a regular season including three losses is not a disaster both on the field and in this fanbase. 

Fortunately, I don't think Michigan loses that many games, or I'd be a wreck come August.

Eye of the Tiger

June 21st, 2018 at 6:31 PM ^

I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment, dude. If we figure out OT, then the sky is the limit. But we are nowhere near figuring out OT. At present our projected LT is an RT who was at best okay at pass pro last year, and our projected RT is a 6th year guard who hasn't yet managed to crack the starting lineup. Could they be good enough to fight off the best DLs on our schedule? Sure, it's possible. Will they? I am very skeptical.  

Our schedule isn't an excuse--it's a fact. And so is our lack of options at OT. Unless something unforeseen happens, like Newsome coming back or Warriner working magic with JBB and Runyan, we will be a much improved team with not much to show for it. We won't get blown out by anyone and we'll win an uphill battle or two, but we'll also lose a couple games because the pocket collapses in 1-2 seconds. 

9-3 (6-2) seems likeliest to me. 

Stringer Bell

June 21st, 2018 at 6:50 PM ^

I hate to say it but 9-3 really won't be good enough this year.  If not this year then when?  We will be reloading on defense again after this year, and could possibly lose Patterson as well.  We have a top 2 or 3 defense in the country and finally have a QB good enough to win big games and who has the kind of mobility to mitigate issues on the OL.  Truth is, no team is perfect and every team has flaws.  Michigan has enough talent to get to the CFP despite the schedule.  If we go 9-3 again the questions about Harbaugh will continue to get louder.

Eye of the Tiger

June 22nd, 2018 at 2:39 AM ^

If not this year, then next year. Or the year after. That's just how it goes. 

As for 2018, we'll have a killer defense and a dependable run game, as well as an upgrade at QB, but I just don't see how we make the CFP with a not-great RT at LT and a 6th year guard at RT who will be starting for the first time. 

If OT turns out better than expected, then sky is the limit. But the fact is, we have a significantly harder path than any of the other 3 contestants in the Big 10 East and also two really big question marks at extremely vital positions. We are likely to struggle against a few defenses on our schedule.

If I'm wrong, that's great. But this is just me being realistic. It's a very tough schedule and we could be very iffy at tackle. 



June 21st, 2018 at 7:03 PM ^

I agree with Stringer's response to this almost completely. At some point Michigan has to win tough games. 

Furthermore, the urgency of winning this year is extremely visible in recruiting. It simply isn't up to snuff, and Michigan's tepid success seems to be a large part of this. This year Harbaugh is fielding a team comprised largely of his recruits, with most of the key positions staffed by guys from his two top five-level classes. If he can't win with guys like Rashan Gary and Donovan Peoples-Jones on the field now, when will he ever? And if he can't win with those guys, why will a top recruit ever want to come play for him?

That's the question that rival recruiters are asking, successfully. Michigan just had a "meh" recruiting class. One class can be explained and understood. But another "meh" class, in a division in which PSU is actually gaining momentum and OSU continues to be one of the top programs in the country, is disastrous.

I'm not "setting myself up for disappointment." I've followed this sport for my entire life. I know it well. Michigan's schedule may be tough, but it doesn't matter. They need to win, and they need to win now. In close losses at Iowa and OSU, twice at home to MSU, and in the last two Florida bowls, Michigan has lost its margin for error.

If they don't win big time this year, I won't be the one uniquely disappointed: We'll all be staring years of disappointment in the face.

Hail Harbo

June 21st, 2018 at 7:57 PM ^

I agree, nine wins is not enough but to get there would mean changing Michigan's ability to win road games against opponents with a pulse.  Over the past three seasons just two (2) road wins against teams with a winning record, PSU in 2015 and Purdue last season.  With four road games against very credible opponents and two more home games against Nebraska and Wisconsin, that is a lot of inertia to overcome.  Having said that, I fully expect Coach Harbaugh with his revamped offensive staff will have the team in the national discussion the first week of December.  I wish them Godspeed.


June 21st, 2018 at 6:43 PM ^

You might be sniffing the wrong kind of glue.  There’s no M00N in the stratosphere that can line up with Northwestern and beat us.  Are you praying for Michigan’s downfall?  Because actually no one has us even close for that game.  It’s a home game for us.  We will not lose to NW!!!


June 21st, 2018 at 5:59 PM ^

I see Michigan going at least 10-3 (losing to ND, MSU, OSU) and at most 10-2 (losing to ND, OSU)

Losing to ND, because it's a the game 1 on the road (AT NIGHT!)

Losing to MSU, because it will be after a physical Wisconsin game the week before (I can see Michigan winning this still)

Losing to OSU, because it's at OSU after an Indiana game that is usually a dogfight for Michigan (and I'm a biased OSU fan when it come to this matchup)


They only way I see Michigan going 11-1 or 12-0 is with an extraordinary performance by Shea Patterson.

Eye of the Tiger

June 21st, 2018 at 6:24 PM ^

Actually I think OT will be more pivotal than QB. Patterson will be good, but if we don't get major improvement at OT, he's going to be running around like mad against the small number of teams on our schedule who can generate pressure with their front 4 (ND, MSU, Wisconsin, OSU). If Warriner works his magic, though, and we get decent performance at OT, then we can beat anyone.

I don't expect that to happen, of course. I expect he'll get us to pretty-good-not-great play from the tackles. I just see OT as the most important variable.  

Eye of the Tiger

June 21st, 2018 at 6:14 PM ^

I usually don't expect much from these things, but those are all really smart predictions. I see it almost the same. Going out on a limb, here's what I predict:

OSU likely wins the east at 10-2, PSU benefits from the easiest schedule among the big 4 to go 10-2 as well, albeit with 2 conference losses as opposed to 1 for OSU. Michigan and MSU both go 9-3, though Michigan edges out MSU with a better conference record (and wins the tie-breaker over PSU thanks to winning the head-to-head). Final standings:

1. OSU 10-2 (8-1)

2. Michigan 9-3 (7-2)

3. PSU 10-2 (7-2)

4. MSU 9-3 (6-3) 

Hotel Putingrad

June 21st, 2018 at 7:10 PM ^

As long as LT is not an absolute turnstile, we should win at least 11 games. I think people are going to be shocked at what a difference Mineral King, I mean Shea, will make.

Ty Butterfield

June 21st, 2018 at 7:29 PM ^

9-3 is the absolute ceiling. OSU and MSU are automatic losses. Michigan will trip up in at least one other game. Most likely 8-4 again same as before. Rinse, repeat. 

Arb lover

June 21st, 2018 at 9:29 PM ^

" I don't think anybody would be shocked by Wisconsin winning in Ann Arbor, though"

I will be shocked. I could see losing to MSU or OSU on the road for sure, but not Wisconsin at home (and not simply because its at home). Wisconsin will be 5 and 0 with the hype, and run into the first real defense they meet of the season when the meet us. Their defense just lost two of their best  line for likely the season and they weren't deep. Even if our D has to play at its best to control Taylor and the occasional non interception, I say our O vs their D is stronger than their O vs our D. 

However if Nebraska beats Wisconsin, we might have a fight on our hands.