Michigan Football up to #12 in ESPN 2013 Top 25

Submitted by Raoul on February 11th, 2013 at 12:46 PM

ESPN updated their 2013 Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 to account for the impact of signing day and other recent developments. They moved Michigan up from 23 to 12 because of the Wolverines' strong class and Taylor Lewan's decision to return.

12. Michigan Wolverines

Previous rank: 23
With the way Michigan coach Brady Hoke and his staff have recruited the past two years, the Wolverines aren't just going to concede a Big Ten championship to hated rival Ohio State. Hoke landed a top-10 class for the second consecutive year, hauling in perhaps the country's best crop of offensive linemen. A few of the freshmen might have to provide immediate depth after the Wolverines lost three starting linemen. It would have been worse if star left tackle Taylor Lewan hadn't surprised many NFL scouts by deciding to return to school for his senior season. Michigan signed six offensive line prospects, including No. 2 guard David Dawson. They'll help pave the way for No. 5 running back Derrick Green, who might see early action, especially if Fitzgerald Toussaint is slow in recovering from a broken leg. Junior Devin Gardner takes over at quarterback after Denard Robinson departed. Gardner went 3-2 as a starter, completing 59.5 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns.

Other Big Ten teams:

3. OSU (previously 4)

23. Nebraska (20)

24. Northwestern (22)

Also:

Say good-bye to Wisconsin, which lost coach Bret Bielema to Arkansas and hired former Utah State coach Gary Andersen to replace him, and USC, which remains a mess under coach Lane Kiffin.

Comments

1464

February 11th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

Yup.  I'd rather hear about the pope's reaction to how the Wisconsin players handled their win against us.  Then we could discuss which shoes they wore and how many disadvantaged Asian people were involved.

/Battlestar Galactica

M_Jason_M

February 11th, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

This catches my eye every time I see it. Whenever an article, poll, etc. talk about Michigan in 2013 they always say "junior Devin Gardner" and "senior...." for guys like Lewan and Schofield. They seem to assume (along with most of us) that Gardner will get his redshirt, so maybe we're not being too optimistic on that.

ann.arbor.lover

February 11th, 2013 at 1:43 PM ^

"the Wolverines aren't just going to concede a Big Ten championship to hated rival Ohio State"

WTH, we are never going to CONCEDE anything to Akron State U, let alone a B1G championship.

Ron Utah

February 11th, 2013 at 3:19 PM ^

It's obviously WAY too early, but I really don't think 12 is too far off.  We have a lot of unknowns this season, particularly along the O-line.  If the younger guys are as good as advertised, then we could easily be in the 10-11 win category.  If the O-line is faulty...we could easily find ourselves with a 9 win season.  If DG gets injured...well, let's just say 8 wins isn't out of the question.

The flip side is that if everything goes right and Kalis, Bryant, and Miller (or whoever) is as good as advertised and we get some breaks, then we are definitely BCS contenders, with the NCG as a outlying possibility.

Gobgoblue

February 11th, 2013 at 7:55 PM ^

as a NC contender.  I, for one, see us in the Rose Bowl against Stanford.  That will be an interesting matchup since we are very similar builds.  

Also, I wouldn't worry about Kalis.  He is/will be a mauler.  If there is any OL position of doubt, it is center.   Otherwise, I think the buffet busters are going to surprise people with their results.  

ia4goblue

February 11th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

We were pre-season top ten last year and how did that turn out. I want to see michigan win some big games for once before I start worrying about polls.

Perkis-Size Me

February 11th, 2013 at 8:45 PM ^

I think we're going into this season with too many unknowns again like last year. I mean thankfully we got the QB situation solved, but our O-line is still going to largely be unproven. Extremely talented, but unproven. And young. Our wideouts outside of Gallon and maybe Dileo are going to be unproven. D-line situation will be better next year, but hopefully Pip starts to come into his own, and Q-Wash continues to progress. Still some unknowns there. Then the run game. Could be damn good especially if Fitz makes a recovery and Green lives up to his billing, but who knows? I'd love to have a two-headed monster attack in both of those guys like Wiscy or Bama usually has.

I know, I'm a Debbie Downer, but I just don't want to get my hopes up yet. We're definitely a ranked team, but I'm to sure if we should be this high.