PopeLando

June 7th, 2016 at 12:52 PM ^

This has to a based mostly on our defensive prowess. Ranking us #3 without a clear QB picture is a stretch.

Or they needed some clicks and comments.

Perkis-Size Me

June 7th, 2016 at 1:02 PM ^

Just my opinion, but I think the #1/#2 slots in preseason are those slots reserved for those who have proven to go out and beaten the best. You could tell me Alabama was replacing all 22 of his starters from last year, we return all our starters from last year, and I'm still not convinced we win that game. 

I'm not convinced that Jake Rudock could out-duel Deshaun Watson. Especially considering that Watson looked damn good against Alabama's defense and won that game almost by himself. 

We have not beaten the best yet. 

UofMCraZ

June 7th, 2016 at 1:04 PM ^

way-to-early National Champion or way-to-early World Champion if that was the case.  Not to mention, Ruddock as way-to-early Heisman Winner...Chesson and Darboh way-to-early co- Biletnikoff winners, Peppers way-to- early 1st Pick in NFL draft, etc

uofmchris

June 7th, 2016 at 1:44 PM ^

Was it Alabama a few years ago who was ranked really high, and everyone was up in arms because they didnt have a 'clear cut QB' heading into the season?  When McCarron left, I believe there wasn't a clear cut QB unitl the final week of camp. Worked out well for them.

uofmchris

June 7th, 2016 at 2:04 PM ^

Haha exactly. While the QB is definitely a key figurehead in the overall direction of which way the season will go, I still think defense, returning starters and team synergy play a pivotal role. 

Besides, it's not like we are heading into the season with a THREET vs. SHERIDAN competition!!!  :)

WolverineHistorian

June 7th, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^

Returning a ton of great players, yes. But starting a new QB is stressful. And a ranking THAT high is extremely generous, maybe a little too generous.

I'm trying to think of the last time we had this high of a ranking going into the season with a new QB and I'm coming up with 1981. That was fresh off a Rose Bowl victory season, many key pieces coming back but a brand new QB. And that team lost a shocking season opener against Wisconsin (in the days where you DON'T lose to Wisconsin). Two other close heartbreakers and that team finished 9-3.

Yeah, I went back 35 years to make a comparison, which is probably lame as hell. Laugh if you wish.

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WolverineHistorian

June 7th, 2016 at 1:57 PM ^

That team was #4 to start the season. Henson was expected to do great things and he did. But the defense was very young and they played like it in every road game. 54-51 to Northwestern, ugh.

I guess that team is technically a comparison in starting a new QB but we return much more on defense this year than the 2000 team did.

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stephenrjking

June 7th, 2016 at 4:11 PM ^

I don't [believe one] can think of Henson as a "new QB" in any sense at all in 2000. Yes, he hadn't actually started. But he played in every 2nd quarter for two thirds of the season, plus a couple of second halves (or at least parts of them, MSU alas) and was a known, productive quantity. (EDIT: reworded this paragraph because it sounds like a caustic smackdown of WH, whose opinion here isn't bad at all and whom I respect in any event. I apologize for typing like a jerk.)

This year it is either O'Korn, whose last game action was mediocrity in Houston a couple of years ago, or Speight, who made one nice throw but otherwise looked pretty challenged against Minnesota last season.

The defenses are night and day different.

All this aside, Michigan's preseason ranking was torpedoed by having Henson hurt to start the year, which forced us to start not-ready-yet redshirt freshman John Navarre at UCLA, a game we still almost won.