Michigan Plays Alabama Tomorrow to Open the 2012 Football Season
How will the University of Michigan Wolverines, Team 133, do this year?
If I had predicted last year that team 132 would be 11-2 under a new coach, you would have asked to see my California medical marijuana prescription (there isn’t one).
If I were now to predict that Team 133 will go 11-2, or possibly 12-2, this year, you will probably also ask to see the same non-existent prescription.
Michigan, the winningest college football program, had just suffered through three disastrous years under a coach whose name shall no longer be mentioned in Ann Arbor.
Brady Hoke, the new coach, proved to be the second coming of Bo Schembechler. The stars lined up. Three of the toughest opponents, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State were home games. Only Michigan State was an away game. Penn State and Wisconsin were not on the schedule. Virginia Tech’s kicker missed a field goal in overtime as Michigan won the Sugar Bowl. Team 132 also escaped crippling injuries.
Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State are away games this year, as is the opener with Alabama in Texas. Alabama, Notre Dame and Nebraska are under the lights, not Michigan’s favorite time to play. Notre Dame has lost the last three games to Michigan in the final seconds, as The Fighting Irish snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They feel they’re due one in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus.
The Ohio State University is on probation and ineligible for post season play this year. Thus, their “Bowl Game” will be in Columbus on November 24 against Michigan.
Alabama is the defending national champion and favored to win. The odds today always favor the SEC to beat the Big Ten. Alabama is a 12½ point favorite. Michigan will show up to play.
You have to beat the best to be the best.
Michigan went 11-2 last year with the previous coach’s recruits. This year team lacks depth at several critical positions. Let’s hope the Michigan family hasn’t built up false expectations from last year’s success.
Most pre-season polls place Michigan in the top ten. Bo said the only poll that counts is the one at the end of the season.
If Brady Hoke is a great coach, then he can beat yours with his, and his with yours. We’ll see.
Let’s assume Michigan sweeps the slate at home, Air Force, UMass, Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa and even Michigan State at home, as well as Purdue and Minnesota on the road. That gets Michigan 8 victories. Michigan must beat Michigan State this year in Ann Arbor. Sparty has won the last four against Michigan.
That’s unacceptable in Ann Arbor.
The Wolverines would then have to win at least two of four against Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State, as well perhaps as the Big Ten Championship game before a bowl game.
Doable – Yes, but Michigan is probably a year away.
Thus 8-4 or 9-3 is the probable outcome.