BS Capsule Previews: Michigan Wolverines

Over the next few weeks, we'll be providing a quick-hit, uninformed, uneducated, poorly-researched capsule preview of each Big Ten football team (you know, kind of like typical reporters). Why spend time bringing in guests who actually know something about these other schools when we can just make knee-jerk comments and predictions, with heavy bias based on our love of Boilermaker sports? Enjoy.

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Michigan

Last year: 3-9 Overall, 2-6 Big Ten
Vs. Boilermakers: Lost 48-42

UM has had a rather, let’s say, rocky transition to new head coach Rich Rodriguez. Of course, four-loss Lloyd overstayed his welcome a bit, even by UM supporters own admission. One would assume that’s the only reason they’re still trying to look ahead and not longing for the days of cuddly Lloyd Carr.

Last season, Michigan struggled through their worst season in several decades. However, among their three victories were ones over then #9 Wisconsin on September 27 and a bowl-bound Minnesota team on November 8. The Minny win was just a week after losing a shootout to the Boilers in West Lafayette. Is it indicative of Michigan’s potential or how secretly bad Minnesota really was?

Michigan’s football program has continued to have problems, with further linemen transfers and other dismissals from the team. Still, there are many who believe once RichRod gets his guys in place and his system rolling, this will be a program to be feared once again. It seems doubtful, though, that this season is that year.

Looking at the schedule, one has to think things could get ugly again.

September 5 Western Michigan
September 12 Notre Dame
September 19 Eastern Michigan
September 26 Indiana
October 3 at Michigan State
October 10 at Iowa
October 17 Delaware State
October 24 Penn State
October 31 at Illinois
November 7 Purdue
November 14 at Wisconsin
November 21 Ohio State

This isn’t exactly a murderer’s row schedule, but it’s not completely peppered with tasty cupcakes, either. Western Michigan was a 9-win team last year, Notre Dame is ranked (fo’ real!) and then there’s the regular spate of tough Big Ten tests.

If Michigan IS going to surprise people, this schedule sets up nicely for that, I think. The first four games are all at home and, honestly, are all winnable. In fact, I imagine UM would be disappointed if they don’t have a 3-1 start. And would that begin to get attention? It just might.

However, if they go 2-2 or worse, or get humbled by Pickles Clausen in their own house, well, then things go from bad to worse and the 2009 death spiral begins. Is this the season programs like Purdue see reasons not to fear going to the Big House? Perhaps.

Best case: 8-4. With those first four winnable home games, it’s conceivable that people are calling RichRod a genius after the first month. Tough road tests at MSU and Iowa follow back to back, but even chalking up losses there, the season’s not a goner.

Worst case: 3-9. Yes, last year could happen all over again. As mentioned, the death spiral begins if those first four games go poorly.

Our prediction: 5-7. It’s hard to see them coming up with more than two victories after those first four. So even a 3-1 start leads to just false hope and a second-consecutive non-bowling season.

Jonesin'

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