Will Denard be Smiling Come November 24?
Zach Clark (8:37 am)

Team: Michigan Wolverines
Head Coach: Brady Hoke (2nd year at Michigan State)
2011 Record: 11-2 (6-2 Conference) 
Overall Head Coaching Record: 58-52

Schedule Preview:

The Michigan Wolverines start out their season with the team probably farthest away from a “cupcake” as one could possibly get.  This Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium, the Alabama Crimson Tide, reigning national champs, take on Coach Hoke’s highly regarded Wolverines.  As much of the country expects, I see the Tide rolling over the Maize and Blue and surely covering the 14-point spread offered by the bookies in Vegas.  As optimistic as some Michigan and B1G fans may be, I simply don’t believe any team in the B1G is physical enough yet to compete with the big boys in the SEC.

After the daunting task of taking on the SEC’s finest, UM faces two actual cupcakes at home in Air Force and Massachusetts.  Their next game at Notre Dame is where I had to make a serious effort to control my Buckeye bias and Michigan hatred.  The Golden Domers’ success is based largely off the play of starting QB Everett Golson, but I don’t the first-year starter will have what it takes to knock off an angry Wolverines team at home.  If Golson plays well his first three weeks against Navy, Purdue and Michigan State, then I may alter this game’s prediction…

Fortunately for TSUN (That School Up North for those non-Buckeye readers) fans, the Wolverines open conference play against two B1G teams not considered among the conference’s elite.  Michigan should easily take care of Purdue on the road as well as a home matchup with the Fighting Illini.  However, after starting 2-0 in conference, the Wolverines take on the Spartans of Michigan State.  As I said last week, I had a tough time picking this game between in-state rivals.  Although Coach Hoke wants to beat the Spartans with a passion, I see Michigan State’s defense being too physical and powerful for QB Denard Robinson to take on.  This possible loss for the Wolverines leaves my projected record for Michigan thus far in the season at 5-2.  Unfortunately for TSUN fans, I’m taking it another step and predicting a 5-3 record after their matchup with Nebraska…

Aside from the “neutral site” game at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas for their 2012 opener, the Wolverines face their first hostile environment in Lincoln against the offense-heavy Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Expect these Huskers to put up some big numbers this season, and although nearly every single person in Ann Arbor blindly expects a big defensive improvement, I see the Huskers shredding the Wolverine defense.  Denard may be banged up from the previous week vs. MSU, and the tough road environment will be too much for him to handle.

After the 5-3 start for Michigan, I see them winning their next three games at Minnesota, vs. Northwestern and vs. Iowa.  After which, the Wolverines will fall to yours truly, the Ohio State Buckeyes.  There is absolutely zero chance Coach Urban Meyer will suffer defeat at the hands of Coach Brady Hoke and, more importantly, the Michigan Wolverines.  As we have all been reminded about three-thousand times from fellow TSUN fans and television stations (cough, cough ESPN…), the Buckeyes are ineligible for any post-season play.  This means, for the Buckeyes and Coach Meyer, the game vs. Michigan holds the importance of these three events: 1) the greatest rivalry in sports, OSU vs. UM 2) the B1G Championship and 3) a Bowl Game.  I’m going to skip out on any football analytics for the moment and give you this: Coach Urban Meyer will not lose to Michigan on November 24.  Mark it down on your calendar; I’m sure most of you already have.  Now let’s all gear up for Coach Meyer’s first action as a Buckeye coach this Saturday vs. Miami (OH)!

Incoming Players:

According to Rivals.com, the 2012 Michigan Wolverines recruiting class is ranked 7th in the nation and 2nd in the B1G.  Many of these commitments have had some words concerning our Buckeyes, including their top recruit OL Kyle Kalis of Lakewood, OH.  Michigan’s other 5-star signee, DT Ondre Pipkins, could see some serious action this fall. 

Vital Departures:

Three monumental losses for the Wolverines in C David Molk, DT Mike Martin and WR Junior Hemingway may make a negative impact for the squad this season.  Molk garnered the Rimington Award, given to the nation’s top center.  I think we all know how highly Michigan’s 2012 recruiting class thinks of themselves, but only time will tell if they can step up to the plate and help TSUN this year.

Zach's Look At Weird Michigan Fans:

Overall Record: 8-4
Conference Record: 5-3
Offensive Team MVP: QB Denard Robinson
Defensive Team MVP: CB Blake Countess
Week 13 Wolverine-Buckeye Brawl Score: Michigan -49 Ohio State 144
Actual Prediction: Michigan 17 Ohio State 35

Previous B1G Summer Previews:

Indiana Hoosiers
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Northwestern Wildcats
Illinois Fighting Illini
Iowa Hawkeyes
Purdue Boilermakers
Nebraska Cornhuskers
Penn State Nittany Lions
Wisconsin Badgers
Michigan State Spartans


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Thanks for this interesting post on Michigan Wolverines. I think I came to know more about the team through this post. It was also a nice video you have posted here ‘I love You Denard’. I think the head coach Brady Hoke is behind the team success.


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