1. Michigan is going to the College Football Playoff
There have been three (potentially) stupid calls made throughout the offseason that can’t be backed off now.
Texas A&M is going to beat Clemson.
Oklahoma is going to play for the national championship.
Michigan is going to win the Big Ten championship and go to the College Football Playoff.
The program is way, way, way, way overdue.
The 1992 Michigan Wolverines went 9-0-3 – back in the day when there were ties. Then came four years of blah, losing four games in each of the seasons.
As mediocre as Michigan was, it was a major thorn in Ohio State’s side. Lloyd Carr was the head coach in 1995 and 1996, and in both seasons the Wolverines ruined the national title chances of unbeaten Buckeye teams.
And then it all came together in 1997 – Michigan rolled to 12-0 for a piece of the national championship.
Fast forward to the Jim Harbaugh era.
Has he won ten games in three of the four seasons? Yeah.
Has he turned the program around after years and years of mediocrity? Yeah.
Has he won any really big games? A few, but not enough.
Has he beaten Ohio State? (Crickets)
And now comes the season that everything has been building towards – sort of like 1997.
There might be some key losses on the defensive side, but it’ll be another killer group that should finish in the top ten in total D.
The offense is about to do a whole lot more under new coordinator Josh Gattis. He has a veteran quarterback in Shea Patterson to work with, the receiving corps that was built up over a few strong recruiting classes is great, and the line might be the best in the Big Ten.
The non-conference schedule? Army is dangerous, but come on. Michigan will win the home game over Notre Dame, too.
Going to Wisconsin and Penn State will be rough, and hosting Michigan State is going to be a bear – the Wolverines will lose one of those three.
However, they’ll win every other game on the schedule, and that includes the regular season finale in Ann Arbor against Ohio State.
No, really. If it doesn’t happen in this year of transition, when will it?
Michigan will go on to win the Big Ten title for a 12-1 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff, and then …
Alabama 47, Michigan 10.
And then, once again, Harbaugh will be dogged for a loss in a really big game.
Big Ten Team Previews, 5 Things To Know
East Indiana | Maryland | Michigan | Michigan State
Ohio State | Penn State | Rutgers
West Illinois | Iowa | Minnesota | Nebraska
Northwestern | Purdue | Wisconsin