The 2013 Michigan football season is finally upon us as the Wolverines kick things off this afternoon against in-state MAC opponent Central Michigan.
In some aspects is a big year for Brady Hoke and his squad as the third year Michigan head coach looks to take that next step in the division and conference. Hoke has appeared to turn out as a master recruiter and looks to of finally erased any aspects of Rich Rod’s old spread offense, especially with the departure of quarterback/wide receiver/running back Denard Robinson.
But a lot Michigan’s success this year will be determined with the schedule at hand so let’s take a look at their 2013 rundown starting with today’s game against the Chips.
Saturday, August 31: vs. Central Michigan (3:30PM ET, BTN)
This isn’t the same Central Michigan team that found themselves in the top 25 a few short years ago. And even if it was this current Wolverines team would still manage a comfortable victory. Look for the Wolverines to dominate the first half then put it on cruise control in the second en route to a big win.
Win (1-0, 0-0)
Saturday, September 7: vs. Notre Dame (8PM ET, ESPN)
This isn’t the same Notre Dame team that got embarrassed in the National Championship Game by Alabama. Don’t get me wrong they’ll be good but not undefeated in the regular season with no Te’o, Riddick and Tommy Rees starting at QB. The Michigan defense should take advantage at home even with Jake Ryan still on the shelf.
Win (2-0, 0-0)
Saturday, September 14: vs. Akron (12PM ET, BTN)
Yawn… Michigan wins in a blow out. Enough said.
Win (3-0, 0-0)
Saturday, September 21: at UConn (TBD)
In the now defunct Big East the Huskies went 2-5 and 5-7 overall beating NO ONE of substance. Why Michigan seems to continue to bother with this team every other year I don’t know, what I do know though is it doesn’t matter this game is on the road, Michigan rolls and they roll big.
Win (4-0, 0-0)
Saturday, October 5: vs. Minnesota (3:30PM ET, ABC/ESPN2/TBD)
The Wolverines kick off the B1G schedule against Jerry Kill’s Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota already annihilated UNLV last night and should be better this season. But going the road against a still superior Michigan team is too much, even for the Gophers.
Win (5-0, 1-0)
Saturday, October 12: at Penn State (5PM ET, ESPN or ESPN2)
The Nittany Lions turned heads last year coming off a treacherous in which the NCAA essentially gave them everything but a death penalty. The thing though with Penn State is they’re going to get progressively worse as those sanctions really begin to take effect. With a frosh QB starting for Linebacker U look for Greg Mattison and his defense to take advantage, especially if Jake Ryan is back at this time.
Win (6-0, 2-0)
Saturday, October 19: vs. Indiana (3:30PM ET, BTN)
Indiana may be better this year (they looked pretty impressive in their opener against Indiana State) but they’re still the Hoosiers on the road at the Big House.
Win (7-0, 3-0)
Saturday, November 2: at Michigan State (TBD)
I know Michigan State’s offense didn’t look good last night and I know they’ve lost pieces on both ends of the ball. I also know that Michigan’s two-point victory at home was accomplished by a team that’s probably not as good as this year’s team. However Michigan State may still have the best defense in the B1G and I’m predicting that the QB situation at this point will be better. Look for this to be another extremely close game with the Spartans edging out the Wolverines in East Lansing. I’m talking another 2-3 point game.
Loss (7-1, 3-1)
Saturday, November 9: vs. Nebraska (TBD)
Last year Michigan took care of business against the Cornhuskers in a big way on the road. I don’t expect everything to go the same way for Michigan like it did last year, they still have to contend with Taylor Martinez and a good Nebraska offense. However at the Big House Michigan should be able to use their offense to overcome a somewhat suspect Cornhusker defense.
Win (8-1, 4-1)
Saturday, November 16: at Northwestern (TBD)
Northwestern is getting a lot of love heading into this season and they always tend to play Michigan tough. Michigan though is still the better team on paper and will be on the field. The Wolverines win a close one.
Win (9-1, 5-1)
Saturday, November 23: at Iowa (TBD)
I’m just not impressed by Iowa, at least not for a few years now. At this point Michigan is going to be pressing for a spot in the B1G title game and won’t be derailed by less than stellar Hawkeye squad.
Win (10-1, 6-1)
Saturday, November 30: vs. Ohio State (TBD)
There’s no doubt about it, Ohio State is going to be good, really good more than likely. Still though lets not forget that they had nothing to play for last season so laying everything out on the was really no problem and this is a rivalry game at the Big House. I still think Ohio State wins but in the end it’ll just be a one possession game.
Loss (10-2, 7-2)
Big Ten Title Game?
Finishing 10-2 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten certainly puts the Wolverines in contention for the Legends Division title and a trip to the B1G Title Game. However the loss to Michigan State (who I’m picking to also go 7-2 in the conference) and the easy schedule Nebraska employs (8-1 in the Big Ten) the Wolverines just fall short of a second meeting with the Buckeyes.