Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big Ten Preview: Michigan

College football season is approaching and for the next couple of weeks I'll be giving you some quick previews of the Big Ten. All ten....ummm eleven teams will be featured. Today it'll be the Wolverines of Michigan.

Where to start with Michigan? The so called Bo Schembechler Era, which lasted over 30 years, is over. Lloyd Carr was carried off the field by his players and pushed away by some of the fans. It was time for a change. So now it's Rich Rodriguez's turn, as he left West Virginia allegedly shredding documents, stealing recruits, and raping all the women and children.

The challenges ahead are many for the new era of Michigan football. A new system, of which none of the players are familiar, two quarterbacks with just as much combined experience as me and Martha Stewart, and an offensive line with about 13 combined starts, all from one guy.

As of now, it looks as if walk-on Nick Sheridan will win the starting job. Great. The wide receivers are inexperienced as well, with only Greg Mathews sporting significant playing time. The bright spot on the offense is without a doubt the running back position. Juniors Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown return after impressive showings against Illinois and Minnesota last year, and freshmen Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie (mixtape please) will see ample playing time. Do they have a chance to be good? Sure. The freshmen will have to play like upper-classmen and one or both quarterbacks will have to prove he isn't completely incapable.

Michigan's 33 year bowl streak will ride on the defense this season. The defensive line will be good, there is no question. Tim Jamison and Brandon Graham will get after the quarterback, while Will Johnson and Terrance Taylor will try and plug the middle. The linebackers should play offense for Michigan they are so inexperiened. Obi Ezeh in the middle is the only LB to start a game; and he's a sophomore. The corners form one of the top tandems in the Big Ten with senior Morgan Trent and last year's B10 Freshman of the Year Donovan Warren. Two new safeties will need to fill in.

The defense will be good, maybe even great, but the offense will need to grasp the new spread offense to do anything that will make Michigan fans happy this season. The non-conference schedule starts with a home date against Utah. The Utes are ranked by the experts anywhere from around 30 to around 13th. It won't be an easy opener. Then a trip to South Bend is the only other test. The Big Ten schedule starts with a doozies against Wisconsin and Illinois. A couple weeks later it's at Penn State followed by Michigan State at home, and of course the finale with Ohio State. What is a success for Michigan this year? If you ask this humble Michigan fan, it's beating two of the three rivals and keeping the bowl streak alive. We'll see.


lloydcarr said...

fuck michigan they suck

StevieY19 said...

Well argued.

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