2009 Michigan Football Season Predictions! In May!

As you've probably gathered, things are a might bit quiet right now. So in an effort to bring you something worth discussing, the Maize n Brew football staff decided to take a look at the schedule and give you our own takes on how the season breaks down. I'm up today, and SCM will follow tomorrow with what will undoubtedly be his bold prediction for a 13-0 magical MNC run wherein Tate Forcier secures the first of his 5 Heismans. You'll note that I declared certain games "toss-ups." Well the reason for that is we're going to delve into those particular games next week and try to break them down a little better based on what little information we have in our possession and our own faulty reasoning skills. Feel free to tell us we're idiots. We'll live. But if you've got a different take lets hear it!

2009 Michigan Football Season Predictions

Sept. 5: Western Michigan

Stupid Comments: Normally, I'd say "Yea! A MAC team!" but I can't anymore. Dammit. Stupid Toledo. I especially can't say "Yea! A MAC team!" when the MAC team in question was 9-4 last year and returns a quarterback that accounted for 36 touchdowns last year and most of its offensive line. Howeva, WMU doesn't have as potent a running attack as last year, Stevie Brown WILL NOT BE A SAFETY, DEATH is not our quarterback (and neither is Steven Threet), and our offensive line should be much improved against a horrid WMU defense. Michigan should roll. But then again, God Hates Us. Therefore expect WMU to put up some points on a rebuilding GERG defense. Things will be better offensively, so Michigan should put up 38 points. Subtract two touchdowns for God Hates Us, and you get 24-17. Howeva (Part II), because God Hates Us, it's just as probable that my 24-17 prediction could be reversed simply because it's our opener.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 24, Western Michigan 17 (1-0)

Sept. 12: Notre Dame

Stupid Comments: Normally, I'd say "Yea! A MAC team!" (I keed, I keed). Notre Dame, at least on paper, is supposed to be decent this year. Piles of returning starters on both sides of the ball. An offensive line coach who is actually competent. A stable of receivers, running backs, and a decent QB. Let's face it, on experience, starts, and games played, Notre Dame is better than Michigan. They've got ten returning starters on offense for pete's sake. But this is Michigan Notre Dame. The better team never wins. When either school isn't in the middle of its worst season in history, the rebuilding team or the underdog team is a 50/50 shot to pull off the upset. I think Warren and BooBoo cover up ND's receivers. Stevie Brown WILL NOT BE A SAFETY. And I don't think we're going to spot Notre Dame 21 points on fumbles inside our 20. I think Michigan's got a good chance to win this, but that could just be blind optimism talking. Michigan's going to have trouble is at safety (shocker, I know) and at Defensive Tackle. Tenuta's defense will blitz the ever living hell out of Forcier or Robinson and create a couple of turnovers. All that said, Notre Dame is still coached by Charlie Weis. Whether he's calling the plays or not doesn't matter. It's because of him that God has forsaken Notre Dame and is currently a Boston College fan. The Wolverines play inspired and the Spread does to Notre Dame what the spread used to do to Michigan. It's a toss up, but Michigan wins. By the slimmest of margins.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 21, Notre Dame 20 (2-0)

Sept. 19: Eastern Michigan

Stupid Comments: Ron English will be in attendance as EMU's coach. English's defense will give up a gazillion points because we're running the spread.  On the flip side, we'll give up 21 points. That's just how we roll.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 40, Eastern Michigan 21 (3-0)

Sept. 26: Indiana

Stupid Comments: Beatdown. Indiana is a train wreck this year. Even worse than we were last year (zing!). Both offenses do their best to spear themselves in the first half. But the offense wakes up in the second half and Michigan piles it on in the third quarter. Michigan is looking good (relatively speaking). Everyone starts waking up the echoes, drinking the Kool-Aide, talking like idiots because we're 4-0. Woo! Why aren't we ranked? MNC bitches! Woo! Craziness!

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 26, Indiana 6  (4-0) Woo!

Oct. 3: at Michigan State

Stupid Comments: Regardless whether Michigan is 1-3, 2-2, 3-1 or 4-0, Michigan fans expect to win this game. There's a pretty good reason for that. Michigan had its worst team, well, ever, last season and held their own against a 9-4 Spartan team.  And this season the driving forces behind that win, Javon Ringer and Brian Hoyer are gone. No one in college football meant more to his team than Ringer. He was like Ron Dayne, except good. Without Ringer to steady the ship and hork 37 carries a game, there's not enough in this offense to be successful. I'm sure quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol showed enough in the spring game to impress the media, but I'm skeptical. State's pass rush was mediocre last year and this year their secondary is questionable. My bet is State struggles out of the gate offensively this season and the defense isn't as good as advertised. I think they're capable of 8 wins based on their schedule, but 9 is the upside of this team.  That said, we're playing at MSU, we're really not that good, and a 3-1 or 4-0 record is going to delude fans into thinking we're good before heading into the East Lansing. The difference this year is that MSU expects to win this game and it's on their turf. For purposes of discussion, this is a toss up, but the Spartans win.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan State 27, Michigan 13 (4-1)


Oct. 10: at Iowa

Stupid Comments: A win at Michigan State (regardless of our record) and everyone on the Maize n Blue bandwagon will be going out of their mind. We'll overlook all kinds of problems and flaws, because we won, and because of that we'll now expect to beat anyone on our schedule. Conversely, a loss at Michigan State and everyone will expect this to be the big rebound game, despite the fact it's AT Iowa. Sure you can point out that Shonn Greene and (DT) Mitch King are gone. The more important of that pairing is Greene, as he was a close second to Ringer in the "Guy Upon whom a season rests" list from last year. Without him Iowa won't be nearly as productive on the ground, even with talented sophomore Jewel Hampton in the backfield. That should give Michigan a chance to prevail. Right? No way. Stanzi is the Manzi. He loses only one of his top five pass catchers. The Offensive line looks solid. Further, most of a pretty good defense returns, you know, the defense that beat Penn State. I think Michigan gets thumped. It's an 8 p.m. start. It's at Kinnick. More importantly, the BHGP tailgate will be having their tailgate. We have no hope.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Iowa 38, Michigan 19 (4-2)

Oct. 17: Delaware State

Stupid Comment: I'm writing nothing about this. If we win I'm only counting it as half a game.


Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 45, Delaware State 10 (4.5-2)

Oct. 24: Penn State

Stupid Comments: This game really, really, intrigues me. Despite the fact that Penn State has QB Daryll Clark and RB Evan Royster back, this team doesn't scare me this year. Royster's coming off of off-season ankle surgery (never good), and the Lions lose their entire starting receiving corps (even worse). Certainly there's talent in the wings, but Clark reminds me a tad bit of Chad Henne (circa 2004) in the sense that a number of mistakes he threw were covered up by good receivers. All those ducks aren't going to find experienced hands this year. Additionally, it's not like Clark's going to have a lot of time to throw. The Offensive line is being totally rebuilt, and returns just two starters with one switching to center (the switch isn't a big deal unless it becomes one). Defensively, Penn State is in trouble. They lose six of their top ten tacklers to graduation, have to rebuild their defensive line, have to rebuild their secondary, and have the potential to lose leading tackler Navaro Bowman to his own stupidity after getting slapped with one year's probation for smoking the heezee and failing two drug tests last season. So to sum up, bad lines, no receivers, bad secondary, a linebacker on one leg, and another that's been stoned to the bejeezus belt most of the offseason. Penn State should be fine and go to a decent bowl, but right now everyone putting them in the top 15 reeks of "Well, we've gotta put somebody there." Hell Mark Schlabach admits as much:

The defending Big Ten champions have to replace their entire starting receiver corps and rebuild both of their lines, but they still seem to be the second-best team in what will probably again be a watered-down league.

Hey! Let's rank Auburn 5th! Woo! Sorry, Staters, this has all the makings of a "AAAAAAGGGRR!!! Godammit MICHIGAN AGAIN!?!?!?!" game for Penn State.

Clark's low on receivers and a line, and the Michigan team that controlled the first half at Happy Valley last year is back basically intact, healthy and with a quarterback that can throw the ball more than five feet and doesn't move like a cement block. Still, Penn State should win this one. Linebacker play is key against the spread and Penn State has that in spades, as I expect Lee and Bowman to play, and play well. Clark's mobility should provide enough firepower, and the Lions should take a second straight win over Michigan in yet another toss-up game.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Penn State 24, Michigan 17 (4.5-3)

Oct. 31: at Illinois

Stupid Comments: Last season Juice Williams set an all purpose yardage record at the Big House as the Illini pounded a Michigan team that was in the process of coming apart at the seams. In spite of that inspired beatdown, the Illini proceeded to stumble to a 5-7 season losing five of their last seven games. Seriously, WTF? This year isn't going to get any easier for the Illini as they're looking at an all offense and no defense kind of year. Williams returns for his a senior season, and if he's ever going to build upon his 2007 Ohio State game it'd better be early into the 2009 campaign. He will have help. Arrelious Benn and score of talented pass-catchers on the wings. Senior Daniel Dufrene and Jason Ford provide plenty of pop out of the backfield to keep defenses from keying on Benn's running. But on defense the Illini are inexperienced, thin at key positions, and weak in the secondary. I think this has the possibility to be the most entertaining game of the year in the Big Ten. Not because it's going to be great football, but because I don't think either defense is going to be able to stop the opposing offense. Williams and Forcier/Robinson run wild. Long TD runs, passes. He who scores last wins. Another toss-up, but for giggles I'm picking Michigan to return the favor from last year.

 Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 37, Illinois 33 (5.5-3)

Nov. 7: Purdue

Stupid Comments:  Boned. Purdue is road kill by this point. Diabeetus or no Diabeetus. Michigan plays down to Purdue but wins anyway.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Michigan 28, Purdue 10 (6.5-3)

Nov. 14: at Wisconsin

Stupid Comments: As a coach with a defensive background, Bielema finds himself in an awkward position as his best assets are on offense. Sadly, that's not much of a consolation when you still don't have a starting quarterback. Wisconsin's storied history of noodle armed white guys at quarterback who like to roll into sacks should be able to pen another chapter this season regardless of whether Dustin Sherer and Curt Phillips is under center. But, if either of these guys shows an promise, Wisconsin should be in business on offense. There are some serious weapons on the wings in Nick Toon and Garrett Graham. Further, John Clay is a horse at tailback that I'm legitimately afraid of. There is the potential for a very good offense out there, but Bielema's gotta show he can coach offensive football. Jury's still out of that. On the defensive side the Badgers are a mess. Linebacker play was abysmal last year and is unlikely to improve. The secondary is rebuilding. The DLine is made of cheese curds. Michigan should be able to hang with the Badgers and maybe sneak a victory here, but I don't see it happening. Like Kinnick, Madison is an damn near impossible place to play. The students are right on top of you. It's loud. And if Michigan's played as well as I'm anticipating, they're looking ahead at Ohio State. Michigan has the horses to win, so I'll call it a toss-up, but in the end I think the Badgers take it to the Wolverines in Mad Town.

Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Wisconsin 27, Michigan 17 (6.5-4)

Nov. 21: Ohio State


Stupid Comments:
Blah, blah, blah. OSU lost players X, Y, and Z. Terrelle Pryor's a head case. Blah, blah, blah. Sorry folks, OSU's better than Michigan right now. Pryor is the most dynamic quarterback in the Big Ten at this time, the offensive line will be very good, they replace Wells with two other former five star backs, and Tressel's still the coach. Unlike the rest of the Big Ten, when Ohio State's defense graduates half its best players, it doesn't fall off. Usually it gets better. Barring an injury to Pryor, I don't see Michigan winning this game right now. Unless Ohio State's defense just collapses, the lines and secondary are good enough to cover for any gaps the reloading linebacker corps has to deal with. Tate/Denard play well, Michigan plays well in this game, but comes up short.


Final Prediction Based on Flimsy Little No Evidence: Ohio State 34, Michigan 26 (6.5-5)

Projected Regular Season finish: 6.5-5 overall, 4-4 Big Ten and a Bowl Bid.

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