With only a few days left until football, I think it's about it time that we make some ill-advised predictions based on flimsy evidence that mostly has to do with preconceived notions of teams that Michigan will face this year. Western Michigan sucks right? Wait do they? No seriously, I'm asking.
So Dave and I were talking the other day - OK FINE, we were emailing the other day, and I said to Dave: "Dave - what do you think Michigan is going to do this year, like really?" and Dave said "Well, I think they're going to play football!" Oh how we laughed! And then I hit Dave with a pillow, then we talked about boys until we fell asleep.
That's not actually how it went down. I actually said "hey Dave - give me some predictions by noon today because I'm going to post a prediction thread" then I didn't post that thread until a few days later. It's a good thing he made that arbitrary deadline that I set!
Beauford's Season Predictions
Quite literally everything I know about Western Michigan comes from Remember Bo's preview. This does not bode well for this particular section, because here's what Remember Bo knows about Western Michigan:
Western is a big school somewhere in the southwest part of Michigan, I think. They've got a good nursing program, so I hear, and Grand Rapids is pretty decent on weekends, especially at the end of summer, because you can get cider and, uh, I guess have fun? They have a football team...
Ok, so nursing program, might be fun in the fall, and a football team that they um, have. In depth. Hard hitting. Gravitas. Those are words I do not use to describe that portion of Bo's preview. I'm having a bit of fun here, it's actually very in depth, and a good read. These guys return 8 starters from offense last year, which will actually give our fledgling defense a pretty nice test. I think this one is closer than the previous few season openers. Actually, the last time we met Western, this happened:
It's going to be a long time before that's not awesome. I do think Michigan wins this one, but again, closer than it appears.
Another excellent preview by Remember Bo here. This is the first night game in Michigan history, which you totally did not know because you live under a rock. Notre Dame is good this year. I don't think they're so good as to have this not be close, but remember that Michigan got very fortunate last year to cause "ow my eye" to become something of an Notre Dame meme. As I mentioned in my 1000 foot view, Michigan tends to lose to Notre Dame in various painful ways when Michigan has half a doughnut's chance in Charlie Weis's locker to be good, so I actually won't even be mad if we lose this game.
Nah, I ain't mad
As I also said in the preview, this is an out-and-out lie. I will indeed be mad. Maybe even mad enough to take to the keyboard, which is always an adventure. New and creative ways to say "fire them all?" I've got it. In any case, Michigan might lose this game, and I am convincing myself that by losing to Notre Dame, Michigan is actually restoring some semblance of order by which they will rattle through the next ten games to glory.
Michigan loses against Notre Dame in a new, painful fashion.
Team by team, and Dave's picks after the jump...
Mike Hart coaches at Eastern Michigan these days. Did you know that? I do not think it matters. Michigan will crush Eastern Michigan. I don't even have a fancy graphic to put here, so look at this:
Apparently, this is Crush. She is an American Gladiator, the first google-image that appears when you put in "crush" and she is terrifying.
San Diego State
San Diego State offers the same kind of challenge that Western Michigan does. They have an experienced team returning that will probably put up points. Michigan is not in the place to take any team lightly, and if they do here they will lose. I don't think they will, not with Brady Hoke having just come from there, emotions, etc. In the end, a focused Michigan team will be too much for San Diego State.
Minnesota returns a defense that was worse than Michigan's last year. Michigan's gonna go ahead and keep that jug.
The first road game for Michigan comes with a side of purple, and like all first road games, shouldn't be taken lightly. Pat Fitzgerald has some mojo going up there in Chicago, which is to say that Northwestern is not the doormat team they used to be. QB Dan Persa is coming off of Achilles surgery, and early observers have, erm, observed the NU offensive leader limping in practice. Pat Fitzgerald has a different take:
"I think he's doing great. Your limp could be somebody else's pimp walk. It just depends on how you look at it."
The Purple have 9 returning starters on offense, and 7 starters on defense. Dan Persa - who should be ready for the Sept 3 opener - is now a senior and looking to build off a season during which he set a Big Ten single-season record for completion percentage (.735). This will be a test, and Michigan loses a close one.
At Michigan State
With Michigan State's woes at offensive line, I think Michigan comes out after a loss against Northwestern and beats Sparty at home. During their scrimmage, the defense dominated the offense. I really do believe that Borges and company will score points, and I do no think that Michigan State has the firepower this year to compete. Michigan wins in a high-scoring game.
Danny, what do you think about your starting quarterback's implications in the Miami scandal?
Danny - do you have any options behind Robert Marve should he prove to be ineligible in any way?
Michigan wins this one, Marve or no Marve.
This is going to be very, very close. Iowa is breaking in a new quarterback, but seems to always hang tough at home unless they're facing Northwestern, at which point origami couldn't fold faster. With the Rhabdo "scandal," if you want to call it that, and numerous off-field distractions, I don't think this year is going to be a year where we all look at each other after the season and say "how did Iowa win 10 games?" Michigan's been so close against Iowa these past few years, this is the year they break through.
There is no doubt that Illinois remembers that game from last year during which eleventybillion points were scored, and will be ready for revenge. Quarterback Nathan Schilenhousenberger (or whatever) returns for another year of picking up infuriating 3rd and 9's, and I just kind of think Michigan drops this one.
Nebraska is probably better than we are this year. If Denard and Martinez are both healthy, this should be a very, very fun game to watch. I'm going to give Michigan the edge in a close game, and even then only because it's at home.
We win. Much more on this later.
So, that puts my predictions at 9-3, which sounds pretty, um, bold. But that's what the preseason is for! Leave your predictions, as detailed as you want, in the comments. Here are Dave's: