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Michigan ranked No. 8 in ESPN Preseason Power Rankings

Ohio State came in two spots ahead of the Wolverines at No. 6.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Michigan vs Florida Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan has been ranked No. 8 in ESPN’s Preseason Power Rankings.

Ohio State rolled in at No. 6, Michigan State came in at No. 13 and Iowa capped off the four Big Ten teams at No. 23.

Phil Steele of ESPN: “After fielding a top-10 defense each of the past two years (just 295.4 yards allowed per game since 2014), Michigan enters 2016 with my No. 5-rated defensive overall, led by my No. 10 defensive line and No. 8 secondary. On offense, the Wolverines will return their top four receivers, led by 6-3 senior Jehu Chesson (764 yards and nine TDs), and their leading rusher, De’Veon Smith (753 yards). Michigan should open the season 7-0 and likely will be ranked in the top three, but the team has a brutal stretch to end 2016: Its final three road trips are to Michigan State (toss-up), Iowa (+3) and Ohio State (+6).”

Michigan is projected to pick up 10.3 wins and Vegas gives the program a 7-to-1 chance of winning the College Football National Championship. To do that, the Wolverines will have to make the College Football Playoff by winning the Big Ten Conference. The Big Ten Championship game will likely be Michigan, Ohio State or Michigan State against Iowa.

ESPN College Football Preseason Power Rankings
No. 1 Alabama
No. 2 Clemson
No. 3 Oklahoma
No. 4 Florida State
No. 5 LSU
No. 6 Ohio State
No. 7 Stanford
No. 8 Michigan
No. 9 Tennessee
No. 10 Notre Dame
No. 11 Ole Miss
No. 12 Houston
No. 13 Michigan State
No. 14 Washington
No. 15 TCU
No. 16 USC
No. 17 UCLA
No. 18 Georgia
No. 19 Louisville
No. 20 Oregon
No. 21 Oklahoma State
No. 22 Baylor
No. 23 Iowa
No. 24 North Carolina
No. 25 San Diego State