After watching Monday’s fall practice in Ann Arbor, Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo said he believes Michigan has the talent to win every game in the 2016 season.
BTN Cp Tour #Wolverines I wasn't expecting 2 say this but they have enough talent 2 win all games.I thought they were over rated they're not— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) August 15, 2016
“I'm saying Michigan State's still going to be good, Ohio State's still going to be good, this isn't just automatic, and I'm going into camp yesterday saying, 'I think everyone's got Michigan overrated,'" said DiNardo, a former player at Notre Dame and head coach at Vanderbilt, LSU and Indiana. "Watching their practice, I was wrong. I don't think they're overrated. I think the people that have them picked to win big and be part of then national scene, they've got it right. I didn't have them there."
In the past there has been questions on how Michigan would stack up against teams in the Big Ten Conference, especially Michigan State and Ohio State. This season is different, according to DiNardo.
"The difference is, with the roster, you can't go into a game and say the other team has more talent and they have to make mistakes (for U-M) to win," DiNardo said. "The talent is at a level, you only play 11 at a time, and there's not going to be any difference between their best and their opponents' best and, in many cases, their best is going to be better than their opponents' best. In most cases, that has not been true, mostly because of Ohio State and Michigan State ... You look at their offensive and defensive lines, secondary, receivers, this is a very talented team."
As DiNardo points out, Michigan has the ability to get young players ready for the Big Ten schedule with an easy non-conference schedule that includes Hawaii, Central Florida and Colorado. 2016’s No. 1 prospect Rashan Gary, for example, will have a few games to get comfortable and ready to roll.
"Look at the non-conference schedule," he said, referring to U-M's lighter three games with Hawaii, Central Florida and Colorado. "It's a schedule that allows you to develop that talent."
Michigan really is right there with Ohio State and the top teams in the nation.
"When I watched them practice and evaluated them, they were better than I thought and more talented than I thought, so I kind of came that way," DiNardo said. "I wasn't expecting them to be that good."