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Detroit Free Press lists Michigan at 5 in Big Ten preseason power rankings

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Michigan has a lot to prove, according to the Detroit Free Press, with the Wolverines at 5th in their preseason power rankings.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Michigan vs South Carolina Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Another preseason ranking was released because, you know, that’s what we get mid-summer with two more months before the season.

Before you read this in its entirety, reflect on what happened last year and put things in perspective. Yes, if you watched the Amazon series, while very well done, it caused you to relive a tough season where expectations were high. Nothing is guaranteed at this point for Michigan in 2018 with many questions still, but many signs are pointing in the direction that the Wolverines will have a better season this year.

The Detroit Free Press released their Big Ten preseason power rankings, and some may not agree while others think they have it right. Michigan came in at No. 5 and below is the summary included in the story:

“Michigan (8-5): The Wolverines have a stacked defense and some talented young playmakers on offense. Jim Harbaugh still has to find his quarterback — and then keep him upright and uninjured. He might have accomplished the former by bringing in Shea Patterson. It remains to be seen whether the latter can be accomplished, though the right things have been said about new offensive line coach Ed Warinner.”

The teams ahead of Michigan are as follows:

4. Michigan State

3. Penn State

2. Wisconsin

1. Ohio State

Before you get all up in arms or have some form of argument why you think Michigan should be higher, I think the explanation is spot on. The ranking really means nothing right now; it’s late June.

The biggest issues in 2017 were quarterbacks staying healthy, a young offense and poor offensive line. While you may look at the rosters and teams in front of Michigan, I think it’s very close in comparison of talent for the top five. It comes down to schedule, development and who can stay healthy.

Michigan plays two of those teams on the road, which are also their biggest rivals. The last time Wisconsin and Penn State played in the Big House, they left with a loss. Michigan won the last game in East Lansing with the electric 95-yard return by Jabrill Peppers. Those four games will likely determine the outcome of the season for Michigan. Yes, they have several other challenging games and cannot afford to lose a game they are favored to win.

Michigan has a lot to prove this season and the hype will be high, perhaps as high as it has been ever since Jim Harbaugh took over.

With the offseason changes of personnel, new faces on the team, and returning players, this could in fact be the true recipe to beat ranked teams on the road and get over that first big hurdle of being a Big Ten contender. If Michigan can start with a solid performance at Notre Dame and stay healthy, it can compete with every team in the Big Ten.

Sound off Wolverine fans. Let’s hear your thoughts on this. Agree or disagree?

Be sure to follow David Noe on Twitter (@DavidRNoe) and Maize N Brew (@MaizeNBrew) for all the latest Michigan football news and notes.