We've allotted a considerable amount of time dissecting the opponents that the Wolverines will engage with in 2015.
Opting for the scenic route in this week's 'Q & A,' I was granted the luxury of welcoming a friendlier face to the Maize N Brew confines in Angelique Chengelis, a prominent personality for Detroit News and Michigan football beat writer.
We cleared the desks, took out a fresh sheet of loose-leaf, and dispersed our own little pop quiz in hopes of absorbing a crystal-clear picture of the Big Ten this fall.
Even with play makers such as Devin Gardner and Devin Funchess securing huge roles in the offensive scheme a season ago, the Wolverines found it difficult to work up much of a spark in 2014. With both gone, what's the key for an offensive groove in 2015?
"Absolutely the offense starts with the quarterback, and Michigan has to determine if Jake Rudock, the steady, no-frills fifth-year senior who started two seasons at Iowa or Shane Morris, the strong-armed but unproven lefty junior, will be the starter. But I still contend the key will be this offensive line.
They have assured this year will be different, and we've heard that before, but my hunch is they're getting better coaching from Tim Drevno. If this line is solid across the board, that bodes better for the quarterback and whoever will be running the ball."
Ohio State snags a National Championship, Jim Harbaugh takes over for the Wolverines, and we saw some hefty win totals for such teams as Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin a season ago. Would you say the Big Ten is perhaps on a bit of an uprising once again, or is this a bit deceptive with all the hysteria of coaching changes, the National Championship, etc.?
"Having covered Michigan football for a long time, I have seen the Big Ten go through the high-low cycle. With Urban Meyer at Ohio State, which is loaded again this year, Mark Dantonio who has created a consistent winner at Michigan State, Harbaugh breathing life into the Michigan program, and James Franklin appearing to have Penn State headed in the right direction, the Big Ten is legitimately on the rise."
Fill in the Blank
Record-wise, Michigan's floor this season is 6-6, while its ceiling is 9-3.
Michigan's defensive unit ranks 2nd within the conference.
In terms of the conference, Penn State will conclude 2015 with a better overall record than most expect.
If any Big Ten player wins the Heisman, it will be Ezekiel Elliott.
Jake Butt will have a breakout season for the Wolverines.
Michigan wins 8+ games in 2015 if the Wolverines are on the high plus-side in turnover margin and win three of the four Big Ten road games.
True or False
Ohio State will go undefeated in the regular season: True
Michigan will upend Michigan State and/or Ohio State in 2015: False
Jake Rudock will open the year as Michigan's starting quarterback: True
The 2016 National Champions will reside from the Big Ten once more: True
Thanks to Angelique for her time and we look forward to catching up with her later this season for a re-quiz!