An updated way-too-early Top 25 was released by Mark Schlabach of ESPN on June 7 and Michigan sits at No. 3, behind Alabama (No. 1) and Clemson (No. 2) in the rankings. On January 12, Schlabach had Michigan at No. 4 in the Top 25.
Michigan is losing center Graham Glasgow, quarterback Jake Rudock, linebacker Desmond Morgan, linebacker Joe Bolden, linebacker James Ross, safety Jarrod Wilson and defensive end Willie Henry from their 10-3 (6-2 Big Ten) season in 2015. The campaign ended in a 41-7 victory for No. 14 Michigan over No. 19 Florida in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
The Wolverines will need to replace much of their linebacking corps, but the defensive line returns many key contributors. Michigan is returning eight offensive, seven defensive and one special teams starter from last season. Under center for Michigan will be Houston transfer John O'Korn or sophomore Wilton Speight. Don Brown, the new defensive coordinator for Michigan, has been experimenting with Jabrill Peppers at safety and linebacker. Do not forget, Michigan is adding the top player from the Class of 2016, Rashan Gary.
Michigan plays eight home games during the 2016 season. However, the team will have to battle Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State on the road. Michigan has not topped Ohio State and Michigan State in the same season since 2000, and it will be tough to achieve that feat with both rival games away from The Big House.