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Staff Roundtable: Predicting Michigan Football’s final record this season

The staff weighs in on on Michigan’s 2020 season record.

Michigan v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

This week, we asked the Maize n Brew staff to weigh in on the Michigan Wolverines’ 2020 football season and the predicted final record. There was a recurring theme with the picks that unfortunately reflected poor confidence in getting over the hump in the final weekend of the year.

Andrew Bailey

7-2. Michigan continues to flirt with greatness, but will fall just short dropping one of the Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Penn State games, as well as losing to that juggernaut from Columbus. This likely puts Michigan in a 3v3 game against the Big Ten West in which I see them having no problem.

As long as none of the losses are blow outs, especially Ohio State, 7-2 will suffice. Some will kick and scream and say, “OUR OWN WRITERS DON’T EVEN CARE ABOUT BEATING OHIO STATE,” but I am being a realist during a historically great era for Michigan’s main rival. Moreover, with several question marks inundating this 2020 version of the Wolverines, 7-2 with this schedule and no BYE week is more than acceptable to me.

Anthony Broome

7-2 with losses to Minnesota and Ohio State and a win in the crossover game. This is basically a 9-3-type of season given a truncated amount of games this year. I see similar results on the field, but with a much younger and more promising team. If Joe Milton is a star, I can see an eighth win somewhere. Right now, I do not have much reason to believe that this program is anything more than it has been over the last six years, which is good, not great. With that said, I think the arrow is pointing upward and that they can start seriously chipping away at the gap between themselves and Ohio State. With several of these pieces on the two-deep depth chart back for next season, I think it could be a fun year to watch and see how they grow.

Von Lozon

I think they go 5-3, with losses to Minnesota, Penn State and Ohio State.

On the road at night to begin the year with a new QB and 4 new OL will prove too much. Penn State didn’t lose much this off-season, and OSU is...OSU.

At the end of the day, it won’t be an acceptable season simply because Michigan always has high standards no matter what. It’ll be another offseason of Paul Finebaum advocating for Michigan to fire Harbaugh, or how Harbaugh wants to go back to the NFL. Like Bart Scott once said, “Can’t wait!”

Stephen Osentoski

6-3. I’m predicting losses to Minnesota, OSU, and then a random other one from the group of Wisconsin, Penn State, Indiana.

Before Jack Coan’s injury, I had the Wisconsin game as a loss, but now it’s close to a toss-up. Considering you have a stronger-than-usual Indiana team, an always tough Penn State, and an endless supply of linemen dudes from the woods of Madison, Wisconsin, I’m predicting a 2-1 among those 3 games.

The good news is that the other 3 games (Rutgers, Michigan State, Maryland) are pretty high locks. IF Michigan loses one of those’s going to be a long, long season.

So, I think 6-3 sets a really good baseline for what would be a really strong 2021 roster. Though I wouldn’t be “ecstatic” with it, I think it’s acceptable given the inexperience heading into this year. Lots and LOTS of questions still to be answered in a year where Michigan has a tough schedule and the Big Ten overall is strong throughout.

Jared Stormer

I think Michigan pretty much holds serve with what we have seen from the Jim Harbaugh era and goes 6-2 with losses to Minnesota and Ohio State to bookend the year. Whether or not you are on the “acceptable” or “not acceptable” train, largely depends on how you feel about going 0-6 against Ohio State. Nobody is thrilled about that, but Michigan had to fight back to national relevance, and the Buckeyes are churning out their best teams in program history year after year. I assure you, if Joe Germaine or Craig Krenzel were still the starting QB down there, we would have a win or two under Harbaugh against those guys. If things go off the rails and you go 4-4 (not beyond the realm of possibility), next year becomes the pivotal year for Jim Harbaugh, and the pressure to win something substantial will be crushing. Just take a close look at Scott Frost and Tom Herman before you start clamoring for some hot new name is all I ask.

Dan Plocher

I think Michigan goes 5-3 this season with losses to Minnesota, Penn State and Ohio State. Frankly, nothing is acceptable until the Wolverines break the trend of losing to the Buckeyes. It’s getting exhausting having the same discussion every year about this rivalry.

This is a young Michigan football team, and I think they are going to play like a young football team at times. There are really only three returning starters on offense (Ronnie Bell, Zach Charbonnet, and Jalen Mayfield) and a defense with a massive hole at the cornerback spot after Ambry Thomas opted-out.

A 5-3 season will largely mean nothing for the program. Harbaugh will get the same flack he has gotten every offseason for not beating Michigan’s archrival, Don Brown will be scrutinized but not fired, and the Wolverines will run it back with a veteran lineup in 2021 with a lot of potential.

The only caveat is if we see flashes of greatness from Joe Milton. The way that Michigan turns this era of mediocre football around is if they have a star quarterback at the helm going forward. A year of struggles would just add more clamoring by all that Harbaugh has not developed a quarterback in his time in Ann Arbor.

Chris Castellani

I’m going with 6-2. It’s be a smaller version of the 2018 season. Loss in the first game, a whole bunch of wins after that followed by a Buckeye beatdown. Not an overwhelming success but a solid step forward considering the circumstances. No one is viewing this team as the one that’s gonna get over the hill anyway.