It begins this Saturday folks. Another year of Michigan Football! The dreams are big and the hopes are high.
Will the Wolverines be able to deliver this year? Here are my predictions for the 2014 season:
Game 1: Appalachian State (Win)
Saturday, August 30th
University of Michigan Stadium
It’s been a while since their last meeting but Michigan is still Michigan and Appalachian State is still Appalachian State. I’m not going to make this any more complicated than it has to be. Lighting will not strike the same place twice. I say Michigan wins this game by at least 21 points.
Game 2: Notre Dame (Loss)
Saturday, September 6th
Notre Dame Stadium
Michigan fans are going to get the image of a perfect season out of their heads quickly after the Wolverines lose to the Fighting Irish on September 6th. For these two traditional college football powerhouses, this game is the last scheduled meeting for the foreseeable future and for this final battle, home field advantage goes to Notre Dame. Last year the Wolverines had home field and only won by 11 points. Notre Dame is currently ranked 17th and Michigan hasn’t cracked the top 25 in the polls. I predict Michigan puts up a good fight and Notre Dame wins by seven points or less.
Game 3: Miami (OH) (Win)
Saturday, September 16th
It’s going to be a long day for the Red Hawks at the big house in week three. Michigan will be too much for Miami of Ohio and the Wolverines should win by at least 24 points. But this is a trap game for the Wolverines, they can’t ease up. I remember a certain game last year in week three that Michigan should have won easily but didn’t. If the ghosts of last year’s Akron game return, this will be the week.
Saturday, September 20th
The Wolverines will be the first real test for the Utes in the 2014 season. I predict they struggle with that test and get beat handily by the Wolverines. By this point in the season, the offense should be clicking under new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. I expect a victory by 20 points or more.
Saturday, September 27th
The Big-10 schedule will officially be underway in week five and luckily the Wolverines can ease into it with a home game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Last year, the Gophers were in the bottom three in the Big-10 in both total offense and defense. I don’t expect Minnesota to be any kind of a threat this season. However, Big-10 games are never easy. I say the Gophers play a good game and lose by seven or less points.
Game 6: Rutgers (Loss)
Saturday, October 4th
High Point Solutions Stadium
This will be Rutgers’ second conference game as a member of the Big-10. I think Rutgers will have lost their first Big-10 game against Penn State and they will be looking to make a statement against the Wolverines. The Scarlet Knights are nowhere near as talented as the Wolverines but they do have home field advantage. I predict Michigan has an off day and Rutgers comes out on top by seven points or more.
Game 7: Penn State (Win)
Saturday, October 11th
The Wolverines will be looking to bounce back after their loss to Rutgers and their next opponent is a tough one in Penn State. Michigan will have the full support of the fans at the big house and I think they’ll avenge last year’s loss to Penn State and emerge victorious. The Michigan offense will be the star of this game and the Wolverines will win by 14 or more.
Game 8: Michigan State (Loss)
Saturday, October 25th
Remember when Michigan was better at football than Michigan State? It seems so long ago… Not only is Michigan State a much superior team, they also have home field advantage in this matchup. The Michigan State defense is going to leave all Michigan fans wondering if the offense is really as potent as they’ve seemed so far this season.
Game 9: Indiana (Win)
Saturday, November 1st
I’m going to apologize to Indiana in advance for the amount of points Michigan is going to beat them by in week 10. The Wolverines will be in a surly mood after their embarrassing loss to Michigan State and the full wrath of the entire Michigan football program will fall squarely on the Hoosiers. I expect a Michigan victory by 24 or more points.
Saturday, November 8th
Last year, this game took 3 overtimes to be decided, I don’t think it will take that long this year. Last season, Northwestern was an average team. They started well but struggled in the latter half of the season. Their biggest struggles were against fellow Big-10 teams. Northwestern has a tough Big-10 schedule including games against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska all before they have to face the Wolverines. Michigan will take advantage of the Wildcat’s tough schedule and beat them by at least 14 points.
Game 11th: Maryland (Win)
Saturday, November 22nd
For the most part, Maryland played well last year as a member of the the ACC. And that’s considering they lost 63-0 against Florida State. But now they’re in the Big-10 and playing with the big boys. The ACC is fast and tricky and has a few great teams but they don’t hold a candle to the Big-10. Maryland is in for a tough transition year as they grow accustomed to playing in the Big-10. The Wolverines will have no problem beating the Terrapins by at least 14 points.
Saturday, November 29th
This is the only game that really matters right? And this…is…the…YEAR! The Wolverines will go into Ohio Stadium and beat Ohio State. By November 9th, the Buckeyes may have a quarterback who’s an excellent substitute for Braxton Miller. But I honestly don’t see that happening. Ohio State will still dominate all of their poor competition but I think they’ll struggle to score points against good teams. It’s going to take everything the Wolverines have to pull off the victory but I have faith they’ll succeed. Michigan will win by 10 points or more.
There’s a sign in Schembechler Hall in Ann Arbor that counts down the days since the last victory over Ohio State. When I was last there for media day on August 10th, the tally was at 987 days. On November 29th, that sign will read: 1,098 days since Michigan’s last victory against Ohio State. If the Wolverines don’t beat the Buckeyes, they are going to have to add 365 days to that total. And that is the one thing that no Michigan fan wants this season.
I predict that Michigan State will win the Big-10 East Division which will prevent Michigan from playing in the Big-10 title game and getting a spot in the National Championship Tournament. Michigan will have a solid 9-3 season and hopefully build on this year’s success next season. Michigan will get a bid to play in a significant bowl game, most likely against an SEC team.
I’m excited for this season, it should be a good one. There are fresh faces and new approaches to the game. No matter who is new and who has been part of the organization for a while, one thing is for sure, they all believe in Michigan Football; and Michigan football is winning football.
Of course this is all just my opinion… I could be wrong.