While sitting on my couch watching Michigan’s season opener against Minnesota, I couldn’t help but feel like the team I was watching was much different than years past. Both sides of the ball played with speed and aggression while still keeping their cool under pressure. Joe Milton looked as calm as a 4th year starter, and while the defense wasn’t perfect, they made huge plays when it mattered. I can’t help but to be intrigued with what the rest of the schedule has to offer them, especially with Wisconsin being a big question mark at the moment with their COVID-19 issues.
WEEK TWO VS. MICHIGAN STATE, 10/31
I am very excited for this game. Michigan State is coming off of one of their worst losses in the last two decades, turning the ball over seven times in their loss to Rutgers last Saturday. State is also dealing with first year coaching mistakes with Mel Tucker, and can’t seem to find it’s identity.
On the other hand, you have a team that has found it’s swagger. Michigan went into Minnesota and absolutely destroyed them while demonstrating that their offense was a force to be reckoned with. State’s defense let Rutgers score 38 points on them, so I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of havoc Michigan will perform on them.
There’s not much to say in favor of MSU. Michigan comes into this game a 24.5 favorite, which is all you need to know. Michigan wins this game, by three to four touchdowns, sealing a Halloween bloodbath.
WEEK THREE VS. INDIANA, 11/7
The Indiana game also intrigues me. Indiana upset Penn State week one in an overtime thriller that came down to the very last play. Some people are calling it a fluke, and that their game winning two-point conversion shouldn’t have counted, but I think Indiana could be the real deal. Albeit they aren’t on the level of OSU or Michigan, they are still a good team and could give Michigan some trouble.
I’m going to need to see Indiana play this week before I say if they’re truly a threat to Michigan, but for now I think Indiana keeps this game close. They have an extremely talented quarterback in Michael Penix Jr, and they will go as far as he can take them. Their defense is average, but I think Michigan will have too many weapons for them to cover.
I predict Michigan wins this one by a touchdown or two, if Indiana is the team that they were against Penn State.
WEEK FOUR VS. WISCONSIN, 11/14
There is virtually no way I can accurately or even semi accurately predict this game. Wisconsin recently experienced a COVID-19 outbreak on their team and has since halted all team activities at this time. All I can say is that Wisconsin looked extremely good in their season opener against Illinois and that I think this game would’ve came down to the wire.
Wisconsin showed they had good quarterback play, good weapons on offense, and a solid defense. Should this game somehow be played in the next few weeks, expect Wisconsin to not be at full strength due to the outbreak. Either this game isn’t played, or Michigan wins against a depleted Wisconsin squad that had their momentum derailed by the pandemic.
WEEK FIVE VS. RUTGERS, 11/21
This is another game where we don’t have much to talk about. I mean, come on. It’s Rutgers. Sure, they beat Michigan State, but that really isn’t that hard to do in 2020. Michigan has dominated Rutgers in every game since they joined the Big Ten, and will continue to do so this year. Rutgers will even have home field and still doesn’t have a shot in the dark to win this game if Michigan is at full strength.
Sorry Rutgers, that’s all I have to say about that game. Michigan almost surely wins by a few scores.
WEEK 6 VS. PENN STATE, 11/28
Finally, we have a game I think Michigan would be in danger of losing. We have yet to see how Penn State will bounce back after the Indiana loss, but if they give OSU some trouble and show themselves to be the team they think they are, then they could be the team to upset Michigan.
On paper, Penn State is a very talented team. I think they just suffered from some COVID rust and lost a fluke game against a team they were far better than. I also think they’re a very gritty team that will bounce back after that Indiana loss. However, if they let the loss get to them and then lose to Ohio State, the losing could start to get to them.
I don’t think that happens though. I think Penn State will bounce back after Indiana and OSU and will give Michigan some trouble in Ann Arbor. This game could go either way, but since I’m saying Michigan comes into this game undefeated and will have momentum, I think Michigan squeaks out a win in a very tight game.
WEEK SEVEN VS. MARYLAND, 12/5
On paper, Michigan is a far superior team than Maryland. However, I don’t think this game will be a blowout. Maryland has some good pieces on their team and has shown to be a thorn in Michigan’s side for years and always keep the game relatively close. With Michigan coming off of a hard game against Penn State, I think they are in slight upset territory with this game, but not much.
Michigan is at home and by this point in the season will be in Ohio State mode. By this point the offense and defense will be very in sync and ready to go. Michigan will most likely win this game, but I really don’t think a blowout is in the cards.
WEEK EIGHT VS. OHIO STATE, 12/12
I want to finally be confident about a Michigan vs. OSU game, I really do. But I’m not, at all. OSU is proving to again be the dominant monster they always are, and even though Michigan is talented, there is still a big gap between them. OSU has owned this rivalry for the past decade, and Michigan doesn’t seem to know how to get over the hump (or guard crossing routes for that matter).
I think there’s a small chance Michigan wins, but it would take a snowstorm or COVID derailments for me to actually have hope in them beating Ohio State. But you can’t bank on those things. I think Ohio State beats Michigan, probably by a lot. I like to think this Michigan team can hang with OSU and make it close, but until Michigan’s defense shows me something else, they won’t win.
FINAL RECORD PREDICTION: 7-1
My final prediction for Michigan is very optimistic, but as a lifelong Michigan fan I’m happy I’m finally able to see a competent offense and defense that looks like they’re all buying into themselves. I think the Big Ten needs to be on notice, because Michigan will be very dangerous for the rest of the season.