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The Wolverines will be tested right out of the gates when they travel to Jerry's Place at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on September 1st to face Alabama. They will certainly be an underdog against the Crimson Tide, a likely top-ten.
The nation, and especially SEC country, will not give the Wolverines very much respect, but the game could go a long way in the Brad Hoke era.
A close loss would not be completely demoralizing, since some "experts" will be expecting a Crimson Tide comfortable victory.
Defensively, Michigan coordinator Greg Mattison is as good as it gets, and he will have his squad ready for the powerful rushing attack that will likely be led by Alabama backs Eddie Lacy and Dee Hart.
This may be the game where we find out if Denard Robinson is among the elite of college football (if he has a future in the NFL too), and whether he can pull off a slight upset over Alabama (or at least have it come down to the wire), which could help his Wolverines to start smelling roses.
Air Force and Massachusetts (a new FBS team, 124 schools in 2012) visit Ann Arbor the following weeks, which allow the Wolverines to regain their swagger.
The final game of September (9/22) against Notre Dame could be an ESPN College Gameday opportunity, since the Fighting Irish should be undefeated and ranked inside the top 20 (though it's not likely we'll see College Gameday highlighting an NBC-broadcasted game. Instead, they are more likely to go to Dallas for the season opener).
Overall, I do not foresee the Wolverines losing two ball games in the first month with a stingy defense and an offense that is far too explosive.
Way Too Early September Projection: 3-1 (Alabama)