Victories over Ohio State in "The Game" and Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl propelled Michigan to a No. 12 ranking in the final 2011 Associated Press Poll.
Back from the 11-2 squad are 16 starters, including All-America and Heisman Trophy candidate Denard Robinson at quarterback.
But a return trip to a BCS Bowl won't be easy. Michigan opens its season with defending national championship Alabama, and faces rivals Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State on the road. To make matters worse, starting tailback Fitz Toussaint (1,041 rushing yards) may miss the season opener due to a OWI arrest.
Let's take a look at where Michigan projects to land in the 2012 AP Preseason Poll.