The Michigan Wolverines are currently ranked No. 8 in the AP’s preseason Top 25 poll, but they won’t be there for long after the Alabama Crimson Tide are done thrashing them.
These teams are set to clash on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC, and there is absolutely no way that ‘Bama loses this one or even lets Michigan keep it close.
From top to bottom, the Tide are the better team and will have no problem obliterating the Wolverines in this contest.
Let’s take a look at exactly why this is the case.
Nick Saban Doesn’t Lose Early Games
Since taking over the Crimson Tide in 2007, Saban has yet to lose one of the first three games of the season.
That includes impressive victories over No. 23 Penn State in 2011, No. 18 Penn State in 2010, No. 7 Virginia Tech in 2009 and No. 9 Clemson in 2008.
Things will not change against No. 8 Wolverines when the Hall of Fame head coach leads his No. 2 Tide into this contest.
No coach is better at preparing his young players to start a season, even when the expectations are high and the pressure is at its highest. The Tide have the mental edge in this one and that will play a huge role in the outcome.
Alabama’s Offensive Line is Too Much for Wolverines
The Crimson Tide simply have the best group of pass protectors and run blockers in college football.
D.J. Fluker, Cyrus Kouandijo, Chance Warmack, Barrett Jones and Anthony Steen are all returning from last season and have the size and skill to dominate anyone they face in 2012.
They’ll have no problem against an inexperienced Michigan front seven, especially since they have a defensive line that is only returning a single starter in senior Craig Roh.
The sheer size of ‘Bama’s line will strike fear in the hearts of the Wolverines, and once Tide QB A.J. McCarron has all day to throw and the backs are running all over the place, it’s all but over.
Crimson Tide Defense Will Overwhelm Michigan
Denard Robinson is still a major threat to the Tide, but he can be focused on without much worry. Robinson lost his top two receivers from 2011 and may not have No. 1 RB Fitz Toussaint if he is indeed suspended.
There is simply no way that a Saban-led defense—which is admittedly worse than last year’s powerhouse group—will falter against a group of unproven players and backups.
Expect Denard to make a few highlight plays, but his impact on the scoreboard and stat sheet will be minuscule.
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