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First-year Ohio State coach Urban Meyer
Ohio State might be a tough nut to crack...
Michigan's 40-34 win in 2011 over Ohio State snapped a seven-year itch—I mean, seven-year losing streak—to their southern neighbors (that's if you include Ohio State's vacated victory from 2010).
This fall, the Wolverines look to post back-to-back wins over the Buckeyes for the first time since 1999-2000.
But it may not happen for reasons mentioned in previous slides—particularly the Wolverines' poor defense, which has surrendered over 400 yards of total offense in both games so far.
Quarterback Denard Robinson went out of his mind in 2011, passing for 167 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 170 yards and two scores. Michigan will need more of the same from him this season.
Let's take a look at Michigan's schedule to see just how important the Ohio State game is in terms of reaching bowl eligibility.
Schedule via TheWolverine.com
Week 1 - Alabama (L, 41-14)
Week 2 - Air Force (W, 31-25)
Week 3 - UMass (most likely a win)
Week 4 - at Notre Dame (could be a loss)
Week 5 - at Purdue (most likely a win)
Week 6 - Illinois (most likely a win)
Week 7 - Michigan State (could be a loss)
Week 8 - at Nebraska (50-50 game)
Week 9 - at Minnesota (most likely a win)
Week 10 - Northwestern (50-50 game)
Week 11 - Iowa (50-50 game)
Week 12 - at Ohio State (Michigan hasn't won at Columbus since 2000, could be a loss)
Let's say Michigan enters Ohio State Week with five wins.
The pressure would be on to win a sixth game just to be considered for a bowl game. That's where the challenge of winning at least seven games comes into play.
But let's look at it another way: Michigan loses to Ohio State but wins games it should, prior to playing the Buckeyes.
In reality, Michigan should beat UMass, Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota. Iowa and Northwestern could be tough games, but those are being played at home, which caters to Michigan's advantage.
If Michigan loses to Notre Dame and Michigan State and stumbles against Illinois or Purdue, it would walk into Week 8 with a 4-3 or 3-4 record.
Just a little food for thought.
Here is more food for thought.