Michigan Football: Power Ranking Toughest Games on 2013 Schedule

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Devin Gardner #12 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to elude the tackle attempt of Ryan Shazier #10 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

After posting an unspectacular 8-5 record last season, Michigan is looking for more success in 2013.

While the team is losing a lot of talent due to graduation on both sides of the ball, there is plenty of reason to be excited about the upcoming year. All-American tackle Taylor Lewan will anchor the offensive line, while Devin Gardner showed last season that he could succeed at quarterback.

Still, there will be plenty of teams trying to prevent the Wolverines from putting together a good season.

These will be the toughest matchups for Michigan on the 2013 schedule.


5. Nov. 2 at Michigan State

Traveling to East Lansing is never easy. Even though Michigan State lost its best offensive weapon in Le'Veon Bell, the defense will remain one of the best in the country.

The good news is that the game comes later in the year as the young offense starts to come together. Once Gardner starts to hit his stride, plus the addition of freshman Derrick Green at running back, the offense should be clicking.

Without a tough offense to stop, the Wolverines should be able to survive this game.


4. Oct. 12 at Penn State

After a poor start to the year, Penn State regained its momentum and ended up winning eight of its last 10 games.

It was all for nothing as the team was ineligible for the postseason and remains that way for a few years.

However, Bill O'Brien showed that his team still has a lot of talent and is willing to fight all season long. This will make things difficult for Michigan in the trip to Happy Valley.


3. Nov. 9 vs. Nebraska

Now a rising senior, quarterback Taylor Martinez has the potential to be one of the biggest playmakers in the country.

The dual-threat QB runs the option to perfection and will have Ameer Abdullah beside him as one of the best running backs in the Big Ten.

While the Wolverines have talent on defense, the linebackers will be put to the test as they try to stay with this lightning fast offense.


2. Sept. 7 vs. Notre Dame

Notre Dame lost Manti Te'o and a few other leaders, but this is still one of the top teams in the country.

Everett Golson will be improved in his second year running the offense, and the defense has just as much talent as it did a year ago behind defensive tackle Louis Nix III.

It will be a stretch to think that Notre Dame can return to the national title game. However, this game on the second week of the year is certain to be a challenge.


1. Nov. 30 vs. Ohio State

Once again, the game that Michigan players and fans should circle on the calendar is Nov. 30 against Ohio State.

Quarterback Braxton Miller is certain to be a Heisman candidate as the Buckeyes look to repeat their 12-0 mark from last season. Although the team was ineligible for the postseason last year, the squad is ready to play for a conference and national championship this season.

Even if the Wolverines struggle throughout the season, they are certain to come to play in this one in an effort to prevent good things from happening to their rivals. 

Hopefully, Michigan has what it takes to win this high-profile battle at home.