Even though we are nowhere near the start of the 2013 season, it's never too early to discuss the advantages Michigan will have over Ohio State.
Some people occasionally like to compare intangibles such as leadership and strategies and whatnot; however, I'm sticking strictly to position groups and personnel.
The following positions listed are simply four positions in which Michigan has an edge over OSU.
Some people may laugh at this one, but it needs to be included for one reason: Brendan Gibbons.
Gibbons was one of the best kickers in the country this past year and will be once again as he heads into his fifth and final season.
This young man made all 45 of his extra points last year and only missed two field goals, both of which were more than 40 yards. With his pinpoint accuracy and history of making huge kicks, Gibbons may just be the best kicker in the country heading into 2013.
Drew Basil will also be back for OSU. Some may point out the fact that he only missed three kicks all of last year, but he only had 11 attempts!
Plus, he only made two kicks all season longer than 40 yards. Gibbons, without a doubt, has the advantage in this category.
Tight end was supposed to be a liability for Michigan last season, but it didn't turn out that way. The main reason was because of the emergence of Devin Funchess and A.J. Williams.
Both young tight ends will only continue to get better, and the addition of Jake Butt will make this group even stronger.
All three tight ends will see plenty of time this fall and should form a very solid trio.
Both of OSU's primary tight ends are back in Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman, but that might not be saying much.
Neither did a whole lot last year, and honestly, neither one's ceiling may be very high. Some will just simply blame it on the offensive system that OSU runs, but regardless, Vannett and Heuerman are nothing special.
Michigan has a big advantage in this one.
Some people may be surprised to see this one on here. Sure, OSU has a good one in Brad Roby, but what about their other corner spot?
It will likely go to Doran Grant, who is mostly inexperienced and untested. If he should falter, there is absolutely no experience behind him.
Armani Reeves, Eli Apple and Cam Burrows may be the next three in line; all three are extremely young with no experience.
Michigan, on the other hand, has a rising star in Raymon Taylor and is getting a huge boost with the return of Blake Countess. If Countess can bounce back from his injury and return to his freshman form (as expected), Michigan's corner duo would be deadly.
Honestly, they just might have the best duo in the Big Ten. Some folks may like OSU's personnel better just because of Roby, but as a whole, Michigan's is better.
Out of all of the positions on this list, this one is probably the most important. Plus, it's the one Michigan looks to have the biggest advantage in.
Michigan's linebacking corps is arguably the biggest strength on their team; there are four guys capable of starting, but obviously only three will be able to. Whoever the odd man out is, though, might as well be listed as a co-starter.
Jake Ryan will only continue to get better and better, as will Desmond Morgan as he gains more experience. However, the real intrigue surrounds the two youngsters, Joe Bolden and James Ross. Both will be sophomores and both saw plenty of action last year; only one will likely start, though.
OSU, on the other hand, has somewhat of a mess at linebacker. Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein have all graduated from last year's team.
Ryan Shazier is obviously back, but there's nothing but questions beyond him. Curtis Grant has been a complete bust in his career to this point, so it's hard to depend on him. Josh Perry may start, but he is still young and mostly inexperienced.
Plus, depth is a big issue. If Grant or Perry struggles, David Perkins, Camren Williams and Luke Roberts look to be next in line, but none have any experience.
Michigan has a wide advantage in this position that is oh so important.