I don't want to sit here and say Michigan will win this game and will lose this game next season.
Instead, I want to look at how many games the Michigan Wolverines have next season that are “winnable”.
Now when I say winnable, I mean a realistic shot at being competitive and have a real chance at coming out of the game with more points than the other team.
The Huskies return two quarterbacks who threw for over 1,300 yards last season, and a running back that ran for over 1,000 yards.
They return 16 starters from a team that went 8-5 last year. Also in those five losses, they lost by a combined 15 points.
This will not be a game that Michigan can take lightly. But after an offseason of improvement by many of the younger players, specifically Denard Robinson and the inspirational moment of being led onto the field by a walking Brock Mealer.
Michigan should make this a good football game. Rich Rodriguez cannot afford to start the season with a loss.
This should be a very good game, that is very much winnable.
I am very happy we get to play Notre Dame early in the year. Breaking in a new quarterback and trying to fix a horrific defense is no easy task, but Brian Kelly is that good of a coach.
This game will be a very competitive game on both sides.
Brian Kelly's offense should be able to have their way with Michigan's secondary that gave up many big plays in the passing game a year ago.
But as well as Notre Dame should be able to pass against Michigan, the Wolverines should be able to do anything they want against the Fighting Irish's defense.
This game should be a lot like last year in that whoever has the ball last could be the winner. Making this another winnable game.
Massachusetts is a FCS, (formerly D1-AA) team. And no they are not Appalachian State. Final score should be a lot like the Delaware State game was last year.
Very much Winnable.
This is not a top half of the Mac team that is a serious threat. But neither was Toledo two years ago.
If Michigan takes them seriously, this game should be another easy win. If not, they could be the next team on the list that everyone brings up when speaking about Michigan's struggles.
Yet another winnable game.
Last year, this game came down to the last moments where Michigan needed a turnover from Donovan Warren to seal a victory. This game should be another shootout.
Indiana has good returning players on offense such as, QB Ben Chappell, RB Darius Willis, and WR's Tandon Doss and Damarlo Belcher. More bad news for Michigan, no Donovan Warren this year to make the big play at the end of the game.
But since Michigan won last year and the offense should be able to keep up with the Hoosiers, another winnable game.
I will start by just saying this is a very winnable game.
Don't get me wrong, Michigan State has a lot of playmakers on offense and defense. QB Kirk Cousins, RB's Larry Caper and Edwin Baker, WR's Mark Dell and Keyshawn Martin, TE's Dion Sims and Charlie Gantt, on offense. With DL Jerel Worthy, LB's Greg Jones, and CB Chris L. Rucker, on defense.
The Spartans entire season rests on the guys up front, and after watching the Spartans spring game live and on TV, they have serious issues on the offensive and defensive lines.
They need a real pass-rusher on the edge, and they need people who can open holes for the RB's. Some of this will be fixed by having linebackers blitz the QB, but this may or may not solve the problem.
There are two reasons this game is winnable for Michigan.
1. Michigan's offensive line should be able to control the line of scrimmage.
2. MSU should not be able to contain Mike Martin, Ryan Van Bergen, Will Campbell, and Craig Roh.
This game came down to OT last year with Michigan playing with a freshmen QB in his first ever road game. This year, the game is in Ann Arbor and should be another close football game, again winnable.
Last year, Iowa was one game away from winning the Big Ten Championship, losing to Ohio State by a last second field goal.
This year they bring back their starting QB, Ricky Stanzi. However, they lost three offensive lineman to graduation and the NFL.
Iowa also lost some key players on defense such as, Amari Spievey and Pat Angerer, but bring back one of the best players in the conference in Adrian Clayborn.
This game on paper looks like a blowout. But last year, Iowa beat Michigan by only two points in what many Michigan fans think could have been a win had Rich Rodriguez put in Tate Forcier on the final drive over Denard Robinson.
Given what this team did last year at Iowa, this is yet another winnable game. It would take a great game from the Wolverines, which is possible.
Everything about this game says Michigan has no chance to win. It's Penn State. It's Jo Paterno. It's a night game in Happy Valley, one of the toughest places to play in America.
But the facts say that Penn State will not be the same team as the past couple years.
Penn State must rebuild their defense after losing players like, Navarro Bowman, Sean Lee, Josh Hull, and Jared Oderick.
The other position they will have to replace is at QB. Daryll Clark is out and Kevin Newsome is in?
Not sure who will play after early enrollee Paul Jones had the best spring game of the three QB's fighting for the job. Also, freshmen Robert Bolden gets there this fall.
Who knows how all of this will work out in Happy Valley, but until they answer these questions this game seems winnable.
Michigan lost an embarrassing game to Illinois last season. That game was an example that a “winnable” game does not mean you will actually win.
The Wolverines were tore up by one Juice Williams. Luckily for Michigan, Juice graduated and is now trying to make the Chicago Bears football team.
Without Juice's almost 600 yards of total offense against the Wolverines the past two years, I don't know where Illinois offense will come from.
The Fighting Illini look to be at the bottom of the Big Ten this year, and this should be another winnable game.
Purdue has now beaten the Wolverines two years in a row by a combined eight points.
Purdue has a new QB, Robert Marve, a transfer from Miami, and another QB Justin Siller, who is returning to the team after a year of academic issues.
Michigan fans should remember Siller. In 2008, he threw for 266 yards with three TD's, and ran for 77 yards and another score. He will most likely play somewhere other than QB because of Marve, being he is a great athlete.
Also don't forget about the feud between head coaches Rich Rodriguez and Danny Hope.
This year's game looks to be another shootout that comes down to one or two possessions. Again a winnable game.
Well, for all the people who think that at this point that I think that every game is winnable, this game would take a miracle for Michigan to win.
Wisconsin returns QB Scott Tolzien, and reigning Big Ten Player of the Year RB John Clay. Wisconsin always has a very good offensive line, and a very stout defense. I don't see this year to be any different.
I think Michigan could be competitive, I just think it would take an extraordinary performance from Tate Forcier and the Wolverine defense to win the game.
If I have learned one thing from this rivalry, its that anything can happen.
In a paper matchup, Ohio State wins this game 10 out of 10 times. But there is so much emotion that goes into this game that anything can happen.
I was at the game last year, and there was never a moment until late in the fourth quarter that Michigan was out of that game. If Michigan could have scored one more time, the outcome could have been very different.
The Wolverines played an inspired game last year, and if they would have cut the turnovers who knows. But OSU dominated the pace of the game and won with their type of a football game.
OSU and Michigan return almost everyone from last year's teams with the exception being Michigan lost some talented players on defense. Ohio State should win, but don't be surprised by anything in this rivalry.
So in theory this game is not winnable, in reality it would take a miracle. But there have been many miracles in this rivalry. But I doubt this is the year.
So in all, I truly believe the Michigan Wolverines have 10 winnable games next year.
Does that mean they will win 10 games. Maybe and maybe not.
I thought they had eight winnable games last year, turned out Michigan had a chance to win nine games and actually won five of them. We won't know what will happen until the fall, so until then all we can do is speculate what we think will happen.
So there is my prediction and let's hope that the Maize and Blue pull out all ten or even more and shock the world.