2010 Michigan Football Schedule Preview and Predictions
This offseason, Michigan football has had a wild ride. David Brandon stepped in as new athletic director, the NCAA has checked out some alleged violations, and several recruits were denied admission to the school.
Right now, with football season around the corner, this team needs to focus on one thing: getting it done on the field and making a bowl game. Michigan does not need to win the Big Ten or a BCS Championship. They simply need to have a winning season and make a bowl game.
Fans are tired of not being in the bowl talk, winning only one Big Ten game, and being a joke around the NCAA. Will this be the year Michigan rebounds? Here is a look at their 2010 schedule with predictions.
Game One: vs. Connecticut
UConn has a great coach and decent players. They return 15 starters from a team that finished with a win over South Carolina in the Papajohns.com Bowl.
These two teams have never faced each other. If this game was at UConn, I would say it may go the other way. However, Michigan will not get beat at their first home game in their newly renovated stadium.
Michigan wins in a close game, 30-27.
Game Two: at Notre Dame
Looking at this schedule, I thought Michigan was surely going to split their first two games. Since I have them beating Connecticut, they have to lose to Notre Dame in order to split.
Brian Kelly is a great coach with a mediocre team. He has done great things with not-so-great teams before. I expect him to circle the Michigan game as a must-win this season and I expect them to win despite Michigan having the better team.
Notre Dame wins in a tight contest, 28-24.
Game Three: vs. Massachusetts
Ahhh, I always love playing these FCS (formerly I-AA) teams. They are such an adventure.
Massachusetts was 5-6 last year and finished tied for third in the CAA's North Division. This will be a good game for RichRod to experiment a little with his quarterbacks. Hopefully, fans will see some two-QB sets with a little more unpredictability from RichRod.
Michigan will win this game easily 30-10.
Game Four: vs. Bowling Green State
Here is the standard MAC game. Michigan lost a couple years ago for the first time to a MAC team. That will not happen again in the near future, especially to BGSU.
BGSU has made strides as a team, making a bowl game last year. They barely lost in a nailbiter to Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl. They lost several starters, including QB Tyler Sheehan and WR Freddie Barnes.
Fortunately for Michigan, I just do not see them losing this game. They win 35-24.
Game Five: at Indiana
Michigan beat Indiana at home in their lone Big Ten win last season. With Indiana’s program continuing to stay at the bottom of the Big Ten, Michigan has a chance for another Big Ten win this season.
Yes, they travel to Bloomington to take on Indiana, but Michigan plays well at that stadium. They will start off the Big Ten season with a win over Indiana, 24-21.
Game Six: vs. Michigan State
Last year, Michigan made a coaching error that cost the Wolverines the game in East Lansing. Instead of going for two after scoring, Michigan kicked the extra point and put the game into overtime, where it lost.
They are not going to let that happen this year at home. This game will be close until the end, where it will not come down to a point or overtime.
Michigan will punish Michigan State in the fourth quarter and win 28-20.
Game Seven: vs. Iowa
Without a doubt, Iowa is one of the better teams in the Big Ten. They had a great showing last year, starting the season 9-0.
The Hawkeyes return most of their starters, including QB Ricky Stanzi. They lost a couple guys on the offensive line and a couple linebackers, but will most likely rebuild for this upcoming season.
With a tough game at Arizona early in the season and some tough Big Ten opponents, they will not lose to teams lesser than them, even on the road.
Michigan goes down to Iowa 27-17.
Game Eight: at Penn State
This will be a nighttime primetime game on Halloween Eve, and it will be a "White-Out" game, where the PSU student section will wear all white and make this an extremely hostile environment to play in.
With Penn State fighting for a top spot in the Big Ten, it will punish Michigan at home with the help of its crowd.
Michigan goes down 30-14.
Game Nine: vs. Illinois
Illinois has struggled for many years. They had a couple bright years with Juice Williams at QB, but let’s face it, they are not a very good team.
After three tough games in a row, this will be a nice game for the Wolverines to re-focus and get ready for the final push of the Big Ten season. This could be a sort-of “trap” game with the boys looking ahead to Purdue, Wisconsin, and “The Big Game,” but they will find a way to win.
Michigan wins 35-30.
Game 10: at Purdue
Purdue is one of those “toss-up” games. The Boilermakers have a decent football team and they have improved the past couple of seasons.
Last year was head coach Danny Hope’s first season. He will improve his team this year and help them get back to a bowl game.
Because this is on the road, I would say the edge goes to Purdue. I also believe the Boilermakers will be a better football team this year than last year. All that being said, this is a must-win for Michigan, as they have two tough games.
Just for fun, Michigan wins this game on a last-second miracle field goal, 30-28.
Game 11: vs. Wisconsin
Wisconsin has a smash-mouth style of football that tore Michigan up last year. The Badgers have a brutal running game and a defense that likes to hit.
Led by senior QB Scott Tolzien, who has been named to several preseason watch lists for awards, this team will contend for the Big Ten title. Despite this being Michigan’s final home game, they will struggle against this tough team.
Michigan loses 28-17.
Game 12: Ohio State
One of these years Michigan will beat Ohio State. Unfortunately, this is not the year.
Junior Tyrelle Pryor will break out this year and lead his team to the BCS Title game. He is Vince Young-like and has that ability.
Even if Pryor has a mediocre day, the defense and special teams will step up against Michigan. They will not lose to the Wolverines in the Horseshoe. Michigan will be lucky to score a couple touchdowns.
Michigan loses badly 27-10.
Final Record: 7-5
At least we make a bowl game this year. With the Purdue game going either way, this could easily be a 6-6 season.
On the flip side, if Michigan can get an upset or two, they could go 8-4 or 9-3, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. At least this year spells a bowl game.
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