2012-13 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Michigan Wolverines
It’s hard to label Brady Hoke’s first season with the Michigan Wolverines as anything but a major success. Hoke led the team to an 11-2 record and a BCS bowl win over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Last year showed that Hoke knows how to win in the Big Ten.
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Big 10 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Michigan Wolverines
Head Coach: Brady Hoke
2011 Record 11-2
Michigan Gambling Odds from JustBet to win BCS Championship: +3,000
Michigan Gambling Odds from JustBet to win Big 10 Conference: +200
Michigan Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>
Even bigger for the Wolverines future, Michigan sits atop the 2013 recruiting rankings right now. Hoke clearly has this team heading back toward the top.
There were a couple caveats in last year’s 11-2 season. Michigan avoided playing Wisconsin, who was the class of the Big Ten. In addition, the Wolverines lost to Michigan State, who was the second best team in the Big Ten. They still have a little ways to go to beat the best, but the 2011 season was a major stepping stone. What can this team do for an encore in 2012?
It would be difficult to find a better backfield in the nation. Michigan has Denard Robinson, who is the best running quarterback in the country. Robinson has more than 3,000 rushing yards in his career, and he is well on his way to breaking the Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Heading into last season there was a big question mark at the running back spot, but not anymore. Fitzgerald Toussaint gained steam as the season went along. He rushed for 100 yards or more in four of the team’s last six games. He nearly had as many rushing yards as Robinson, and he’ll be a handful for defenses again in 2012.
The secondary is one of the best in the nation. Jordan Kovacs is a leader in the secondary, and he has gotten progressively better each year. All four starters from last year’s Sugar Bowl are back, and that unit was terrific against the pass last year. J.T. Floyd and Blake Countess are great cover corners, and they allow the safeties to take more risks in the open field.
All three starting linebackers return, and the depth at this position is much improved compared to a couple years ago. Look for Kenny Demens to have a big year at the middle linebacker spot.
The defensive front is the Wolverines biggest area of concern heading into this season. Losing Mike Martin in the middle of the defense is a huge blow. Also, Ryan Van Bergen was a four-year starter and he is gone. The Wolverines don’t have a ton of depth here, and they could end up having trouble stopping teams who run the ball well.
Michigan lacks a big play maker on the outside. The running game will be great this year, but they’ll have to make some big plays through the air. Roy Roundtree must step up this year, and some of the inexperienced newcomers will have to make an impact right away.
2012-2013 Michigan Wolverines Football Prediction: 9-4
Michigan’s schedule is much more difficult this season. The Wolverines play Alabama in the season opener. They must also travel to Notre Dame, and after last year’s game you can bet the Fighting Irish want revenge. They still avoid Wisconsin, but the Wolverines will play a much improved Ohio State team in Columbus. I can’t see this team getting to 11 wins again in 2012. Look for a good year out of Michigan, but contending for a BCS title is still a couple years away.
2012 Michigan Schedule
9/1/12 8:00 PM ET @ALAB
9/8/12 3:30 PM ET AIRFC
9/15/12 3:30 PM ET MASS
9/22/12 7:30 PM ET @NOTRE
10/6/12 TBD @PURD
10/13/12 3:30 PM ET ILL
10/20/12 TBD MCHST
10/27/12 TBD @NEB
11/3/12 TBD @MINN
11/10/12 TBD NWEST
11/17/12 TBD IOWA
11/24/12 12:00 PM ET @OHIST