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Michigan Fans Should Lower Expectations for 2017

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2017 Could be an Ugly Year for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh

Capitol One Orange Bowl - Florida State v Michigan Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

I had lunch with a Michigan fan the other day and got to talking about 2017. He’s dour, but that’s because he’s a football guy. He knows what’s on the horizon for the Wolverines…he’s also in the minority.

It seems that the expectations for Michigan football are a bit inflated…

As our friends at Maize and Brew pointed out recently, the waaay too early Top-25 rankings for 2017 are out. And since it was pointed out on a Michigan fan-boy site, you guessed it…Michigan landed in the top 25 on both the Athlon Sports and Sporting News lists.

Not just the top 25, but in the top 10. Michigan was #10 on Athlon and #8 in the Sporting News.

What in actual fuck?

OTE "writers" may not watch the games, but we can do the math. Michigan loses everybody this year. They have 42 seniors on the team. That includes guys like Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh, Taco Charlton, Chris Wormley, Jourdan Lewis, De’Veon Smith, Mason Cole, Ryan Glasgow, Channing Stribling, Jake Butt, and probably Jabrill Peppers.

Holy shit, that’s a pro team, right there...I could coach that team to a win over the Browns right now.

The only guys coming back are the fucking water boy and Wilton Speight. And yet, the authors of these top-25 lists are sure that Michigan is a top ten team next year. Jeez on toast, that’s a fucking stretch. It’s no wonder Michigan fans are delusional…if I had this much smoke blown up my ass, I’d be a crazed homer too.

Somehow, the idea that Michigan’s second teamers are going to replace a Butt-load of talent (pun intended) is ludicrous. I know Michigan recruited at a high level for the last few years…but this team was loaded with high-star kids with several years of experience.

So, forgive me if I’m skeptical…

Michigan barely finished the 2016 season in the top 10, with this team. For 2017, they lose an incredible lineup of talent at both skill positions and in the trenches. Yet somehow the miracle of Harbaugh will turn these kids into a top ten team next year?

Get the hell out of here. He couldn’t coach great kids to be winners, I’ll be shocked if he can get the best out of under-classmen. It will be a miracle if Speight doesn’t spend much of next season on his ass, a la Hackenberg’s 2014 campaign. And if he goes down…the season is sunk.

Michigan will be lucky to finish third in the East next year.

Here’s the schedule and my way too early prediction:

That’s life in the new Big Ten, Michigan fans. When you reload, like you will do in 2017, things could get ugly.

Believing the preseason hype will only make you hurt, bitter, and angry during the season. So manage your expectations…prepare for a season of disappointment. And set up a go-fund-me campaign now to replace Jimmy’s head-sets…he’s going to need it.

Your Friend,

Townie