You can just admit right now that you have no idea how this Michigan team will do in 2017. It’s an aggravating point/counterpoint that won’t die for two weeks when Florida lines up across the field and then oh thank God the off-season is over.
Hey, the offense and defense went through close to 100% turnover! Michigan is going to struggle! (BUT WAIT) The backups of 2016 were just as talented as the players they were replacing and by all accounts are ready for Big Ten football!
The offense lost all its playmakers! (BUT WAIT) The veteran QB returns, they’ll be just fine on O.
Peppers is gone, he did everything! (BUT WAIT) We’ve got superstar in the making (maybe) Rashan Gary ready to go!
Blitzing on 75% of downs is a bad idea with inexperienced players! (BUT WAIT) Don Brown is a defensive guru, he’ll figure it out!
So you don’t know. The OTE summer preview didn’t know either. But we do know a couple things:
Good Michigan O-Line, Good Michigan. If they can play smashmouth football like Jim Harbaugh dreams of, Michigan is going to win games. But the line is young and mostly untested.
Super Early. Last year Michigan wasn’t truly tested until the season was half over. Florida, Cinci, Air Force...We’re going to know pretty quick what’s going on in AA.
No Hot Seat. Jim Harbaugh has created enough goodwill from stabilizing the program and ramping up the recruiting; there won’t be any doubts about the coaching staff or any fan revolt. 2018 has been circled as “the year” for Michigan - 2017 is “first look” time for many of these big time recruits.
Key B1G Games. At PSU, at Wisconsin, home versus Ohio State...That’s the season right there, barring an upset loss to Minnesota (40-4 series advantage since 1968).
SEO Harbaugh. I’ve always philosophized the Jimmy H celebrity is quite helpful to players, as he takes all the media attention and clicks and the players can concentrate on playing football.
OTE Predicts...A surprisingly aggressive averaged 9.7 - 2.3 record predicted by the OTE writers, with 11-1 on the high end and 8-4 on the low end. Surprisingly the Michigan guys (BG and GF) said 9-3 and 8-4.