B1G Schedule Breakdown: Michigan

Wait, we have to predict Michigan, too?

Leaders: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
Legends: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

Michigan Wolverines
2011 Overall Record: 11-2
2011 Big Ten Record: 6-2

Sept 1vs Alabama (Arlington, TX)
Sept 8Air Force
Sept 15UMass
Sept 22@ Notre Dame
Oct 6@ Purdue
Oct 13Illinois
Oct 20Michigan State
Oct 27@ Nebraska
Nov 3@ Minnesota
Nov 10Northwestern
Nov 17Iowa
Nov 23@ Ohio State

Do Not Play
Penn State

Biggest Game
Where to start? The opener against the defending national champion Crimson Tide is going to be a big one. But given that it's the opener, it's only time we'll play them, it's at a neutral site and it's a non-conf game means that it really doesn't belong in the conversation. Yes, it's a big game that will air in primetime, but in terms of Michigan making it to Indy in December 1st...it's really meaningless.

The game of the year, hands down, is on October 20th in Ann Arbor when Michigan State comes to town. Michigan State currently holds a 4-game win streak in this series. No game in the Legends division is bigger than this one. And I suppose by default that means this is probably the biggest B1G regular season game. The winner control their own destiny in the league after this game.

Non-Conference Loss
You'd have to be crazy not to pick Alabama. Although I think Notre Dame in South Bend at night is just as daunting.

It's a Trap!
Northwestern could play spoiler if Michigan is coming off big wins against Michigan State and then Nebraska on the road. All 5 of Michigan's Legends opponents are back-to-back...so potential for spoiler is huge just like Iowa was last year.

The Game Destined for ESPN3.com
The only possibility would be UMass, but as we all know, that game airs at 3:30 on BTN.

Final Analysis
I think Michigan losses to either Alabama or Notre Dame – most likely Bama. That should take them out of serious national title contention unless all hell breaks loose and the polls get wacky. I also think Michigan gets it's win against Michigan State on October 20th.

However, like last year, a road loss in the division could come back to haunt Michigan. Lincoln at night can be a tough place to win. Last year Michigan's most complete and impressive win came against Nebraska in week 12 of the season. I just don't see that happening again. A loss in Lincoln could give the Huskers the inside track to Indy.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 3-1
Division Record: 4-1
Crossover Record: 3-0
Overall: 10-2
Bowl: Capital One Bowl

1 comment

  1. Crossover record: 3-0? Is that a second straight victory over Ohio State that you just predicted?? Love it! GO BLUE!