Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Insanely Early Look at the 2010 Football Season: Part 1

With spring practice in full swing and the spring game fast approaching, football is in the air. Before of course it disappears again over the summer. While we wait out these few months until September, I'm going to take a brief look over the schedule and do some previewing, just based on knowledge and really no research. So, without further ado, a ridiculously early 2010 football preview. Today, I'll be previewing the first half of the season.
9/4- vs UConn
The theme last year for UConn for close, but no cigar as the Huskies lost countless games by excruciatingly close margins. UConn has most of its core coming back and is certainly a contender in the Big East and a good opponent. However, UConn's inability to win the close ones is going to haunt them, especially because on paper at least this looks like a very close game. It's really too early to tell, but I'm going to go ahead and try anyway. Likely result: Win
9/11- at Notre Dame
Out with the old in with the new. Notre Dame has completely changed from last year to now. They have a new coach, a new QB, and new wide recievers. However, many of the teams core remains the same as the one that battled Michigan down to the very last play of the game at the Big House. This game will be another barn burner. Likely result: Loss
9/18- vs UMass
Really not much to say here. From what I think I know, UMass is a sold 1-AA team that won some games last year. However, I don't think they can compete with the athletes at Michigan. Likely result: Win
9/25- vs Bowling Green
Also not too much necessary. The Eagles were not atrocious last year but they just don't have the athletes to play with Michigan. Likely result: Win
10/2- at Indiana
Indiana returns most of their starters from a team that went 1-7 in the Big Ten last year, including a loss to Michigan, the Wolverines only win of the Big Ten season. It's going to be another rough year in Bloomington so the Hoosier faithful better hope their basketball gets back on track if they want a good rooting interest. Likely result: Win
10/9- vs Michigan State
It's time folks. Yes, the last time Michigan beat Sparty in football OR basketball was in 2007, when Chad Henne and the football team completed a wild comeback to pull off a shocking 28-24 victory at Spartan Stadium. This lead Mike Hart to smugly state his infamous "little brother" quote. And Michigan hasn't beaten the Spartans in a major two sport (basketball and football) game since. This will change. Although Michigan is still not a great football team, Michigan State lost nine players from last year who were involved in a bar fight that led to expulsion from the team. Two former players are in jail right now. Likely result: Win

So there you have the first half of the year. After a quick glance: 5-1 (2-0). The Notre Dame game I expect to be close so maybe even 6-0. This is extremely optimistic but not impossible. Let's hear your thoughts in the comments. The second half of the preview will come probably later this week and I'll have a real preview closer to the season with an actual projected record (this is just for fun). Thanks for reading!

Off-Season Update: Football Game at Wrigley Field?!?!

Just to keep the site somewhat active here's some offseason fluff to munch on. Included in this post: some other sports (hockey, basketball); Brandom Graham NFL draft update; football spring practice update; football game at Wrigley?!?!

-Quick shoutout to the UM Hockey team. After struggling through a tough regular season that saw the team lose any chances of an at large bid into the NCAA tournament, the guys (especially former walk-on goalie Shawn Hunwick) came through in the CCHA tournament, going 6-0-0 and winning the conference. After a 5-1 first round win over Bemidji State, the Wolverines went into OT in a 2-2 game against No. 1 seeded Miami (OH). A lose puck goal appeared to give UM the win in OT, but it was waved off on a brutal early whistle. Miami went on to win 3-2 in the second OT.

-The basketball season had a couple bright spots, but it was mainly lowlights and it ended fittingly on the most painful loss of the season. Not much else to say here. Good luck to Manny Harris and DeShawn Simms going on in professional basketball (Manny is expected to be a late second round pick, DeShawn most likely undrafted and go through either Europe or the D-League).

-With the NFL draft fast approaching, Michigan's best draft prospect, DE Brandon Graham has been ramping up with workload. Brandon is expected to go early in the draft, likely in the Top 10. Good luck to Brandon.

-In football spring practice Michigan's defense is installing a new 3-3-5 system that is risky but anything should be better than last years defense. Also star freshman quarterback Devon Gardner seems likely to be heading for a redshirt in order to get him as many starting years possible (likely two with Tate being around until 2012).

-Also rumors are being tossed around that the Michigan at Northwestern game in 2011 could be played at Wrigley Field, most likely at a 12:00 pm or 3:30 pm start. Nothing is official yet, just something to note.