Embed from Getty Images Picking a preseason champion in July is either daring or dumb, I freely admit that. Most seasons in July team to beat was Ohio State. Under Jim Harbaugh Michigan was never the logical pick to win the Big Ten title. Until this season. I believe this is the season Michigan gets over-the-hump and beats Ohio State.
The college football landscape changes often. Making a prediction on what a college football team has done over the past five to 10 years is not wise. What a team has right now is all that matters.
Heading into the 2019-20 college football season, Michigan has fewer question marks in key areas than the rest of the Big Ten teams. The Wolverines have a senior quarterback, Shea Patterson, who helped them go 10-3 a year ago they also have a trio of the best wide receivers in the country. Two of the wide outs have NFL written all over them, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins.
A painful fact from last season, Michigan was one of the slowest moving non option teams nationally and it showed in the Wolverines three losses. The defense was cripples by and offense that did all it could to play possession football.
Enter new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis who will be the lone offensive play caller. Jim Harbaugh will not step in. Now in Ann Arbor is a no huddle, spread based offense. Yet it will be set up by the run.
Michigan’s defense will not be as good as it was last season or the year before. Michigan does have eight players who have starting experience. Serious question abound on the secondary and middle linebacker.
The schedule isn’t easy, but Michigan gets both conference rivalry games at home. Army and Notre Dame will be serious challenging non-conference teams but the results do not count in the Big Ten standings.
So here in July, Harbaugh’s football team has what it needs to win the Big Ten this year. They look like they are in a good position to win the elusive Big Ten title. But, a word of caution, looks can be deceiving.