Welcome to The Sports Bank 77 in 77. We’re previewing one team a day everyday as the college football season approaches. And we’re doing it in rapid fire sequence. Today, the Michigan Wolverines.
2011 was: outstanding Michigan. In his first year at the helm for the maize and blue, Brady Hoke led the down-and-out Wolverines to a 10-2 regular season record on their way to a Sugar Bowl championship, immediately bringing Michigan back to the forefront of the Big Ten. With many key players returning, lots of fans in Ann Arbor are excited for 2012.
2012 will go smoothly if: Denard Robinson continues to lead the transforming offense of Brady Hoke. The Heisman candidate has, without question, the ability to lead the Wolverines to another double-digit-win season and BCS bowl berth. The experience level at both linebacker and in the secondary suggests that their pass defense should be better this season than last. Also, if Hoke has been able to continue to transform the offense into one more to his liking, the offensive line and RB Fitzgerald Toussaint will take much of the pressure off of Robinson. Expect the offense and defense to be even better than they were last season.
2012 will be rough if: Michigan falls in a couple of their early road games at Notre Dame, and Alabama; their toughest game of the season in week one. Michigan stands a good chance of starting their season 0-1, and if they’re not careful, they could have two losses before conference play begins. Considering Michigan has a tough conference schedule ahead of them with games at Nebraska and Ohio State, the Wolverines can only afford a 3-1 non-conference record.
BMOC: Defensive Backs Jordan Kovacs, Thomas Gordon, and J.T. Floyd all return to lead the pass defense this season. Not to mention Blake Countess, the sophomore who snagged a starting- job halfway through last season. All these guys have the ability to be all-conference performers for the Wolverines’ defense.
All Name Team: TE Mike Kwiatkowski, OL Joey Burynski, K Seth Browkhuizen
Bottom Line: Be ready for a 10-2 or 11-1 record for the Wolverines. After a surprisingly great first season, Brady Hoke and his staff should have this team ready to go for 2012. With 13 combined returning starters from last season, they will field a great deal of talent and experience. And with an entire offseason to work with, expect Hoke and his crew to have the Wolverines fully prepared for a run at the conference championship in 2012.
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