Friday, August 24, 2012

Hoke's Mad Magicians' 2012 Michigan Football Staff Predictions

Michigan faces an exciting 2012 slate starting off with Alabama, under the lights against Notre Dame and Nebraska, facing rival Michigan State at home, and ending with arch-rival Ohio State in the Horsheshoe with Urban Meyer on the sidelines.  There's no denying that Michigan is set-up for some exciting games and match-ups this season, but how will the Wolverines do this year?  It seems like everybody has an opinion about how the Wolverines will fare against one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2012 and the key offseason losses of Mike Martin, David Molk, and Junior Hemingway.  Well, in unsurprising fashion, our staff has some interesting opinons of their own as well.  They say some things are better by committee, so check out what our staff has to say about Michigan's chances in 2012:

Thomas Beindit - @tbeindit
Once last season ended and all eyes turned to 2012, I must have been asked my predictions for Michigan about a hundred times.  Many of the questions revolved around my predictions for the season opener against Alabama, but the context of the questions revolved around the same things.  Could Michigan meet expectations for 2012 and would the insanely tough schedule knock out any chance at having a successful season?  The answer is pretty complex for both questions.  Yes, Michigan has a very difficult schedule, but should the expectation be to win all the games?  Some fans may say so, but most of the realistic fans will probably answer that with a no.  Along with that, two of the most difficult games on the schedule, Alabama and Notre Dame, are in non-conference games, meaning that they don't even play a factor in Michigan's chances to win a Big Ten title and go to the Rose Bowl.  If you believe in Brady Hoke's statements, a Big Ten title will be a successful year in Ann Arbor and I tend to agree, especially this year.  I think Michigan has the pieces for a great run at the Big Ten title.  The schedule is simply too difficult to win double digit games in the regular season, but if Michigan can defeat MSU, they should be headed to Indy for the Big Ten Championship game with a great chance at heading to Pasadena.  Unfortunately, I predict losses against Alabama and Ohio State and I think Michigan will lose to either Notre Dame or Nebraska, but I think the Wolverines should go undefeated at home and although their record will appear worse, the season may actually be better than last year given the circumstances.
Prediction - 9-3

Kyle Curtiss - @maizenblu
There is no denying Michigan has a brutal schedule in 2012. Anyone else remember the last time we opened up a season against a caliber opponent? Against the defending national champions? On the road? I know Hoke has taken the team to Ford Field to simulate the stadium atmosphere, but that still isn't Cowboy Stadium. That, my friends, is a loss. It's true, it's true. Following week is Air Force, which is a win but hopefully there's no hangover from 'Bama. Notre Dame--as always all hype, going to be a close game, but we'll win in front of Touchdown Jesus. I won't go into every game, but if people think ND is back, then ask Rick Reilly. Each week, each game is a daunting task. However, Sparty's reign will end this season, and although we have road games against Nebraska and OSU, Michigan will win both. Home stands against Iowa, Northwestern, and Illinois shouldn't be too rough. Bottom line, we're not playing Wisconsin this year...and that means we meet them in Indy for the second Big Ten Championship. Hellooooo Rose Bowl!!
Prediction - 11-1

Tyler Fenwick - @tFly_GoBlue
It's very exciting to think about how close we are to opening up the much anticipated 2012 season. The days are counting down, and most people I know have been impatient for this season start since January 4th. One thing I always tell fans who are looking to exceed the mark set last year is that we could still see improvement without seeing more wins or a BCS bowl win. It's sad to think about but true. Let's be honest; the odds are not stacked in Michigan's favor. The schedule is absolutely brutal, there are some question marks on the defensive, we can't be sure how healthy the Wolverines will be throughout the season. There are most certainly negatives that people can look at. However, I think too many neglect to take notice of what I like to call "the Brady Hoke affect." It's this simple concept that basically says your coach is the heartbeat of the team, whether he makes a deal of it or not. And Brady Hoke is exactly what this program needed a season ago to turn the ship around. Looking at this game to game, I won't say getting to 11 wins is impossible, but it will be a tougher road than last year. Opening against Alabama could possibly be the best or the worst thing to happen to the Wolverines this season. It just depends on who's ready that early in the season. Follow up that non-conference schedule, which still includes a trip to Notre Dame, with playing a Big Ten schedule, and you can start to see the hurtles that need to be cleared. I think Michigan will slip up in two games this season, either against Alabama or Notre Dame, and Nebraska or Ohio State. Over all, though, look out... because "MEEECHIGAN" is back. Actually, they've been back. But still, eyes open before you miss anything else. HAIL!
Prediction - 10-2

Tyler Desy - @aka_TMD
Oh man, here we go. 2012 is just over a week away.  Slated at #8 in the preseason poll, a lot of people, including the all-knowing Ohio grad Kirk Herbstreit, say Michigan is overhyped.  Well, wrong you are Herbie.  Michigan's hype is well-deserved and although they clearly have holes to fill on the defensive line with 3 seniors departing, the secondary is very loaded and the best they have been in years and they are also very solid at linebacker.  Denard Robinson has improved in the offseason and if he makes good decisions throwing the ball, look out.  Michigan does have a monster schedule and one of the toughest in the country.  Opening the season against Alabama will certainly be no joke, but if there's any time you want to play them it's the first game of the year, where there could be some rust.  Under Brady Hoke, Michigan doesn't have a let down game and keeps the good times rolling.  It's not going to be easy, but I think I'm smelling roses!
Prediction - 11-1

Matt Freeman - @no1repoman
Well Wolverine fans, it's that time of the year again! Michigan football! And we bloggers are going to give you a prediction for the season. Michigan has a pretty tough schedule, at least a lot tougher than last year. We don't have the luxury of the big games at home this year. First up is the MIGHTY crimson tide from Alabama. Returning BCS champions.  This team is stacked even considering the people they lost. Denard is going to get the majority of the yards here and will run for 200 and score 2 rushing td with 1 passing td. The running backs will be able to score 1 more with a few FGs. I score it Michigan 34 Bama 38. 

Next up is the Air force and UMass. Those two should be big wins for Michigan. Then we travel to South Bend to take on the always overrated ND Fighting Irish. Let's score this one Michigan 31 ND 27. I just can't see them beating us with our offense. They don't have a stud QB, or a stud WR like last year. Purdue should be a good game, but we should win. Next is the pesky Spartans. They have beaten Michigan 4 times in a row and Michigan will be out for revenge. They lost a real good QB, RB, WR so we should probably win. Now we travel to a place we have never been to, Lincoln, Nebraska. I hear it's hard to play there, but in reality if you watch the games, it's not that bad. I chalk this up as a win. Not a blow out by any means, but I say a 27-14 win. 

Minnesota usually plays the passive puppy who knows they're overmatched. They will come out hungry and impress you first quarter, but Denard once again will have a record day against their defense. Northwestern is one of those teams that plays to their competitors level, but they don't have it this season. Michigan handles them with Fitz running wild for 250 yards against the overlying matched defense. Next is the Iowa Hawkeyes. They took it to Michigan last year in Iowa. We redeem ourselves this year and we take care of Iowa at home. Now we come to the in my eyes, "way overrated" team down south. We travel to a very hostile environment down in Columbus. Some say Braxton Miller has the potential to win a Heisman, I say pppffffffttttt to that, at least this year. Michigan will be their bowl game, it's going to be crazy down there. It's going to be a nail biter. I honestly don't know who is going to win this game. We have the athletes, they have home field and nothing to lose. This is a toss-up  My heart says Michigan, but I'm not totally sure.  Realistically, I see 11-1 or 10-2, but I will go with 11-1 just because I want to see Oklahoma in a BCS bowl and pay them back for what they did to that elementary student.
Prediction - 11-1

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