Schedule and Odds
Michigan is ready to get back into the headlines as one of the elites, but when will that happen (if it does)? The Wolverines are coming off a five-win season and brought in Jim Harbaugh who has done a number of revival jobs from his time at Stanford to his NFL stint with the San Francisco 49ers. He brings in former friends from his time at Stanford in coordinators Tim Drevno and D.J. Durki . Let’s just say if the Wolverines don’t reach a bowl Game, the fan base might go crazy.
5 dimes sportsbook lists the Wolverines at odds of 88 to 1 to win the National Championship and 13 to 1 to wn the Big 10. If that’s not enough, you can also wager on their September 3rd Game at Utah where they are listed as -3 point road favorites.
The obvious problem for this team after losing Devin Gardner, is who will play quarterback. Shane Morris was the frontrunner after spring ball, and he was a dismal 14-of-40 in minimal time last season. Morris is competing with a few QBs, among them recently transferred Jake Rudock from Iowa. Furthering that problem is Michigan’s lack of top receiving threats. With Devin Funchess gone, someone in the receiving Game will have to step up, whether that’s Amara Darboh, redshirt freshman Maurice Ways or even tight end Jake Butt. Running back transfer Ty Isaac from USC should help the group as well, as he joins Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith.
The running Game struggled in the spring scrimmage behind mixed up offensive lines due to the way each team was composed. But due to a bigger question at quarterback, this offense will likely lean on the running Game as much as possible.
Defensively, this team has less of a way to go. The Wolverines were never really a bad defensive team in the past few years, and with a highly-rated recruiting class to work with, there’s no reason why the group can’t be one of the better ones in the conference.
The defense looked solid in spring, but that could have been a result of poor offensive play. They do have plenty of guys to work with and one includes Jabrill Peppers in the secondary, who should be a key player for this team. He’ll be joined by two-way player Dennis Norfleet. Durkin doesn’t have to fill many holes in this group that returns a good amount of starters. While Jake Ryan is gone at linebacker, guys like Joe Bolden or Ben Gedeon should be a force this season, along with a healthy Desmond Morgan. The line loses some of its better guys, but it’s still a group that has depth and that will allow Durkin to give a number of different looks.
The Wolverines will get a real test out of the gates, travelling to Utah in their opener. Games against Oregon State and BYU won’t be walkovers either, especially with their question at quarterback. A positive for Michigan is that they get both Michigan State and Ohio State in Ann Arbor. So if this team wants to get a big win this season, it will be there for the taking. Minnesota and Penn State will be tough on the road, but still winnable.
The Wolverines should be back in a bowl Game this season with Harbaugh at the helm, but reaching an outlandish nine or 10 wins probably isn’t realistic. Seven wins should be a good expectation for the regular season.
2015 Michigan Football Schedule
Sept. 3 at Utah
Sept 12 vs. Oregon State
Sept. 19 vs. UNLV
Sept. 26 vs. BYU
Oct. 3 at Maryland
Oct. 10 vs. Northwestern
Oct. 17 vs. Michigan State
Oct. 31 at Minnesota
Nov. 7 vs. Rutgers
Nov. 14 at Indiana
Nov. 21 at Penn State
Nov. 28 vs. Ohio State