College Football Pick
When will Michigan have its first competitive Game this year? That’s what a lot of Wolverines fans are asking themselves without much resistance in the team’s early Schedule. But Colorado looks like a team on the upside, at least from their first two blowouts against low-end competition. Still, the Wolverines are currently a -20.5 point favorite at betonline sportsbook for the Game in Ann Arbor.
There isn’t a day in the college football season (or offseason) when Michigan isn’t talked about. That’s what Jim Harbaugh brings to the program. But he also brings success and has quickly turned the team into one of the best in the nation in little time. Once again this season, their defense looks dominant, controlling their first couple opponents with ease.
But Colorado is looking to change that. A year after just Four total wins, the Buffs have cruised through their first two Games winning by a combined 100-14 Scoreline. While the opponents aren’t great, it is notable they only beat Colorado State in overtime last season, so this team is definitely improved in Mike MACIntyre’s Fourth season. But just how much remains to be seen.
It wasn’t a certainty that quarterback Sefo Liufau would be ready for the start of the season, but he’s looked great in the first two Games, completing 38-of-51 passes for a few touchdowns, while also running for 120 more yards. The biggest thing for the Buffaloes in this Game may be to get some kind of running Game going against this Michigan front. Phillip Lindsay and Kyle Evans have been okay, but averaging less than 5.0 yards per carry in huge blowouts doesn’t look like a recipe for success against the Wolverines. Liufau won’t be able to put points on the board all by himself against UM.
And then there’s Michigan’s offense, which has 114 points through two Games, the most for the school since 1914. Wilton Speight has been as good as hyped with a dominant trio in the passing Game of Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson and Jake Butt. Colorado’s defense has looked improved and is experienced in the secondary, but how much will that matter?
The Wolverines are still questionable running the ball, whether it’s Chris Evans, De’Veon Smith or Ty Isaac. If Speight struggles at all, it’s a wonder if the running Game can pick up the slack when adversity hits.
And while Colorado only had Four wins last year, their improvement can’t be overlooked, meaning those two early wins can’t be ignored. The Buffs battled against teams like UCLA, USC and USC in Pac-12 play, all in the last half of 2015.
But does anyone want to bet against Michigan right now? The Wolverines are cruising against lower level competition, which is exactly how last season went. At home in the Big House once again, Colorado has a tall task to remain competitive. It starts with Liufau playing safe under center, but it ends with how much the Buffs can move the ball on this defensive front. They look improved, but until they compete against a team like Michigan, it’s hard to believe.
Our Pick – Based on the competitiveness of the Buffs last year, their start this year and the fact that they return so many starters on both sides of the ball, we’re going to back them to give Michigan a Game this week. We’d love to grab +21 but that number has yet to appear. So, for now, Colorado +20.5