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College Football Predictions 2008 Michigan Wolverines

by Thomas Jensen on Friday, August 1st, 2008

Big Blue was supposed to win the Big Ten and contend for a national title last season, but a season opening loss to Appalachian State seemed to crush those dreams from the start. Now Rich Rodriguez has taken over and has brought a new offensive scheme with him. Online Sportsbook BetUS.com has the Michigan Wolverines +5000 odds to win the 2009 BCS Championship. Can Rodriguez compete for a Big Ten championship in year one? Find out in Expert Football Handicapper Jeff Alexander's 2008 Michigan Wolverines College Football Predictions and Season Preview article for Point-Spreads.com to provide the answer.

Offense – Rich Rodriguez will try to implement his high powered spread attack into a Michigan program which has only know smash mouth football under Lloyd Carr. I can assure you that it won't be a well-oiled machine from game one. Michigan's leading career rusher, Mike Hart, is gone and so is leading career passer Chad Henne. The team's two top receivers have departed along with number one overall NFL draft pick Jake Long. And it gets worse, would be succeeding QB Ryan Mallet transferred to Arkansas and starting lineman Justin Boren transferred to hated Ohio State of all places. Redshirt freshman transfer Steven Threet will take over under center. With an inexperienced line and inexperienced receivers, it could be a rocky road for Threet, but we must remember that Michigan has been able to constantly reload with talent for decades now. So the dropoff likely won't be as steep as projected. There is no Mike Hart on this roster, but Brandon Minor, Kevin Grady, and Carlos Brown could be a handful as a trio.

Defense – The defense will have to come up big for the Wolverines this season as they must atone for the state of the offense. Linebacker Obi Ezeh leads the charge along with seven other returning starters. I have no reason to believe that this unit won't be able to meet the challenge. First year defensive coordinator Scott Shafer comes in from Stanford and brings his attacking scheme with him. Shafer will look to ends Tim Jamison and Brandon Graham to consistently get to the passer. The duo combined for 14 sacks last season. Both starting defensive tackles are back too and they are rock solid. Michigan's secondary was very good in 2007 with corner Morgan Trent leading the way. Michigan is expected to move special teams star Stevie Brown into the free safety position to get some of the big play ability on defense.

Special Teams – The Wolverines have a nice kicking game. Place kicker K.C. Lopata made 11 of 12 field goal attempts last season and punter Zoltan Mesko has a two-year average of 41.3 yards per kick.

College Football Predictions for the 2008 Michigan Wolverines – 5th in Big Ten

Any other team which lost as much as Michigan did would likely be sniffing the bottom of the ocean just like Arkansas will likely be doing in the SEC West. But Michigan is Michigan and with that comes a certain intimidation factor. Rodriguez does not know losing well and he won't accept it for a second. I don't expect the Wolverines to open this season the same way they did in 2007. That's for sure. It won't be long, probably next year, before Big Blue is right back at the top of the conference.   I see them slightly better than Michigan State and Iowa but still well behind Penn State and Illinois.

BetUS.com has posted college football predictions betting odds to win the 2009 BCS Championship:

 

LSU +1200

Southern Cal +300

California +4500

Ohio State +1000

Wisconsin +3000

Boston College +12500

Florida +600

Kentucky +10000

South Florida +5000

Oklahoma +900

Georgia +900  

West Virginia +1600

Oregon +4500

Virginia Tech +1400

Texas +1200

Missouri +1400  

South Carolina +4500

Arizona State +4000

Rutgers +8000

Clemson +2000

Nebraska +7500

Cincinnati +8000

UCLA +6000

Miami Florida +6000

Florida State +5000

Michigan State +7500

Kansas +3000

Kansas State +10000  

Alabama +5000

Auburn +2000

Louisville +8000

Notre Dame +6500

Oklahoma State +12000

Penn State +5000

Tennessee +3000

Texas A&M +10000

Texas Tech +5000

Wake Forest +10000

Washington +10000

Iowa +10000

Illinois +3300

Georgia Tech +10000

Pittsburgh +8000

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