It’s almost here. Can you taste it? The 2017 Michigan football season finally kicks off on Saturday and it may be the start of a really fun and interesting season for the Wolverines as the team is looking to replace the heavy majority of its starting lineup. However, while some may think it’s an impossible task, Harbaugh’s recruiting success and the entire coaching staff’s ability to develop talent and game plan should have Michigan in very good position to have a nice season.
But what would a season preview be without some hot and steamy bold predictions?
So, here are my five bold predictions for the 2017 Michigan football season:
1. The Minion Maize looks good on the field
I’ve consistently been on the anti-maize jersey team since I can remember. I believe the blue or white tops are perfect and really don’t care to see anything else. But the maizey-ness still happened and I’m still not a huge fan of the look, even after Ty Rogers put together an awesome hype video for it. And I know I’m not in the minority here. However, they are the worst jerseys I’ve seen, especially not the worst that I’ve seen Michigan wear.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) August 29, 2017
So, my first bold prediction of the year is going to be the maize jerseys actually end up looking good on the field against Florida.
Good enough to wear them again? That will all depend on how the team plays while wearing them. As I tweeted when they were first released. If Michigan wins, keep them. If Michigan loses, bury them with the bumblebee white jerseys worn against Michigan State back in the Hoke days.
2. Speight is a stud
Like the maize jerseys, Wilton Speight has become another “either or” option for the Michigan fan base (just like pretty much every quarterback in program history). People are either all on the Speight train or are hoping to hope off and take the newer Peters train that’s full of all of the bells and whistles. However, don’t sleep on Speight. He played really well in the first half (and some change) of the season but an injury derailed his performance and Michigan’s season. Now, the baby Big Ben is back, slimmed down and with even more weapons around him.
Even though most of his weapons are improved (in terms of raw talent), for the most part, they’re in-experienced as can be. But that’s where I believe Speight will excel. The year under his belt as a starter and strong familiarity with both the system and what Harbaugh wants has me thinking that Speight will not only start every game (barring injury) but that he’ll be an All-Conference selection as well.
3. Chris Evans is a Heisman dark horse
Predicting Evans to have a big year is far from bold. The true sophomore burst onto the scene last season with shifty, explosive runs. One after the other. However, he wasn’t the #1 guy. He was fighting for carries and didn’t truly get to show what he could do until the bowl game, where he broke off one of the best runs and shimmies of the entire season. And, according to pretty much every Michigan insider, he’s only gotten better.
After adding weight and becoming the true #1 running back in an offense that will look to make huge plays in both the run and passing game, I love Evans’ potential to have, not just a good year, but a monster year. So good that I’m boldly predicting that he becomes a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy thanks to being the stat sheet standout in the majority of Michigan’s games.
4. Khalid Hill doesn’t lead the team in rushing touchdowns
This is by far the boldest prediction I have on this list. Hill has become the epitome of a touchdown vulture after averaging a touchdown on every 2.5 carries in 2017. Almost all of which came from inside the 3-5 yard line. And it’s easy to think he does something very similar this fall. However, I believe a couple changes will take away his title as rushing touchdown king for the Wolverines.
For one, I believe the three headed rushing attack of Chris Evans, Karan Higdon and Ty Isaac will get their fair share of touchdowns. Most of which will be from outside of the 5 yard line, which brings me to another reasoning for the drop in scores for the Hammering Panda: Explosiveness from the receiving corps.
Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh and Jake Butt were studs. All of which were great athletes. However, what Eddie McDoom, Kekoa Crawford, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and others bring to the table is even more explosiveness. Add in Speight’s deep ball improvements and I believe there will be a lot less “tripped up at the one yard line” plays for Michigan this season. And, in turn, that means less rushing touchdowns for Hill.
I’ll go with Karan Higdon leading the team in rushing touchdowns as Evans will score on the ground and through the air.
5. Michigan beats Ohio State
Sad that this is bold but just look at the record over the last 15 years. It’s gross. So, yes, it is a bit of a bold prediction (especially this year) to predict Michigan to beat Ohio State. The Buckeyes feature one of the most talented rosters in college football and Urban Meyer has proven time and again that he’s fantastic at in game adjustments. However, this game is in the Big House and this year just has the feel of the turning of the tide, a bit.
I don’t want to get too much into the bold prediction after breaking it all down in my full 2017 season prediction. But, I’m going with it. Michigan will knock off Ohio State in the Big House on November 25th.
So, there are my top five bold predictions for the 2017 Michigan football season. What do you think? What are some of your boldest predictions for this season? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog