MGoFish Staff 2017 Michigan Football Season Predictions

It’s Michigan football season eve and the predictions are flying in from all over the world. Both literally and figuratively as we here at MGoFish have put together our staff predictions for the 2017 Michigan football season. But that’s not all. We also predicted the College Football Playoff final four, the national champion, and the Heisman trophy winner.

@StephenToski

Michigan Season Prediction: 10-2 (7-2)

Michigan Season Overview: Last year I was pretty close on Michigan. Had them losing at Iowa, beating Wisconsin closely, beating MSU comfortably. Only thing I was off on was (sigh) the OSU game. Oh well. ONTO THIS YEAR!

Michigan is going to be a weird team to watch this year. I think they will end the year 11-2 with some weird games. Given Florida’s suspensions, Michigan by 17 there. Michigan will be 10-0 heading into Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, I think they end the season with back to back losses to Wisconsin and OSU in close games. I could definitely see Michigan beating Wisconsin, but as bad as I want to pick UM over OSU, I don’t think this is the year.
Michigan will still end the year 2nd in the East and in the 10-15 range (of the top 25) at the end of the year. People will complain again about Harbaugh not finishing the season, but he’ll win the bowl game against LSU in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

CFB Playoff Final Four

  1. Ohio State
  2. Washington
  3. Alabama
  4. Oklahoma

National Champion: Washington

Heisman Winner: QB Jake Browning, Washington

@BillionBus

Michigan Season Prediction: 11-1 (8-1)

Michigan Season Overview: Alright boom, so I’m trying my hardest not to be such a homer where I predict Michigan running the table. With 3 rivalry games at home this season I don’t see a scenario where Michigan loses any of those. So the job is to find a road loss or two that may come life.

  • At Indiana, a week before the Wolverines head to Penn State, is definitely a trap game.
  • At Wisconsin a week before the Ohio State game seems more likely where Michigan would drop one.

With the amount of returners the Badgers have and being at home I’ll place the loss there. So I have the Wolverines going (11-1) and a sure bet to make the B1G Championship game. I got Michigan’s season ending on a close loss to Alabama in the national semifinal.

CFB Playoff Final Four
  1. Alabama
  2. USC
  3. Michigan
  4. Florida State
National Champion: Alabama
Heisman Winner: QB Sam Darnold, USC

@BillGetschman

Michigan Season Prediction: 11-1 (8-1)

Michigan Season Overview: I don’t need to fill your head with any other words about Michigan’s close losses last year; in fact writing any more about it would make me…well…*opens beer*. Enough with the age, enough with the inexperience, and enough with the quarterback ‘battle’. Jim Harbaugh and his staff have proven that they can develop talent to the highest level and even though the age of this team will be a very common story line for the media this season, I know better than to question Coach Harbaugh. If Don Brown can make Boston College a top 5 defense, he can make a top 5 recruiting class a top 5 defense. Kareem Walker and Chris Evans will be thunder and lightning behind Khalid Hill and Cesar Ruiz, and since I’m paid by the #hottake: the offense will be stronger without Jabrill in the backfield.

JT was still short, though.

  • Week 1 vs. Florida: W, 33-17
    • Wilton Speight starts his second season for Michigan, looking very comfortable using his various freshmen weapons, silencing a few in the Brandon Peters 4 President club. A balanced attack between air and ground takes it to Florida’s thin secondary early, with Khalid Hill scoring a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Mike McCray and Mo Hurst calm down a jittery and at times unfocused defense to shut out Florida in the 2nd half.
  • Week 2 vs. Cincinnati: W, 48-10
    • Luke Fickell is a familiar foe to Michigan fans, but he inherits a program in a valley in Cincinnati. Bill Connelly’s preview lists the run-game as a big weakness, which plays into Michigan’s biggest strength, the defensive line. I expect the starters to be out by the 3 rd quarter.
  • Week 3 vs. Air Force: W, 38-20
    • If you read MGoBlog’s HTTV season primer, you’ll know that Air Force’s offense and chop blocks can wreak havoc for any defense, and I don’t think Michigan will be impervious to a certain extent. That said, I don’t think Air Force will be prepared enough for Khaleke Hudson from the Viper spot as he has a huge day for the
      defense.
  • Week 4 at Purdue: W, 52-10
    • Jeff Brohm is an excellent head coach and I’m sure he will have a fruitful tenure in West Lafayette. But beginning conference play against Michigan will not be fun. The worst team in the Big Ten West and the worst recruiting class in the whole conference, Purdue snuck its way to a 3-9 record last season against a very easy schedule and will not have much of an identity yet through 4 weeks under Brohm. QB David Blough tends to get picked off quite a bit; expect Don Brown to pull out all of the stops in terms of blitzing packages to make him feel as uncomfortable.
  • Week 5 vs. Bye Week
  • Week 6 vs. Michigan State: W, 41 – 24
    • I don’t need to say anymore about MSU’s last 200 days or so; a 3-9 season that could not end fast enough followed by multiple departures from the team for multiple reasons, 2017 won’t be much more enjoyable. Essentially losing a whole recruiting class, MSU will be thin all across the board except for running back with Player of the Year contender LJ Scott in the backfield. This is MSU’s Super Bowl for 2017, but after consecutive weeks against Notre Dame (not sure if you heard, but Notre Dame also went 4-8 last year) and Iowa, they will face Michigan off a bye week and 3 other likely big wins, a recipe for a blowout.
  • Week 7 at Indiana: W, 19-16
    • Do not sleep on Indiana’s defense this year. Tegray Scales is arguably the best linebacker in the conference and next to him is 2 nd -leading tackler Marcus Oliver; if Michigan takes care of business it will be a low scoring game won on Speight’s arm and the defense. Indiana catches Michigan after their bye week for their homecoming game and depending on some other factors, Michigan might be looking to the following week at Penn State, a potential top 5 matchup.
  • Week 8 at Penn State: L, 17-16
    • I’ll say it. I do not buy the hype. I think Michigan is a better football team, but there are too many extenuating circumstances for me to feel comfortable saying Michigan leaves Happy Valley victorious. Penn State also has a bye week before facing Michigan, and I can guarantee that this will be a whiteout crowd under the lights, desperate to prove that they deserved to be in the playoff last year and that the 49-10 loss was a fluke (it wasn’t). A lot of my prediction depends on how Michigan’s secondary performs early in the season; last year McSorley couldn’t do much against Lewis & Stribling, so we’ll have to wait and see how Hill & Long will step up. I think this game is textbook Big Ten with lots of frustrating referee play that goes against the good guys.
  • Week 9 vs. Rutgers: W, 67-9
    • Rutgers gets the joy of playing Michigan after a tough loss…on the road. Michigan will regroup nicely before their tough stretch to end the season.
  • Week 10 vs. Minnesota: W, 28-13
    • I really have no idea what to think of Minnesota this year. They have a very easy schedule to open the year and come in with only one loss and a lot of confidence into the Big House. Either way, I don’t think new coach PJ Fleck will have the boat rowing just yet. Close at half, but Michigan pulls away.
  • Week 11 at Maryland: W, 31-13
    • Durkin recruited the heck out of the east coast in 2016. He has an amazing class coming in, but they’ll also be starting a freshman quarterback. This could be a trap game in 2018, but for now, Maryland will be too heavily reliant on Lorenzo Harrison. The Terps game-planned beautifully to attack Michigan’s defensive weakness last year (get McCray on the weak edge and beat him with speed), and still only scored 3 points, even though much of that was because Perry Hills broke his collarbone and the QB play was brutal.
  • Week 12 at Wisconsin: W, 20-10
    • I always forget that last year’s game against Wisconsin should have been a 16-7 game going into the fourth quarter. Had Malik Zaire selected Wisconsin as his transfer landing as opposed to Florida, I might put this game as a loss, but Wisconsin’s best strength (run game) plays into Michigan’s strength (run defense), and I am not convinced that Alex Hornibrook can beat teams with his arm. Devin Bush emphatically arrives in this nail-biter in the snow.
  • Week 13 The Game – W, 31-27
    • JT comes up short.

CFB Playoff Final Four

  1. Alabama
  2. Washington
  3. Penn State
  4. Florida State

The Big Ten is the best conference in the country again this year, but I’m thinking there will be another 3-way tie at the top of the East with Penn State the victors this season. They will beat Michigan, Michigan will beat OSU, OSU will beat PSU but OSU will have another loss somewhere in their schedule, therefore PSU goes to the title game and because the West is inferior, PSU will take it all the way. Bama is Bama, FSU’s one loss will be to Bama and they’ll run the table in a joke of an ACC aside from Miami and a shadow of Clemson (no, Louisville will not threaten the crown), and Washington is going to go into the Pac-12 title game undefeated, earning them a spot no matter the outcome.

National Champion: Alabama over Florida State.

Saban is a robot; he has digested all the information about how Clemson beat him last season, and he will have memorized all of the data from Week 1 against FSU. The playoff committee will puppet whoever they need to to recreate the Opening Weekend matchup, and even though I’m sick and tired of Alabama, Bo Scarbrough vs. Cam Akers will be a wild ride for fans of running backs.

Heisman Winner: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Johnny Manziel 2.0 both on and off the field.

@SleeperAthletes

Michigan Season Prediction: 11-1 (8-1)

Michigan Season Overview: Michigan has the all the pieces to be B1G & National Champs this season. Even though they’re young on defense, they have great speed at the skill positions, an experienced QB, a very good front 7 and a solid running game. Although the Wolverines could very well go undefeated, I feel like there may be a slip up somewhere people aren’t expecting otherwise they will have a great season, win the B1G Championship and get into the playoffs this year

CFB Playoff Final Four

  1. Alabama
  2. Michigan
  3. USC
  4. Oklahoma

National Champion: Alabama over Michigan

Heisman Winner: QB Sam Darnold, USC

@ASvenson7

Michigan Season Prediction: 11-1 (8-1)

  • Game 1: vs. Florida Gators: W (24-20)
    • Both teams come into this game with relative uncertainty in their quarterback position, especially Florida. I believe that Wilton Speight wins the job again this year for Michigan, and outperforms the Gators starting quarterback, whether it be Feleipe Franks, Malik Zaire, or Luke Del Rio. This will be an important game not only to boost the confidence of a young Michigan team, but also to get an early season victory against a quality Top 25 opponent. If they can get this early win, it should propel them to a solid start to the season.
  • Game 2: vs. Cincinnati Bearcats: W (35-13)
  • Game 3: vs. Air Force Falcons: W (45-14)
  • Game 4: @ Purdue: W (38-17)
  • Game 5: vs. Michigan State: W (41-16)
    • The beatdown we all thought would occur last season will come to fruition this year in Ann Arbor. Michigan State’s team has been decimated by attrition, and they will struggle mightily this season. The bright spots on their team include running back LJ Scott and returning starting quarterback Brian Lewerke, however the defense looks to be atrocious. Wilton Speight should have no trouble picking apart that secondary.
  • Game 6: @ Indiana: W (27-20)
  • Game 7: @ Penn State: L (31-27)
    • I do believe Penn State comes into the season overrated, but with the combination of returning offensive firepower in Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley, and a whiteout night game, the atmosphere will be too much for a young Michigan team. This game will be an important learning experience for the team later in the season.
  • Game 8: vs. Rutgers: W (70-0)
    • Rutgers. At home. Coming off a tough loss. Need I say more?
  • Game 9: vs. Minnesota: W (28-10)
  • Game 10: @ Maryland: W (30-14) Record 9-1 (6-1)
  • Game 11: @ Wisconsin: W (17-16) Record 10-1 (7-1)
    • This game will swing the rest of the season in Michigan’s favor. Wisconsin will likely come in to the game as the leader of the Big Ten West, and going into Camp Randall is never an easy task. This will be a defensive battle, similar to last season. If Michigan can take care of the football and stay steady, they should have enough firepower to win this game.
  • Game 12: vs. Ohio State: W (35-30) Record 11-1 (8-1)
    • The game. I have no real legitimate explanation for this prediction, other than I’m a little bit of a homer and believe that this is the year Michigan beats Ohio State. All signs point to Ohio State winning this game. They bring back far more players from last year’s game than Michigan does, and on paper seem like a national title contender from day one. There’s just something about this season that makes me think this is the year Coach Harbaugh gets his first victory over Ohio State. Perhaps it’s the bitter taste from last year’s game, or the young stud recruits Harbaugh has brought in over the last few seasons. Maybe it’s home field advantage. Or I might just be crazy. Michigan wins this game. Mark it down.

CFB Playoff Final Four

  1. Alabama
  2. Michigan
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Ohio State

National Champion: Alabama

Heisman Winner: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

@MGoFish

Michigan Season Prediction: Coming out soon

CFB Playoff Final Four

  1. Alabama
  2. Washington
  3. Florida State
  4. Ohio State

National Champion: Alabama over Florida State

Heisman Winner: RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama over Lamar Jackson, Jarrett Stidham and Baker Mayfield

Those are the MGoFish Staff’s 2017 Michigan football and college football season predictions. What are yours? Let us know in the comment section below!