Preseason Top 25 Countdown:
25- Northwestern Wildcats
24- TCU Horned Frogs
23- Oregon State Beavers
22- UCLA Bruins
21- Nebraska Cornhuskers
19- Texas Longhorns
17- Boise State Broncos
15- Michigan Wolverines:
Coach: Brady Hoke
2012 Record: Overall 8-5 Big Ten 6-2
Devin Gardner will be at the helm of the Wolverine offense for a full season in 2013 after taking over mid way through Michigan’s season last year. Gardner displayed the ability to make plays with both his arm and legs, and seems to be a more complete duel threat quarterback than Denard Robinson who left for the NFL. Gardner’s superior passing skills set him apart from most of the quarterbacks in the Big Ten Conference.
Other weapons return for Michigan in wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, and more importantly a healthy Fitzgerald Toussaint at running back. The only concern I have for The Wolverine offense is an inexperienced offensive line.
Defensively Michigan returns five starters, and will be a very young unit in 2013. Look for defensive backs Thomas Gordon and Raymon Taylor to be the leaders for the Wolverine defense. They both have great instincts and ball hawk abilities.
2013 Outlook: Not having defending BCS Champion Alabama on the schedule is a major plus for The Michigan Wolverines. Their schedule as a whole is much less daunting than it was in 2012. Home games against the the three best teams they will face in Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State plays in their favor. Road games against Penn State and Northwestern will prove to be tough tests for Michigan. In the end, I think the Penn State and Nebraska games will determine the success or failure of the 2013 Michigan Wolverines. Look for them to improve by two wins this year.