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Are Michigan Wolverines a True College Title Contender this NCAAF Season?

Written by on July 26, 2017

The Michigan Wolverines went into last NCAAF season with expectations high and the belief that they were a legitimate National Championship contender. The Wolverines entered the final game of the regular season with just a single loss, and they knew that a win over the Ohio State Buckeyes would more than likely mean a spot in the college football playoffs.Anyone who closely follows college football will remember that game for a perceived blown call after the Buckeyes went for it on 4th down and appeared to be handed a favorable spot. The Buckeyes went on to win that one, ending the Wolverines chances at a National Championship. They have the opportunity to start all over again, but does the 2017 version of the Michigan Wolverines really have a shot? Let’s take a closer look at the latest college betting odds for this coming season here.

Are Michigan Wolverines a True College Football Title Contender this NCAAF Season?

 
 

Michigan Wolverines Offense for 2017

The Michigan Wolverines are going to have the same issue on both sides of the ball this NCAAF season after losing a ton of talent to the NFL draft. The offense was efficient, if not explosive last season, finding a near perfect balance between the passing and running game. While the bulk of their production guys from last season are gone, they do still have senior QB Wilton Speight under center.He is going to be the key in how well this offense plays, and while he does not have the receivers that he had last season, he does have a solid group of 5-star talent coming in. Speight is going to need to be accurate when looking for these guys, and he is going to need a lot of help from his O-line. If they can give him time to throw the ball all over the field back there, the new recruits may end up settling in quite nicely. The opening game of the NCAAF season against a tough Florida Gators defense is going to be a very solid test for this young group.Michigan Wolverines Offense for 2017 NCAAF Season.

Michigan Wolverines Offense for 2017

How do you replace an offensive star like Jabrill Peppers? That is the question that the Wolverines fans are going to need answered this NCAAF season, but it is not the only defensive question hanging over this team. Michigan lost 11 of their 13 starters from last season, and obviously have a ton of holes to fill. Whether this defense can rise to the occasion is going to depend on how quickly their top recruits can get used to the new systems and speed of play in college football.Michigan is fortunate in that they are a major program that can lure the best young talent in the country to their college, but with so many new guys coming in, there are some serious doubts about what this defense is going to be able to do this season. The biggest amount of pressure on this defense is going to be on the secondary. The Wolverines got 13 INT’s out of their secondary last season, but all the players who recorded those picks have now moved on. It’s going to be up to the defensive line to apply some pressure to opposing QB’s so that the secondary does not become exposed.

Michigan Wolverines Season Expectations for 2017

Jim Harbaugh, who is heading into his 3rd NCAAF season as the head coach of the Wolverines, has done a fantastic job of putting Michigan football back where it belongs. With that success comes the burden of replacing talented players who make the leap to the NFL. While smaller program would look at this process as rebuilding, the major programs in college football look at it as reloading.Michigan certainly has a talented group of young players coming into the fold this season, but they are young, which translates to inexperienced. Many of the players on this team are going to be learning on the job, and that means that mistakes will be made. A win against the Florida Gator in Week 1 would be a huge confidence builder, but even with that, a playoff appearance looks like a longshot to me. I like the Wolverines to go 9-3 this season, which may not even be enough for the Big Ten East title.
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