Long-time readers of this blog will recall that I normally make my pre-season college football predictions in March – an exercise that demands exceptional prescience and intellect.
A demanding work schedule and the darkening world scene has left me dilatory at best in my blogging duties, nevertheless, I hereby offer my fearless predictions for the upcoming season.
The Spartans are an uncertainty wrapped in an unknown hidden in possibilities.
The defense looks solid, but what everyone wants to know is whether the offense has a chance. During the heightened passions of the season, I don’t think we realized just how awful the offense was.
Logic tells me that this year MSU should dominate the conference – yes, dominate it. If the defense remains stout and the offense can be average – just average – it will rumble through the season without a loss. The toughest opponent – Notre Dame – was stacked up last year. I don’t know that they are seeing much in the way of improvement insofar as Brian Kelly’s program seems to have a lot of drama, but they are arguably the toughest opponent on the schedule. Playing at Nebraska is difficult, but last year’s underachievers managed to win in Madison, so nothing’s impossible. Iowa has been soft lately, but with the head coach on the hot seat, they may play with renewed energy.
Anyhow, that’s what my logic tells me. Emotion is awash in prophesies of doom and might-have-beens.
Splitting the difference, I see my beloved Spartans winning 10 games – indeed they must or the season has to be considered a failure. With a soft schedule, there really is no excuse.
MEANWHILE, IN THE WORLD’S LARGEST OPEN-AIR LUNATIC ASYLUM: I do adore the annual pre-season Wolverine hype. Devin Gardner is the latest candidate for the September Heisman – and at this before he has taken a snap this season. Normally a U-M quarterback has to demolish Connecticut Community College and a service academy to get that kind of reputation.
Despite his winning seasons, I’ve yet to see Brady Hoke demonstrate anything other than average coaching ability. Don’t get me wrong – this is an improvement for the Skunk Bears. RichRod actually had to do hard work to achieve his level of failure.
I’ve long said that given the stature and wealth of the football program in Ann Arbor and the tendency to schedule cupcakes, the default season is 7-5. That feels about right this year. Notre Dame, Nebraska, MSU, Ohio State and Northwestern are the five. Road games at Iowa and Penn State offer additional peril.