One of the most prestigious teams in all of college football are the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan has a tradition of winning throughout their entire program’s history, but the past several years those standards haven’t been met. The Wolverines haven’t been a national title contender since the 2006 season and the faithful in Ann Arbor are ready for that to change.
The Wolverines haven’t won a national title since the 1997 season. We are approaching two decades since the last national title for Michigan, which to the Wolverines’ fan base seems like a century. The power shift in college football has clearly left the Big Ten conference and went south, but can Michigan get back to national title contention any time soon in their current state is a question many have.
The Wolverines went 7-6 in 2013, which concluded with a 31-14 loss to the Kansas State Wildcats. Michigan has had issues at quarterback ever since Chad Henne departed and made his way to the NFL. The Wolverines had high hopes for Denard Robinson, but they fell way short of every ones expectations.
The challenge is now for Michigan, under Head Coach Brady Hoke, to restore the glory days at Michigan and get back to national title contention on a yearly basis. Hoke enters his fourth season with Michigan in 2014 and the pressure is surely going to rise now that his recruits are all in the program.
Michigan will not settle for 7-6 seasons for very long and rightfully so with their winning tradition. It will be up to an unproven, but experienced team to turn things around in 2014.
The 2014 Michigan Wolverines’ schedule starts with a familiar name to Michigan fans. The Wolverines take on the Appalachian State Mountaineers on August 30th in Ann Arbor. The last time these two faced off was on September 1, 2007 when Appalachian State pulled off what some call the biggest upset in the history of college football. Appalachian State defeated number five Michigan in Ann Arbor by a score of 34-32 in an instant classic.
That game really began the downfall of Michigan and led to the Rich Rodriguez era and now to the Brady Hoke era at Michigan. The Wolverines were coming off an eleven win season in 2006 and had hopes of winning the national title in 2007. Those hopes were dashed right from the start and that has led them to a nearly ten year period of below average seasons.
The 2014 season will have to see a change if the Wolverines hope to compete on a national level. They have several hurdles that will stand in the way on their schedule this season. The Wolverines have some big time experience returning this year, but they have to prove themselves before we can say its experience that has talent.
Here is a look at the 2014 Michigan Wolverines’ schedule and how I see them doing in all 12 regular season games. The 2014 season for Michigan has some signs of positive energy, but they must obviously prove it on the field first.
August 30- Appalachian State Mountaineers @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 34-24
September 6- Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish- Notre Dame Fighting Irish win 31-24
September 13- Miami (OH) Redhawks @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 38-17
September 20- Utah Utes @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 27-14
September 27- Minnesota Golden Gophers @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 28-21
October 4- Michigan Wolverines @ Rutgers Scarlet Knights- Michigan Wolverines win 34-23
October 11- Penn State Nittany Lions @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 24-10
October 18- Bye Week
October 25- Michigan Wolverines @ Michigan State Spartans- Michigan State Spartans win 27-17
November 1- Indiana Hoosiers @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 34-27
November 8- Michigan Wolverines @ Northwestern Wildcats- Michigan Wolverines win 30-20
November 15- Bye Week
November 22- Maryland Terrapins @ Michigan Wolverines- Michigan Wolverines win 31-17
November 29- Michigan Wolverines @ Ohio State Buckeyes- Ohio State Buckeyes win 28-20
So, after going through the 2014 Michigan Wolverines’ schedule I have the Wolverines finishing 9-3. I believe they will have a nice bounce back season, but won’t make it all the way back to a national title contender.
Their tough road games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State will prove to be the difference between a good season and a great season. I don’t see Michigan having what it takes to go on the road to those three tough environments and beat three possible national title contenders.
The 2014 season will certainly be better than 2013 in terms of total number of victories for Michigan. The key to the season will be senior quarterback Devin Gardner. He has to improve his accuracy and take better command of the offense if they hope to succeed.
Hoke and the Wolverines will begin to feel the heat if 2014 turns out like last year did because of how important Michigan football is throughout the country and in the Midwest. It will be a pretty good 2014 season, but the national title feeling for Wolverine fans will still take some time to restore in Ann Arbor.