UM No. 12 in Sports Illustrated’s post-spring rankings

The Detroit News

Michigan’s place in all of the way-too-early rankings generally has been based on the number of starters the Wolverines must replace off last season’s 10-win Orange Bowl team.

But, now Witlon Speight’s perceived grip on the quarterback job also appears to be coming into play.

The Wolverines are No. 12 in Sports Illustrated’s post-spring “way-too-early” rankings, posted Tuesday. That’s down two spots from its original rankings, in part because of the what it views as “uncertainty” at the postition.

“Incumbent QB starter Wilton Speight misfired on 17 of 26 passes in the spring game,” wrote Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated, “while redshirt freshman Brandon Peters threw for 160 yards and a touchdown. Why not throw some uncertainty into the mix there, too, on a team that must replace 18 starters?”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has said Speight is the No. 1 quarterback, but that “it’s a meritocracy,” and it’ll always be a competition. Speight, too, has said he wasn’t happy with his spring-game performance.

Alabama holds steady at No. 1 in Sports Illusrated’s revised rankings, while Ohio State is the highest-ranked Big Ten team at No. 4, moving up three spots from the original way-too-early rankings.

Defending champion Clemson is No. 6.