Detroit News season predictions for Michigan

The Detroit News, The Detroit News
Michigan cornerback Channing Stribling

Detroit News staff writers predict how Michigan’s season will unfold:

Matt Charboneau: The Wolverines will have the benefit of one of the top defenses in the nation and an easy schedule to get its offense moving through the first seven games. After that, it gets substantially tougher as Michigan closes with road games against Michigan State, Iowa and Ohio State. The goal is to win the East and get to the Big Ten championship game, but with that difficult stretch it likely will be too much to ask, as the Wolverines won’t win more than one of those games and come up short of reaching Indianapolis.

Angelique S. Chengelis: Michigan will finish the regular season 10-2, including -- and let me preface this by saying I haven't favored the Wolverines in this game in a long time – that much sought-after win at Michigan State. Michigan's defense will win that game. That Michigan State game is the first of three road games in Michigan's final five games. Michigan will finish 1-2 in that stretch with losses to Iowa and Ohio State and will finish behind Ohio State in the Big Ten East. The Buckeyes will go on to represent the division in the Big Ten title game.

Lynn Henning: What's not to love? The schedule? The returning talent? The freshmen (hello, Rashan) who will make an instant dent? Ah, but I still think they'll split the Michigan State and Ohio State games and that OSU will win the Big Ten East. Thought U-M would go 9-3 a year ago. This year? 10-2.

TE Jake Butt: Michigan's leader and best

John Niyo: If there's a question mark at quarterback, there should be plenty of answers elsewhere, including a talented and experienced receiving corps. But it starts with a defensive front that seems capable of carrying this team a long, long way. Certainly through the early part of that schedule, and then on the road, where this season will be decided. Great defense travels well, and Michigan will be counting on that. Michigan finishes 11-1 but loses at Ohio State to miss out on the Big Ten title game and the playoffs.

Bob Wojnowski: The Wolverines should win all eight home games, and their deep, dynamic defense gives them a shot in all four road games. So 12-0, huh? Not quite. Jim Harbaugh has a load of seniors and a mound of motivation in his second season, but the quarterback and the offensive line have much to prove. Michigan will lose twice – at Iowa, at Ohio State – and finish 10-2, just behind the Buckeyes in the Big Ten East.