The Michigan Wolverines enter the 2013 with high expectations. A great coaching staff led by head coach Brady Hoke and an experienced team make the Wolverines one of the favorites in the Big Ten this season. Aside from experience, Michigan also has a favorable schedule that will help it compete for the Legends Division title.
The Wolverines finished 8-5 last year, but ended the season with consecutive losses to Ohio State and South Carolina. This season, several starters return, including quarterback Devin Gardner, who threw for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also added seven rushing touchdowns.
Based on talent alone, Michigan has a great opportunity to win the Legends Division. Add to that a schedule that brings some of the toughest competition into the Big House, and the Wolverines are set up for a successful 2013.
Three teams that Michigan lost to on the road last year all have to visit Michigan Stadium this season. Notre Dame, who defeated the Wolverines 13-6 a season ago in South Bend, will be the first real test of the season. Fortunately for Michigan, the Irish have not found much luck in Ann Arbor, posting a lifetime record of just 7-13.
Last season, both of Michigan’s conference losses came on the road against Nebraska and Ohio State. Again, just like Note Dame, both of those teams must make visits to Ann Arbor this year. Nebraska is likely to be the team that battles Michigan for the division title, so having that as a home game is a definite advantage.
Ohio State and Michigan compete in what is arguably the biggest rivalry in all of college football. Although the Buckeyes were victorious at home last year with a 26-21 score, this year could favor Michigan. The Wolverines have won six of their last 10 games against Ohio State played at Michigan Stadium.
While the home schedule sets up well, there are a few road games that could wind up being traps. Visits to Penn State, Michigan State and Northwestern should be winnable, but the Wolverines will have to be careful.
Aside from the games listed, Michigan also hosts Central Michigan, Akron, Minnesota and Indiana. The Wolverines travel to Connecticut and Iowa. You can still find Michigan vs. UConn tickets available here.
Of course, anything can happen in college football. Luckily for the Wolverines, having home games helps. If the Wolverines are able to defend their home turf this year and avoid a surprise pitfall on the road, they should be sitting atop the Legends Division come season’s end.