The Michigan football team got head coach Jim Harbaugh back on Saturday as the Wolverines took on Rutgers. Michigan gave up a long early touchdown and went down 7-0, but it was a dominant performance from the Wolverines from that point on. Michigan ended up winning the game 31-7, and the Wolverines are now 4-0. While Harbaugh was suspended, his team took on East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green. Michigan cruised past all three of those teams, but there was a sense of comfortability in the Rutgers game with Harbaugh back on the sidelines. Sitting at #2 in the country, expectations for Harbaugh's team are sky-high, and it pegs the question: How far can this team go? Here is a prediction for each remaining game on the schedule:
@ Nebraska: 27-13 W
Michigan football hits the road for the first time next week against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have struggled this season, but the last time the Wolverines went into Lincoln, an upset was almost pulled off. With the new clock rules in college football mixed with the fact that Michigan is a run heavy team, don't expect the Wolverines to score a ton of points. It might be ugly, but Michigan will leave Lincoln with a win.
@ Minnesota: 31-24 W
This one is going to be close. Michigan is good, but they are capable of getting spooked, and this game has the potential to be a real scare. Minnesota is a solid team, and it's a rivalry game on the road for the Wolverines. This will be a tight one, but Michigan will escape.
Vs. Indiana: 38-6 W
Indiana is one of worst teams in the conference, and the Wolverines shouldn't have much trouble getting a W on the schedule when the Hoosiers come to Ann Arbor. This will likely be Michigan's easiest win remaining on the schedule.
@ Michigan State: 34-14 W
Michigan State also looks like one of the worst teams in the conference so far this season, but the Spartans always show up for this rivalry game. Michigan is the far superior team, and they will get out of East Lansing with a victory, but it won't be easy. Michigan State will hang around for a bit, the Wolverines will ultimately pull away to keep the Paul Bunyan trophy in Ann Arbor.
Vs. Purdue: 35-10 W
Purdue hasn't gotten off to the start they were hoping for this season after winning the Big Ten West last season. These two teams met in the Big Ten Championship last December, and the Wolverines won big. Expect the same thing this time around. The Boilermakers lost head coach Jeff Brohm after last year, and they don't look nearly as competitive so far this season. This should be an easy win for Michigan.
@ Penn State: 21-17 L
This is perhaps the toughest game on the Michigan football schedule. Penn State has a loaded team this season, and going on the road to Beaver Stadium is never easy. The Wolverines went 12-0 in the regular season last season, and it's very difficult to do that two years in a row. This seems like the game that the Wolverines will slip up. It will be a tight one throughout, but Penn State comes out with the win.
@ Maryland: 38-24 W
Maryland is a team that might be able to sneak up on Michigan. The Terms played the Wolverines very tough last season in Ann Arbor, and they have gotten off to a good start this season. Taulia Tagovailoa is a great QB, and he should be able to make some plays in this one. At the end of the day, however, Michigan is the better team and will get the win.
Vs. Ohio State: 42-28 W
This is the big one. The past two seasons, Michigan has looked good in games one through eleven, and they've looked great against Ohio State. Jim Harbaugh has built a team that is made for beating Ohio State, and the Wolverines are going to do it for third straight time this season.
Expect this season to look a lot like last year for Michigan. They will run the ball down team's throats, and will win a lot of games without putting up style points. Because of that, they may have some doubters, but when the big one comes around on Thanksgiving weekend, they will be ready.