The Michigan football 2010 season kicks off September 4 with a home date against Connecticut, but the mood is already tense around Ann Arbor in the wake of numerous off-season issues.
The mood is anticipatory in both a good and bad way as Michigan Stadium is set to re-open with construction finally done on its massive suite and press box-focused overhaul.
Rich Rodriguez returns for his third year as Michigan head coach and the pressure is on him to win now and to beat his rivals as well.
Can Michigan football’s 2010 season be a rebirth of sorts or will Rodriguez and his players turn in another lackluster effort?
Read on to find out the most pressing questions surrounding Michigan this season.
Q: How many games does Rich Rodriguez have to win to save his job?
A: It seems as though a minimum of seven might be right for Rodriguez, but circumstances do come into play. For instance, any more injuries to the secondary and Rodriguez can win perhaps six games if he is competitive versus Ohio State and beats Michigan State and Notre Dame.
Beating rivals is huge for Michigan and they have a lot of them but those are the major three.
Rodriguez has recruited very well at UM but the talent hasn’t matured yet and let’s face it, anyone can recruit at the school with the most wins in NCAA history.
Q: How bad will the secondary after losing two key players?
A: Pretty bad, but it has potential to improve over the course of the year. Justin Turner leaving was big for the program but Troy Woolfolk’s injury was even more devastating considering the work Woolfolk put in and the fact that he seemed primed for a big season as one of the few upperclassmen in the secondary.
The order in which it happened was also unfortunate: Turner might still be a member of the Michigan football 2010 secondary if Woolfolk had gone down first.
Moving forward, UM has major inexperience at all four spots but Cameron Gordon has impressed as a free safety in practice and JT Floyd is getting better at cornerback. Cullen Christian could also be a standout freshman with luck. But expect this to be the weakpoint of the team.
Q: Who starts at quarterback? Who should start?
A: Denard Robinson should start, and he will most likely be the starter on September 4. Michigan’s best hope for the offense is to get the read option run going from the QB and running back like Pat White did with Steve Slaton at West Virginia because it opens so much up in both the run and passing games.
Michigan needs to score in bunches to win games this year and Robinson is improving as a QB in all aspects plus he’s a home run threat at the position.
Tate Forcier will be fine as the Michigan football 2010 backup/rotation guy who can come in and throw when UM gets behind. He deserves to sit out a bit after not being completely dedicated to off-season workouts according to teammate Woolfolk and admitting he had some maturing to do.
Q: What is the strength of the team?
A: The offensive line, specifically the interior. David Molk is back from injury and could be the best center in the conference. Patrick Omameh is a future star at guard, and the other spot is held down by four-year starter Steve Schilling.
The tackles merely have to not mess up too much and the line will be just fine, especially in the running game where UM could be dominant with good health and running back performers stepping up.
Q: How many wins will Michigan get this season?
A: The prediction here with the toughness of the schedule is that Michigan football 2010 will end up with seven wins and Rodriguez’s job will be up in the air going into the off-season.