The Michigan football coaching staff, players and fan base are fresh off a second half collapse in the Outback Bowl that came on the heels of a disappointing 2017 season. In an old-school and blood and guts football conference the coach Jim Harbaugh defense was again among the nation’s best, but the school’s offense failed at record levels resulting in a porous campaign. Odds to Win 2019 College Football Championship: Wolverines at 12-to-1.
This historic Michigan football program is never short of offseason hype. The initial college football rankings following Alabama’s championship win in January had Michigan as high as No #7 in the Top 25 rankings, this via Athlon Sports’ “Way-Too-Early College Football Top 25 for 2018“.
After this past season many Michigan faithful are calling for changes to the Wolverines’ coaching staff. Online discussions and articles are calling for a new offensive coordinator after the team’s 8-5 campaign. The failure to close the season with a victory over South Carolina in the Outback Bowl and just nine total touchdown passes on the season couldn’t help but pave the way for the coaches critics.
The most prevalent questions this early offseason present the query on whether Pep Hamilton and Tim Drevno should remain with the staff for the 2018 season. The past week has seen the program hire Central Michigan’s Sherrone Moore who coached tight ends and was recruiting coordinator for the Chippewas. Dan Enos joined the Michigan coaching staff in mid-December and one-month later departed for Alabama.
The Wolverines’ wide receivers coach joined Harbaugh’s staff in mid-December after a three-year stint as offensive coordinator at Arkansas but couldn’t pass on the offer to become the quarterbacks coach for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
The majority of the large Michigan fan base still want to see change among Harbaugh’s offensive staff with the unit finishing the 2017 season ranked 103rd in the 2017 college statistical rankings.
Concerning the 2018 national title conversation the World’s Largest Race and Sportsbook opened Michigan at 10-to-1 to win the 2019 College Football Playoffs. Other Vegas and Offshore shops had Michigan as low, or high, depending on your perspective at 9-to-1 odds to win the title Michigan ranked as high as the fifth team “most likely” to claim college football’s top spot in January of 2019 behind only Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Ohio State.
At this time last year, the Wolverines were ranked as high as high as the fourth best team in college football despite losing 17 starters from 2016, the most of any FBS team. This season they are getting love from Athlon and others as a Top-10 team without an knowning who will start at quarterback.
As we approach Spring Practice there a thousand-and-one reasons for Michigan fans to be optimistic yet pessimistic in the same conversation. While there are very few questions about how the returning players on Don Brown’s defense can perform there are a million-and-one questions about the team’s offensive player personnel.
Who will be the starting quarterback next fall?
As those in the Michigan football know and they project a three player competition for the starting signal-caller role. Returnees Brandon Peters and Dylan McCaffrey as well as Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson (eligibility questions) are expected to fight for the top spot on the depth chart.
With question marks surrounding the eligibility of Patterson still up in the air and the unknowns concerning McCaffrey who led last year’s scout team right now Harbaugh and his staff must prepare for Peters to be the favorite to start to begin the 2018 season. It is noteworthy to remind those who are not Michigan or Big 10 diehards that Peters only took snaps in five games this season, starting in four.
He wasn’t asked to do much and was competent against inferior opponents, but appeared overwhelmed in spots against Wisconsin and South Carolina. He should benefit from the 2017 experience and potential first-team reps this offseason, but does he inspire confidence if he’s the quarterback in 2018?
With the questions at quarterback for Michigan and a schedule that includes road games at Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State, as well, home games against Wisconsin and Penn State, can one place their hard earned money on the Wolverines at 12-to-1?
The SuperBook of Las Vegas, WestGate, offers up a list of teams and their opening and current Odds to Win 2019 College Football Championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA next January 7th.
Odds to Win 2019 College Football Championship: Wolverines at 12-to-1