Appalachian St. (Sept. 1), L 32-34: Imagine opening the door to your dorm room and someone just punching you in the face. That's what transpired at the Big House. So much for a National Championship.
Oregon (Sept. 8): For everyone who prefers nonconference tests as opposed to guaranteed wins, be careful what you wish for. The Ducks squeaked past Michigan in 2003, 31-27, and the Wolverines have beaten a Pac-10 foe just once since the 1997 title game.
Iowa at Wisconsin
Sept. 22, 8PM on ABC
This matchup will be the first big test for the Hawkeyes when they open the Big Ten season at Camp Randall. If Iowa is serious about a Big Ten Championship, it has to pull this one out.
Ohio State At Penn State
Oct. 27, 8PM
Joe Paterno said the Nittany Lions have a good, but not great team at Big Ten Media Day. Good teams can play the spoiler for perennial Big Ten powerhouse Buckeyes, especially at home.
Ohio State at Wisconsin
Nov. 3, TBA
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
The Michigan football team lost last weekend, and for some reason, this campus is making a big deal about it.
I understand the national media is claiming this is the biggest upset in the history of upsets, and that's fine, and yes, it's mortifying and the team and coaching staff should be embarrassed, but why is every Michigan student talking like the season is over?
So the Wolverines lost a game, they lost it to a Football Championship Subdivision team and it happened in a year when they expected to contend for the national title.
In the past, we've had celebrities such as the Sklar brothers, Jim Brandstatter and Marlin Jackson make their weekly predictions for our staff picks. Then again, we've also been reduced to flipping quarters, throwing frozen turkeys and even calling an 83-year-old North Dakota woman named Rose Bohl.
So rather than risk it this year, we'd like to let you - yes, you - take a chance at beating us, the self-proclaimed experts. Starting this week, we'll pick one student at random to make staff picks.
(11-1, 2nd in Big Ten)
Key returnees: RB P.J. Hill, CB Jack Ikegwuonu, TE Travis Beckum
Player to watch: QB Tyler Donovan. The fifth-year senior carries a program's national title hopes on his shoulders.
Reason for optimism: Wisconsin will probably have the best defense in the conference this season, and maybe a top-five defense nationally. The defensive line, linebackers and secondary are all strong units, all with returning contributors.
BY KEVIN WRIGHT
Senior kicker Jason Gingell pondered a reporter's question about what would go through his mind when he lined up for a game-winning field goal.
"I don't know to be honest with you," Gingell said at Michigan Media Day in early August. "I can't really compare it to anything, because I haven't done it."
It took just one game before the first-year starter felt the sinking feeling of missing such a kick. His 37-yard attempt with six seconds left didn't even have a chance to split the uprights after Appalachian State's Corey Lynch swatted it to the field turf.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(8-4, 4th in Big Ten)
Key returnees: QB Anthony Morelli, WR Derrick Williams, LB Dan Connor, CB Justin King, S Anthony Scirroto
Player to watch: Morelli has never been an encouraging leader for Nittany Lion fans, and he didn't perform well at all last year. Unless he improves significantly, the offense will stagnate.
Ohio State Buckeyes
(12-0, Big Ten Champs)
Key returnees: LB James Laurinaitis, CB Malcolm Jenkins, RB Chris Wells, T Kirk Barton, T Alex Boone.
Player to watch: QB Todd Boeckman. The redshirt junior has Heisman Trophy shoes to fill, and as he goes, so do the Buckeyes.
(6-7, 8th in the Big Ten)
Key returnees: DE Ken Iwebema, RB Albert Young, LB Mike Klinkenborg
Player to watch: Yet another QB in this spot, but it seems that no contender other than Michigan in the conference is completely confident in its quarterback. Hawkeye Jake Christensen replaces Tate at the helm of the offense, and his ability to get the job done will determine where Iowa finishes.
BY JACK HERMAN
College football historians will eventually decide where Michigan's 34-32 loss to Appalachian State ranks among the sport's all-time greatest upsets. But there's no debate over part of the fallout.
Ranked fifth to start the season, the Wolverines fell out of the Associated Press Top 25 poll released yesterday. Since the poll expanded to 25 teams in 1989, no team has ever fallen further.
Michigan placed 33rd in the poll, tallying 39 points. Southern Cal took the top spot with 1,619 points.