With just five days until the Michigan football team visits No. 12 Notre Dame to kick off its season, it’s as good of a time as ever to throw predictions at the wall and see what sticks. Diehard fans think this is the year the 14th-ranked Wolverines find that indescribable success. Critics don’t see a reason for this season to be any different than last.

But one thing is certain — right now, your guess is as good as ours. 

On Saturday night in South Bend, Ind., a litany of lingering questions will start to find answers. Some will be answered immediately. Who will start at the offensive tackle spots? At WILL? Who could step up to replace Tarik Black’s production? And some questions will be answered in due time (Read: can Shea Patterson live up to the hype?). 

But for now, the thumb twiddling continues, no matter how certain you may be that Michigan’s defense will be better than the 2016 unit. So how will the Wolverines fare? The Daily football beat gives its best shot at deciphering their fate and what this college football season has in store on a national level:

Michigan regular season record (Big Ten):

Mark Calcagno: 9-3 (6-3)

Max Marcovitch: 10-2 (7-2)

Mike Persak: 10-2 (7-2)

Ethan Wolfe: 11-1 (8-1)


Big Ten Champions:

Calcagno: Wisconsin

Marcovitch: Ohio State

Persak: Wisconsin

Wolfe: Michigan


Offensive MVP:

Calcagno: Karan Higdon

Marcovitch: Shea Patterson

Persak: Shea Patterson

Wolfe: Shea Patterson


Defensive MVP:

Calcagno: Devin Bush

Marcovitch: Khaleke Hudson

Persak: Devin Bush

Wolfe: Rashan Gary


X-Factor not named Shea Patterson:

Calcagno: Whoever starts at left tackle

Marcovitch: Whoever starts at right tackle

Persak: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Wolfe: Chris Evans


Breakout player:

Calcagno: Aubrey Solomon

Marcovitch: Oliver Martin

Persak: Nico Collins

Wolfe: Zach Gentry


College Football Playoff predictions:

Calcagno: Alabama, Clemson, Wisconsin, Washington

Marcovitch: Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, Auburn

Persak: Alabama, Wisconsin, Clemson, Washington

Wolfe: Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia


Heisman Trophy winner:

Calcagno: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Marcovitch: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

Persak: Deondre Francois, QB, Florida State

Wolfe: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

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