If there is one team that has become one of the top trendy picks in the Big Ten in recent years it is the Northwestern Wildcats. I get it, I really do. I’m a huge fan of Pat Fitzgerald and I cannot wait to see how the Northwestern offense performs this season with quarterback Kain Colter perhaps among the top quarterbacks in the conference and running back Venric Mark one of the most dynamic players in the conference. Northwestern brought water to their bowl victory drought last
season and Fitzgerald said during Big Ten media days this week that raising the Gator Bowl trophy over his head was just the beginning, setting the foundation for future championship success at Northwestern.
In short, I love watching Northwestern play but I’m not ready to hop on the Wildcat band wagon as much as others have. If I had not made that clear enough this offseason, then perhaps today’s latest game-by-game predictions for the Michigan Wolverines at Athlon Sports will.
I was asked to be a part of a panel to evaluate Michigan’s season and pick each game. While I do not love this Michigan team, I am optimistic about their chances in the Big Ten Legends Division. Although I am already on record of picking Nebraska in the Legends Division, I am also on record of picking Michigan against the Huskers straight-up. When it came time this week to pencil down wins and losses for the Wolverines, I ended up pegging Michigan for a 10-2 season with losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. There are a few games I feel are toss-ups along the way though, specifically against Notre Dame and Penn State. The other game that I would consider a toss-up is Michigan’s road game in mid-November at Northwestern. For the time being, I’m picking Michigan and apparently I am the only one.
Each member on the Athlon Sports panel has picked Northwestern to win that match-up. Sure, I could see a strong argument to suggest the Wildcats defend their home field. Michigan needed overtime last year to beat Northwestern and has won the last four games played in Evanston, Illinois. I typically hate using that kind of trend to defend my stance, some of those Michigan teams weren’t exactly great. I think this year’s Michigan team will get better as the season progresses, and that bodes well for my pick here.
Maybe I’m wrong about Northwestern, and if I am I will be more than willing to eat my words at the end of the season. I’ll stand firm with my prediction for the Wolverines, at least in that game.
Check out how my picks compared to members of the Athlon Sports team as well as Big Ten Network blogger Brent Yarina. How many wins are you predicting for Michigan in 2013?