Preseason Magazines Lionize Wolverines

<b>Athlon</b> LOVES the 2004 Wolverines. So does <b>Phil Steele</b>. And <b>Lindy's</b> virtually swoons. <b>Street and Smith's</b> -- ditto. Only <b>Sporting News</b> raises concern about a new quarterback and running back in the Big House. Are the major preseason magazines looking in the rear-view mirror in prognosticating the Wolverine's 2004 journey?

From GoBlueWolverine Magazine's Aug. 1 Preseason Issue:

Lindy's 2004 National College Football. Picks U-M first in the Big Ten, #5 Nationally. To paraphrase, they say that Michigan not having an experienced quarterback is obviously a concern … and not having a star running back returning is certainly a disadvantage … but, "So what! They're still Michigan!" More specifically they contend, "In a conference race that could be decided by defense and first-year starting quarterbacks, Michigan has the best combination of both."

Street and Smith's College Football. Picks U-M first in the Big Ten, #8 Nationally. "Yes, Michigan is the favorite again (in the Big Ten). The sun will set in the West tonight, too."

Phil Steele's 2004 College Football Preview. Picks U-M first in the Big Ten, #7 Nationally. "Provided the new backfield performs solidly, the Wolves … have a great shot at not only a Big Ten Title but an undefeated season."

Athlon Sports National College Football. Picks U-M first in the Big Ten, #7 Nationally. "[Quarterback Matt] Gutierrez has the physical tools and surrounding talent to succeed immediately."

Sporting News College Football. Picks U-M second in the Big Ten, #10 Nationally. Sporting New's Tom Dienhart is the one prognosticator who has decided that Michigan should not be the preseason conference favorite, worrying, "… the Wolverines have plenty of running backs in reserve … Finding a quarterback will be more difficult." Lest one thinks Dienhart is simply anti-Michigan, he does rank the U-M coaching staff as the best in the conference.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Another related teaser from GoBlueWolverine Magazine's Aug. 1 Preseason Issue: here is how the Wolverines have fared when replacing a quarterback since the ‘modern era' of pro-style Maize and Blue QB's.

In John Navarre's first season (2001) the Wolverines finished 8-4; Drew Henson went 9-3 in his first season (2000) as starter; Tom Brady 10-3 (1998), Brian Griese/Scott Driesbach 9-4 (1995), Todd Collins 8-4 (1993); Elvis Grbac 9-3 (1990).

The question this data raises: can Michigan fans expect the Wolverines to go 9-3 or 8-4 in 2004?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Michigan Insider Top Stories