"better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt" - Abraham Lincoln
Whenever I say that I predict a 9 win season, yes, it's optimism, but it also reflects a lot on how far the team has improved. It also has to do with strength of schedule, and recruits, and generally, the condition of the team.
Although I might change my mind since the season is still 9 months away, the prediction is based on what I see and what I know right now. Especially after the spring game, we can gauge first hand on what to expect from the football team. If you watched last year's spring game, you would KNOW, this year is going to be quite tough.
There are many who would just dismiss whatever I say, and retort sarcastically "yeah right, we'd be great to have a winning season." That's just indifference and ignorance. They gauge their prediction based on this year's squad, and that just not right.
1) We're Michigan, and anything short of a BCS bowl would be a disappointment, this year included.
2) We didn't hire Rich Rodriguez to bring down this program, he has built programs from the ground up many times, and has proven himself as a money coach.
3) We didn't have the personnel to run the offense this year, it will change next season, probably.
4) Defensively it's a disappointment, no doubt, but things are being fixed.
5) Generally, transition years are tough for head coaches, and that's a trend that doesn't change at all.
6) We have most of the rivalry games back at home, Penn State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Does help the chances.. a lot.
7) Strength of schedule? First four games are gimmes, we got western, Notre Dame(they're not gonna beat us at home), Eastern, and Indiana. Iowa and Purdue are semi gimmes. We could win if we take care of business, and that's 6 already. Chalk up 2 of 3 from Penn St (home), Illinois, and Michigan State, and we have 8 wins. Plus we probably could win whichever school that's taking the open. And though it's really tough to win against Wisconsin on the road, and probably hard to win against Tressel and his Corvette, we could still muster a 9 win season, without too much difficulty.
And I am really not chalking up a lot of the win for us. seriously, only 2 of 3 against Penn St, Illinois and MSU? In recent memories, they're considered our personal punching bags. They're not that good, and will sink back into the background, faster than you can say "mediocrity".
It all doesn't matter, I would think we could at least muster 7 wins, that's the 6 gimmes and the open slot. even if we lose to all 3 swing games, PSU, Illini, and MSU, we still could get a winning season and go to a bowl game.