Denard Robinson, Heisman Trophy winner and national champion? Book it, Wolverines
Some might think I'm crazy tossing the idea around that the Michigan quarterback could win the Heisman and a national title this year.
He, arguably, is the fastest quarterback ever. What more do you want to see from him?
I think he has not yet played on a great team, but still led the Wolverines to an 11-2 mark and a BCS bowl win in coach Brady Hoke's first year.
Even the Michigan coaches last year doubted him when they tried that ridiculous Devin Gardner dual quarterback experiment that disrupted any offensive flow in the losses to Michigan State and Iowa. What is smart is moving Gardner to the wideout position. He might end up in the NFL one day with that move.
The Michigan coaches know what they have now. Robinson is a freak of sports nature.
He is a one-man offense at times. We all have seen it.
He's that good. The fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game last year looked as if he was playing football the way Allen Iverson looked in his prime on a basketball court.
If Wolverines offensive coordinator Al Borges lets Robinson run to set up the pass, this will be a national championship season. He could have a Cam Newton-like senior season and carry the Wolverines to an undefeated season and win the Heisman. Newton was a better passer, but Robinson has better legs.
Michigan will go 14-0
I have upgraded my prediction from the summer. Michigan is going 14-0. The Wolverines will be national champions this year.
Robinson's speed makes every game on Michigan's schedule winnable. He is what Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders was to the running back position.
It begins with Alabama on Saturday night. Robinson will have a huge night in Michigan's upset of the Crimson Tide. Alabama coach Nick Saban never has faced a quarterback who can run like Robinson.
Hoke and his staff know how big this game is. They are treating it as if it were a national championship game. Eight months to prepare for the Crimson Tide will be a factor in the Michigan win.
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison also will be key in beating Alabama. He knows how to game plan against an opposing offense as good as anyone I've ever seen, college or pro.
Saban has won titles based on running the football, stockpiling talent and recruiting, and not a lot of out-of-the-box coaching.
His style is boring and predictable.
'Bama won't win
Alabama thinks that just by showing up, they'll win. My gut feeling is the Crimson Tide already are counting the win without playing the game.
Borges will let Robinson do what he does best.
Alabama has no idea what is coming from Michigan's quarterback.
What Robinson and Hoke's staff did together last year was astounding for their first season. Those two things are why I'm picking Michigan to win.
When the Wolverines win on Saturday night, Robinson will become the frontrunner for the Heisman.
I also think with the win, Michigan will move up in the polls to at least the No. 2 spot, if not No. 1. Hoke knows this is his earlier-than-expected chance to put Michigan back with the big boys of college football.
Robinson must deliver in five big games to make this a championship season: Saturday against Alabama, at Notre Dame, Michigan State at home, at Nebraska and at Ohio State.
The only game that I think he could stumble is against the Spartans on Oct. 20. Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is one of the brightest minds in college football today.
He knows how to defend Robinson better than anyone else.
What is different this season is that Michigan is at the Big House for this one.
Michigan will end its four-game losing streak to the Spartans this year, but it will be a close one.
Barring a Robinson injury, the Wolverines will finish undefeated with a win over Southern California in the BCS title game in Miami.
Robinson will leave college as another Michigan Heisman trophy winner with a Big Ten and national championship ring.
The guy is that good.
-- Bill Simonson is host of “The Huge Show,” a syndicated radio sports talk show broadcast statewide