Michigan football fans: Team's No. 8 ranking brings guarded optimism, Kool-Aid refusal and terror
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
For the first time since 2007, Michigan will start the year among the nation's elite (as far as pollsters are concerned), as the Wolverines debuted at No. 8 in last week's initial USA Today Coaches Poll.
Whenever a preseason poll is released, fans generally try to keep themselves guarded with one main mantra:
But, of course, the truth tells us that fans do in fact care. Otherwise, preseason polls might not exist.
Michigan will start the season as high as No. 8 (The Associated Press Top 25 debuts Aug. 18), but is that too high? Too low? Just right?
Cause for joy? Cause for concern? Cause for indifference?
That all depends on who you ask.
One fan doesn't think No. 8 is a poor ranking, but isn't exactly looking at BCS title game ticket prices just yet.
- Macabre Sunset: It's an appropriate ranking - Michigan has a lot of experience now, and is expected to build on last year's success. Denard in particular will have more opportunities in the second year of learning this offense.
My worry is about the reaction if Alabama gives us a thumping. Their offensive line is the best in the country and our defensive line is our weakest unit. They will move the ball on the ground. It's absolutely the worst possible matchup for a week 1 game.
Another likes the idea of being ranked that high to start the season, but can't seem to force down that last sip of Kool-Aid.
- MRunner73: Lots of Maize and Blue Kool-aid and love towards Michigan. I wish but wouldn't go that high. Anybody remember 2007? The first game was at home with App State. The offense and defense was loaded for Michigan. What happened? Point is, this year's defense lost some key player to graduation. A few missing pieces on offense with some brush ups with the law.
I hope those pundits are correct.
Then comes the vote for indifference ...
- Blu n Tpa: Very few teams benefit from a high ranking this early in the (pre)season. A Boise State or TCU type team gets a break due to difficulty or lack thereof of their schedule, with a high early season ranking. At least one "highly ranked" team will go into the second week of the season with a loss. Will it matter down the road? We'll see.
Early season polls are nothing more than window dressing for fans and grist for the media mills. (This being a case in point.)
And the terror ...
- AnnArborDon: Pre-season high ranking means:
-- some players on your squad may get over-confident,
-- other teams won't take you lightly,
-- teams with an underdog complex will be out to get you,
-- teams with a score to settle will be even more out to get you,
-- every other team will be trying to prove themselves,
-- more eyes will be watching for failure.
Who wouldn't want that?
All good points from differing sides of the coin. It's still tough to predict how exactly everything shakes out.
But the good news here?
The speculating ends in 24 days.