The Wolverine

2021 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2021 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 19 BY RYAN TICE A thlon's national college foot- ball preview magazine is always a highlight because it includes anonymous college coaches sizing up each team in the sport. A few of those that spoke candidly summed up the conundrum the Wolverines face perfectly. So far in the Jim Harbaugh era, they've been good … but not good enough. "If you took the name Michigan off, most coaches in the country would be happy to have the success they've had, happy to have the players on that roster," one said. "But they're Michigan, so we all expect them to be better." "When you look at them from the outside, you see a successful program pretty much everywhere but on the field against their true peers," another chimed in. "That's really what it boils down to. They don't need a complete change, but they have to identify what sepa- rates their offensive scheme and their develop- ment from the programs they expect to beat. "This is a good program. But they're Michigan, so you can't be unremarkable." The Wolverines didn't make a "complete change" this offseason, but came about as close to one as you can without making a change at the top, hiring six new assistants (seven, if you count Maurice Linguist, the de- fensive backs mentor who left before coach- ing a game to take the head post at Buffalo) and overhauling the recruiting department. The preseason magazines that were out as of early June don't agree on much, but they do on the Wolverines' finish within the Big Ten East (fourth), and that this year is a crucial one in deciding the future of Harbaugh. Both Athlon and Lindy's named the coach among its top national storylines for the 2021 season. "Although [Harbaugh and Michigan] ul- PROVE IT PROVE IT YEAR YEAR National Preview Magazines Agree That The Jim Harbaugh Era Has Reached A Crossroads Harbaugh was listed as the No. 1 coach on the hot seat by Lindy's. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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