The Wolverine

September 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 57 of 148

BY JOHN BORTON W atch out for Ohio State, the Big Ten sun rises and sets in the East, and Michigan still has some work to do. That's the thumbnail takeaway from conversations with some of the main beat writers on the U-M circuit at the conference football meetings July 28- 29 in Chicago. Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News, Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press and Nick Baumgardner of all gave their views on what will happen with the Wolver- ines, the Big Ten and beyond. For Michigan fans, the news offers some hope, but no certainty moving for- ward. None of the three see the Wolver- ines making the Big Ten champion- ship game. All of them figure it's go- ing to be a matchup between Ohio State and Wisconsin, for various rea- sons. From Michigan's division, the Buckeyes still loom large with a very talented senior quarterback behind center. He'll make the difference this year, according to Chengelis, a vet- eran of more than two decades on the Michigan football beat. "I like Braxton Miller and what he brings to the table," she said. "Clearly, their path is going to go through East Lansing. They've got Michigan at home, so that works to their advan- tage. They've got some holes, cer- tainly, but they have time to develop and take care of those things." Snyder concurred, projecting that a defense that gave up 41 points to what had been an inconsistent Michigan of- fense will improve to better comple- ment OSU's offensive firepower. "Ohio State may have had the best team last year," he said. "They got beat by Michigan State in one game, but over the whole season they were clutch when it mattered. "They've got a veteran quarterback, the best offensive player in the confer- ence in Braxton Miller, and in crunch time he can make a big difference. Their defense is going to be vastly improved over last year." Baumgardner, meanwhile, pointed to OSU head coach Urban Meyer 's track record over the course of his short tenure in Columbus. He also BIG TEN ROUNDTABLE Michigan Beat Writers Kick It Around Before The Season's Kickoff

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