Michigan Makes Top 25 in First 2018 Amway Coaches Poll

Michigan Makes Top 25 in First 2018 Amway Coaches Poll

Football

Michigan Makes Top 25 in First 2018 Amway Coaches Poll

With the season less than a month away, the first preseason Amway Coaches Poll, presented by USA Today, was released on Thursday, and the Wolverines climbed back into the Top 25.

A year removed from being unranked, and having a disappointing 8-5 season, Michigan is expected to be a College Football Playoff contender in 2018 — but questions still remain as to the viability of that outcome, given last year’s struggles on the offensive side of the ball.

But with new quarterback Shea Patterson, a potentially revamped offensive line, and an elite defense, the Wolverines placed accordingly, ranking 14th overall in the inaugural release.

Outlook: The pressure is officially on Jim Harbaugh, who is 1-5 against rivals Ohio State and Michigan State in his three seasons. Shea Patterson, a transfer from Mississippi, is expected solve the team’s problems at quarterback. The defense was inexperienced last year and still ranked second in the Big Ten. That’s a good sign for this season.

However, as detractors will be first to tell you, the maize and blue have an uphill battle on their hands, as they face multiple top teams on the road.

The Wolverines open at Notre Dame (ranked 11th), face MSU in East Lansing (ranked 12th) and are at Ohio State to close out the regular season (ranked 3rd). The team also faces Wisconsin (7th) and Penn State (9th) at home.

As expected, Alabama, who won the College Football Playoff last season, is rated No. 1 overall.

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