Well folks, after summer break here at GHE we are back. One of us got married and one of us got engaged. One of us coached a men’s league softball team while recovering from an injury. One of us became a Colorado citizen by posting weekly hiking photos. And, finally one of us continued to be the GHE/SEC Alcohol champion and ambassador.
Needless to say, we loved our time off but it is time to get back to our mothers’ collective basements and churn out some great sports content. While we started as a site based around the Red Wings, our different interests and talents have led us wanting to cover more. So we will be your one stop shop for all things Michigan sports this year. We will cover all four professional franchises and starting with this post today, will cover the five division one college football programs in this great state. Hell, we may even cover some division two football, if we’re feeling froggy (#LakerForALifetime eh Bob?)
So before we dive into the week one match-ups, I just want to say to anyone reading this, we apologize about the lack of content this summer. Real life got in the way and we vow to stay on top of the site more this year. We do have one request, if you’re reading this, interact with us! Find us on twitter, leave some comments in the stories, let us know you’re there so we can create a great community for Detroit sports fans. Without further ado, let’s preview the games involving our teams this weekend!
Week 1 Games (Ranked in order of intrigue/watchability)
- University of Michigan vs Appalachian State (Saturday 12:00 PM ESPN2)– Ok, we all know why this get’s the number one ranking right? Oh, what’s that you don’t know why this is intriguing? Well let me show you: It was 2007, and the Michigan Wolverines were coming off a season where they were a close loss against Ohio State from playing for a national championship. They returned an amazing offense stocked with Chad Henne and Mike Hart. They needed an opponent for week one late in the process and scheduled FCS powerhouse Appalachian State and QB Armanti Edwards, expecting an easy victory. Of course it didn’t work out that way and possibly the biggest upset in modern college football happened and some have said the Michigan program has never been the same since. Now that we have had our fun at Michigan’s expense, let this be known, there is no way the Mountaineers pull this off again. Appalachian State is now a FBS program, as a member of the Sun Belt, and went 4-8 last season. While the Wolverines are highly questionable along the offensive line, their defense and offensive specialists are just too good to let an upset happen again. The Wolverines have every chance to get to 7-0 before playing at Michigan State. I’ll say the Wolverines race out to a quick lead and allow some late scores but exact revenge for 2007. (UM 41-17)
- Western Michigan @ Purdue (Saturday 12:00 PM ESPNU)- Do you get the feeling the options are going to be pretty slim with this game being the second most intriguing match-up? Well it’s an ugly slate folks, so enjoy a few Michigan brews to watch this slate. The Broncos were one of the worst teams in all of FBS football in PJ Fleck’s first season in 2013. The Broncos were 1-11 and had the 119th ranked offense and 106th ranked defense. Fleck has improved the recruiting at Western and is an energetic young guy, who seems to have the ability to be successful in the MAC. However, it is going to be a few years until these recruits start paying off. (Intermission fun fact: Jay “Datbull” Harris was enrolled at WMU this summer but once again left football to pursue his rap career.) So the Broncos were awful, yet Purdue was somehow worse! 122nd in offense and 114th in defense while going 1-11. Now since the Boilermakers play in the B1G, their lower ranked units doesn’t necessarily mean they are worse than the Broncos. But, this game will be close and the Boilermakers were blown out by MAC powerhouse Northern Illinois 55-24 last year. I’m going to go with the upset and say the Broncos beat Purdue. (WMU 17-13)
- Michigan State vs Jacksonville State (Friday 7:30 PM BTN)–
The reigning B1G and Rose Bowl champion Spartans open the 2014 campaign at home against the Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. Both teams are ranked 8th in the country in their respective divisions (Jacksonville State is an FCS program), so the Spartans should not overlook the Gamecocks to their week two match-up against Oregon. While everyone has high expectations for the MSU offense and Connor Cook after back-to-back game MVPs in the Rose Bowl and B1G Championship, let’s not forget how the season started. The Spartans only beat Western Michigan by 13 and Purdue by 14. So, is Cook done with the bad mistakes or did he just play out of his mind in two big games? I say Jacksonville State shows up to play but doesn’t have the offensive talent to make this game. (MSU 34-13)
- Central Michigan vs Chattanooga (Thursday 7:00 PM ESPN3)- The Chippewas had an interesting 2013 season. They opened the campaign losing 59-9 to Michigan and saw their starting quarterback and running back get injured in that game. They were able to rebound and finish a respectable 6-6 and managed to keep Dan Enos in the head coach’s office. The Chips are expected to make some noise this year in the MAC West with sophomore Cooper Rush maintaining the starting quarterback spot he earned last season. The Mocs of Chattanooga were 8-4 last season and finished 25th in the FCS final poll. For more in depth analysis of this game, check out a great preview here at GHE favorite, The Hustle Belt. I admit not knowing much about either of these teams, this early in the season but believe the atmosphere of a welcome week, Thursday night game at Central will give them the edge. (CMU 34-27)
- Eastern Michigan vs Morgan State (Saturday 6:00 pm ESPN3)- Listen folks I don’t know how to better describe this game than this, you can purchase tickets to a season opening game, at a division one school, in a new head coaches’ first game, for merely $11. Listen just to be able to see the gray field alone, you Detroit area fans should head on out!
So yeah the Eagles don’t have much going for them. So I’ll admit making a wild guess here, but promise I will become more immersed with this squad as the season rolls on. (Morgan State 28-17)