Michigan football over-under: Can the Wolverines win more than half their road games?
There are only two Big Ten football teams that will play six of their games away from home next season, and one of them is Michigan.
That's the same Michigan team that, despite going 11-2 last season, struggled immensely on the road.
Further, four of the six teams Michigan will face away from Ann Arbor -- Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State -- could be among its five toughest opponents.
So, naturally, the Wolverines will have to solve their road woes if they are to have any shot at matching last year's success. They will have to be better than .500 to do so.
Can they do it? We debate...
Over/under: Michigan will win 3.5 games away from home
Kyle Meinke: Michigan has had some very good teams in the past decade. It has had some very bad ones, and a few in the middle. But one thing has remained nearly constant: It has struggled on the road.
The Wolverines are 54-18 in the past 10 seasons at home, but just 28-26 away from Ann Arbor. While they went undefeated at home four times in that span, only once did they lose fewer than two games on the road (they went 4-1 in 2007).
Even last year, during Michigan's resurgence under first-year under coach Brady Hoke, the team played its worst ball on the road. While it went undefeated in eight games at the Big House, it was just 3-2 away from Ann Arbor.
Three of the Wolverines' worst games -- Michigan State, Iowa and Virginia Tech -- came on the road. That performance was directly tied to their most important player, quarterback Denard Robinson, whose production dropped off significantly away from home.
Arguably, Robinson's worst four games last year came at MSU, at Iowa, at Illinois and in New Orleans against Virginia Tech. He finished 58-of-118 passing (49.2 percent) for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions away from Ann Arbor.
And that came against a relatively weak road slate.
Prediction: Michigan will play two extra games away from home next year, and against better teams than last year. History, both long- and short-term, suggests the Wolverines will have to fight just to break even on the road. Take the under.
Nick Baumgardner: Michigan only had to play away from home four times last season (not counting the bowl game), and things were far from flawless.
But more than that, history just isn't on the team's side.
Michigan has won four regular-season games away from Michigan Stadium just once this century: In 2006, when the club started 11-0 and nearly played for the national title.And that season, Michigan did score an impressive road win against a stout Notre Dame team and a slightly above average Penn State squad, but also benefited from playing bottom-feeding Indiana and marginal Minnesota.
This time around?
Michigan starts the year on a neutral field, but it's still against defending national champion Alabama. Notre Dame's been scorned by Michigan for three straight years, and is breaking out its lights for a payback.
Nebraska was humiliated by the Wolverines in Ann Arbor last year, and like Notre Dame, will attempt to pay Michigan back at night -- in front of a frenzied crowd.
Purdue and Minnesota are winnable road games, to be sure, but those come before the final tilt of the season -- in Columbus, against Urban Meyer for the first time.
Prediction: I'd love to disagree with Kyle here, but I just can't. Denard Robinson was putrid on the road a year ago, and history shows how difficult it's been to score more than three wins away from home. I have to take the under.