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Posted on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Michigan football team ranked No. 8 in initial USA Today Coaches Poll

By Nick Baumgardner


Brady Hoke and the Michigan football team ended last season as Sugar Bowl champions. They'll begin 2012 as the No. 8 team in America, according to the USA Today Coaches Pool

Melanie Maxwell |

The Michigan football team will begin the 2012 season in the top 10.

The Wolverines came in at No. 8 in the initial USA Today Coaches Poll, which was released for the first time Thursday.

The No. 8 ranking marks the highest preseason poll slot for Michigan since the Wolverines opened the 2007 season at No. 5, the same year that saw the team fall to Appalachian State in the season opener.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke is a member of the voting panel.

The Wolverines finished last season ranked No. 9 in the coaches poll, and are currently the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the poll, four spots ahead of No. 12 Wisconsin and five spots ahead of No. 13 Michigan State.

The Wolverines first opponent for the 2012 campaign, Alabama, opens the year ranked No. 2. LSU will begin the season at No. 1.

Nebraska (No. 16) is the only other Big Ten team ranked in the poll. Ohio State was not included.

Notre Dame, Michigan's week four opponent, will begin the year ranked No. 24.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

remember Blue and Yellows it's a pre season poll.what happens if u bomb out against Alabama or if D-Rob gets hurt early on.? honestly i think it's overrated as USUAL

Blu n Tpa

Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

To those who visit this site, for the purpose to "stir the pot", that's fine. Energetic discourse stimulates creative thought. Just try to keep it real and and accurate. Way, I don't see what the difference is. You and SEC post past records all the time, and not always accurately either. The fact that LSU lost it's bid for the NC, a short drive from it's campus to a team it already beat last season, really doesn't matter. They lost. Michigan was invited to play a BCS bowl in NOLA and they won. Coach Hoke has never lost a BCS bowl game and Michigan is the most successful college football program in the history of the sport. Enjoy your visits but remember TiM GO BLUE!

Blu n Tpa

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Sorry, didn't care enough to remember. So your team lost it's last BCS game whereas Michigan won theirs, in LA. Too bad, hopefully LSU can regroup. Losing can be hard but since you cover yourself with the whole SEC you can take solace with not being picky. About that SEC thing, how many bowl games has Michigan lost to SEC teams when Coach Carr was the HC at Michigan? You keep putting out all these stats but somehow you always manage to overstate the facts. Maybe BS at LSU means something different to some of us. All the best and Go Blue!

Blu n Tpa

Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 12:13 p.m.

Way, I'm sorry but you have to write this better. You have a question mark where no question is being asked.


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 4:18 a.m.

You're comparing losing in the NC game to winning an ugly game against another team that probably shouldn't have been in a BCS game either?

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Does anyone have a clue what team in the sec "the fan" is a "fan" of? It's probably Ole Miss or Vandy. Both pretty good school but hardly a defensible position to come on a Michigan website and gloat about how great his team is. It feels like reflected glory since he can't pick just one team to be proud of. Hey fan, what was Coach Carr's winning percentage vs the SEC in bowl games? You hand out a lot of "stuff" but you don't answer much. You remind me of a guy who used to brag how much he knew and he couldn't answer a simple question. Well are you that guy, T-212? My guess you're just like him. TiM Go Blue!

Blu n Tpa

Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Is that your opinion or are you just making up that Vandy and Ole Miss have a winning record vs 75% of the Big 10, including Michigan? BTW I like how you support the team that beat LSU, your team, your school, your alma mater, in NOLA earlier this year. Still waiting for your response on what Coach Carr's winning % was vs the SEC in bowl games. tick tock tick tock...... TiM Go Blue!


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

Oh blu....i sorry. Have i hurt your feelings writing facts instead of the usual lies? Try paying attention..i've stated a couple of times on this site...i received my B.S. degree from LSU. But unlike the typical ummmm fan (most of whom writing here probably never even attended it), i actually support all of my conference's teams (unles, of course they're plying LSU). By the way, ole miss andvandy would crush75% of the big 10 teams, including soon to 0-1ummmmm.

Blue Marker

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

TiM, Some would rather focus more on hating Michigan than cheering for anyone else. Remember, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but obsession can't be far behind!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 1:49 a.m.

Was Michigan ranked #1 going into 1997? No, they were ranked much lower until they stomped (and literally humiliated) the first higher ranked team they played that year. Which is the first higher ranked team Michigan will face in 2012? That would be No. 1 ranked Alabama - goodbye Sabanists!! Was Lloyd Carr ranked higher compared to Brady Hoke in August 1997? No, Carr had (very loud) detractors and critics from 1994 to 1997. And Carr was hardly on anyone's radar until after the 1998 Rose Bowl. Goodbye, Michigan doubters!! Did any Michigan fans believe the Wolverines would end up No.1 in 1997? No, through the entire season, there wasn't but one fan (that I personally know of) who thought Michigan would beat down every opponent and every rival. NO ONE in the press ever said a word about Michigan being the next National Champion until after Michigan trounced PSU. And even then, Ohio players boasted how they'd bring Michigan down - which they paid for dearly in that last regular season game of 1997. History is a great teacher, memory is an unreliable friend. LOL! Go Blue!!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

@Joggin. Very good point. um's regular season was against opponents with a 65-67 record. oooohhhh...scary. And their bowl game was against the #8 team in the nation. ooooohhhh...scarier. now, of course, Nebraska actually played the #3 team in the nation in their bowl game. Where's the memory man now?


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

That first highly ranked team UM beat and humiliated, as you say, was #8 Colorado and Mich benefited greatly from that win and jumped alot of spots in the poll. As it turned out however, Colorado went 5-6 for the year and didn't beat any ranked teams at all and really wasnt't very good at all despite it's #8 ranking. History is a great teacher and memory an unreliable friend..


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

"History is a great teacher, memory is an unreliable friend". OK. I'll accept that whole-heartedly. So you reference once year out of 64. So I'll reference the other 63 years. Nik Saban: 3 National Championships (none of which were "shared") plus 3 Conference Championships (none of which were "shared"). Hello Sabanists! SEC: 8 BCS Championships, 6 in a ROW. Michigan BCS Championships: ZERO Brady Hoke: 0.527 Coach. Brady Hoke: 5 Losing Seasons as Head Coach. Only 4 Winning Seasons (over .500) So, yes, I'll go with History...Goodbye Michigan Supporters!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:03 a.m.

Who plays the Charles Woodson role this season? That is all.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 3:47 a.m.

Just have to point out that the SEC has been the dominant conference in the nation the last couple years, and the Pac-12 has been the lady-in-waiting. Big 10 has been sadly overrated and in bowl games, over-represented. I'm betting U-M gets their heads handed to them in Texas. I'm a supporter and an alumnus of the Maize and Blue, but I'm a realist first.

I like Chicken

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

To bad we will be out of the rankings when we go into the 3rd game.

Kevin McGuinness

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.

Great article? Where is the rest of the poll?


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Sorry but 8th is too high. Our schedule is very tough, depth and talent a little bit thin, and I predict 4 losses. But we'll be there soon enough. Ps I hope I am wrong.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 9:13 p.m.

Lots of Maize and Blue Kool-aid and love towards Michigan. I wish but wouldn't go that high. Anybody remember 2007? The first game was at home with App State. The offense and defense was loaded for Michigan. What happened? Point is, this year's defense lost some key player to graduation. A few missing pieces on offense with some brush ups with the law. I hope those pundits are correct. GO BLUE!!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

2007, Head Coach Lloyd Carr. 2012, Head Coach Brady Hoke.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 7:57 p.m.

Pre-season high ranking means: ~ some players on your squad may get over-confident, ~ other teams won't take you lightly, ~ teams with an underdog complex will be out to get you, ~ teams with a score to settle will be even more out to get you. ~ every other team will be trying to prove themselves, ~ more eyes will be watching for failure. Who wouldn't want that?


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

1. no way there will be an overconfidence problem after the early careers these kids had. 2. no team is going to take the University of Michigan lightly, regardless of what their rank is. 3. every team is out to get Michigan ever year. 4. now you're just starting to get absurd. 5. the last 3 are basically the same statement. Come up with something new. 6. who cares who is watching?


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 7:22 p.m.

Rankings mean nothing except fanfare at this point. Talk to us in mid October when we have a good idea how ALL these teams should be ranked. But the positive is that being ranked this high to start puts you in position for good things, as opposed to the last 3 years where they started unranked.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 12:32 p.m.

Very few teams benefit from a high ranking this early in the (pre)season. A Boise State or TCU type team gets a break due to difficulty or lack thereof of their schedule, with a high early season ranking. At least one "highly ranked" team will go into the second week of the season with a loss. Will it matter down the road? We'll see. Early season polls are nothing more than window dressing for fans and grist for the media mills. (This being a case in point.)


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

Rankings mean more than fanfare considering where you start in this poll can have a major effect on where you more week to week, and this poll is part of the BCS ranking.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

Notre Dame is Michigan's week 4 opponent. HAIL!


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

And so what is your point.

Nick Baumgardner

Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

You're right, Brandon. My mistake. It's been fixed.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

ranking seems a little high but when you look at the other teams then it's not really that high... pre season rankings don't mean much anyways... i'll say that I expected that ranking from a media driven poll to hype up the 'Bama game... Go BLUE!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:18 a.m.

The way the BCS is set up, preseason rankings do indeed mean something.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Yep, that's exactly it.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

VOTE FOR TED. My presence on this blog is perhaps the reason most of you tune in. " What does Ted think about this?" So that I may finally get through to the small minority of dissenters on here, I am asking for a show of hands in the form of a "thumbs up" vote to assert the widely held belief that I am the authority here. This acknowledgement will illustrate to others, the appreciation and respect you have for me. As for the small minority on here who wish, you may vote "thumbs down." Thankyou


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.



Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:24 a.m.

Of other commenters I prefer no words negative to say, but of Spartys and contrarians I bid: Just go away.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:17 a.m.

This... this isn't a blog.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

RWBill ...then I guess you must be new to the blog, as every regular on here looks to me as the authority on matters concerning what it really means to be a "Michigan Man".


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

I have no idea who you are.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

Oh; self anointed one: do you agree with the preseason ranking? You'll get my vote in late November-good luck.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

I'm surprised Nick Baumgartner doesn't know that Ohio State and Penn State cannot be ranked because that poll does not include teams ineligible for the bowls. It's an appropriate ranking - Michigan has a lot of experience now, and is expected to build on last year's success. Denard in particular will have more opportunities in the second year of learning this offense. My worry is about the reaction if Alabama gives us a thumping. Their offensive line is the best in the country and our defensive line is our weakest unit. They will move the ball on the ground. It's absolutely the worst possible matchup for a week 1 game.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

@Mick...think of it as a recruiting trip. Nice to give your school the spotlight in, arguably, one of the biggest football markets in the country.

Blu n Tpa

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

That's because the last HC and DC couldn't "gameplan" the defensive side of the ball if they had three years to work on it. Your comment was the mantra of the WCiMFH-don't work the "D" or special teams, just play offense. How did that work for him. Don't you worry about how Coach Hoke and company get this team ready. As last year showed coaching matters and Michigan now has top coaches. TiM Go Blue!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:17 a.m.

There isn't much gameplanning you can do to get around a massive discrepancy in talent along the lines. Let's just hope the offense can take advantage of all the new starters on Alabama's defense.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

I'm with you Mac. If Michigan deserves to be ranked 8th, they are good enough to beat Alabama. It all depends on good coaching. If, like you point out Alabama's O line is significantly better than our D line, the coaches have to come up with a game plan to counter that. I do not care about the match up as much as I am disgusted it is not in Michigan Stadium or at Alabama in a home/away two game series. Big mistake, makes it look like big business has taken over our tradition. And it is a perfect way to show where the program is.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

After the Alabama game every other game is down hill and I mean that as a positive for Mich. Alabama is technically better than any team in the BTN in my opinion. Mich. should be prepared to play any team after Alabama.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

Worried somewhat about the line depth and ability on both sides of the ball. Seems like too high a ranking to me but Go Blue.

jeff blue

Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

Hi All, This is great news for UM Football -- we are #1 in the Big Ten again. It is a really great feeling, to say the least. What are your thoughts? There can be downside with the early hype: Does this place a bigger target on our backs? Does it indicate that maybe the Big Ten is down this year? Look at the woes of: PSU, OSU. Even Iowa, Wisconsin, MSU, Nebraska and look to be a little down this year. Can this early talk lead to overconfidence? Will a couple of tough losses make us seem over-rated? Please let me know what you think. I think that we are facing some tough games in 2012: Alabama in Texas OSU in Columbus Nebraska in Lincoln Notre Dame in South Bend At even MSU at home will be no picnic My view is that it is pretty much better to be under-rated and not have everyone pointing to you!! GO BLUE, JEFF


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

Whoaaa Jeff, I think you may have a severe case of premature exhilaration....


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

Jeff, Personally I won't call Michigan #1 in the conference until they win the whole thing, not based on a preseason poll. Until M beats Sparty and at least wins the Divsion there isn't any credence to #1 claims, imho.


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

MSU was ranked #10 in the final coaches poll


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Misread this section "The Wolverines finished last season ranked No. 9 in the coaches poll, and are currently the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the poll, four spots ahead of No. 12 Wisconsin and five spots ahead of No. 13 Michigan State. " I read it that he was referring to last season's final rankings for all the teams mentioned, not just Michigan


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Who cares


Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 6:08 p.m.

Sorry !