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I have no idea what to expect from Florida-Michigan

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

28

August

Now that the first full week of college football is finally upon us, I have a confession.

I have no idea what to expect from the Florida-Michigan game.

Thankfully, I am not alone.

This goes beyond the Wolverines not releasing their roster and the Gators not announcing a starting quarterback.

No. 11 Michigan had 11 players drafted in the first six rounds. Jim Harbaugh returns only five offensive/defensive starters (including East Lake High alum Mason Cole). Defensive lineman Rashan Gary was the nation's top recruit in 2016.

"There's no doubt Michigan has good enough talent to beat anybody in the country..." Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo said. "They're young. That's the issue."

It also makes it really hard to gauge how good they are. Yes, Harbaugh has reeled in back-to-back top-eight recruiting classes. But elite prospects don't always pan out. Stars don't guarantee success.

I cover the Gators, so I know more about No. 16 UF. That doesn't mean I have a good read on what to expect in Arlington, Texas - especially with seven players suspended (including star receiver Antonio Callaway). The uncertainty at quarterback and key defensive departures only compound my confusion.

I think the Wolverines win. That's why I ranked them higher than UF on my AP Top 25 ballot. But I don't feel very confident in that pick at all, which is why I only put Michigan one spot higher.

"The Florida-Michigan game, I think, has more question marks than any game we'll have seen in recent memory," CBS analyst Rick Neuheisel said in a recent conference call with reporters.

Agreed.

[Last modified: Friday, August 25, 2017 4:14pm]

    

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