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August 30, 2013

Staff Predictions: Michigan vs. Central Michigan

Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos has had a hand in some of the biggest wins in school history. Unfortunately for him he was on the opposing sideline, a graduate assistant at Michigan State when the Chippewas upset the Spartans 20-3 in 1991, and then 24-20 in 1992.

Lest we forget, he was also the MSU running backs coach in 2009 when Central upset Michigan State 29-27.

So yes, Dan Enos does know how to help CMU win against Big Ten opponents (in his own way). Can he do it wearing maroon and gold, though? He beat Iowa last year on the road (we'll count it, though the Hawkeyes were awful last year), but Michigan in the Big House?

Probably not.

And we're sure Michigan will have security on hand to make sure he doesn't try to switch into maize and blue garb at halftime if CMU happens to be trailing big, as we expect (this isn't Appalachian State coming in here for an opener, after all).

While he's saying all the right things, Enos probably knows he doesn't stand much of a chance if the Chippewas can't run the ball, especially with a novice (Grand Rapids Community College transfer Cody Kater) under center. Regardless, he can leave the stadium with his head held high knowing he rocks a visor better than most LPGA golfers - even better than Michigan man on the sidelines Doug Karsch.

This week's winner receives one of those visors (only in maize and blue, compliments of Karsch and WXYT Radio) and two of the thousands of unclaimed tickets to tonight's Michigan State - Western Michigan game, framed with the score (Western Michigan 6, Michigan State 5, OT).

The picks:

Chris Balas: With UConn having lost at home - badly - to Towson in its opener, CMU suddenly vaults to No. 2 on the list of toughest non-conference opponents. That's not saying much when Akron and Notre Dame are the other two, but the 'Chips do have some talent. Just not nearly enough to make it competitive against the Wolverines. The defense dominates for U-M while the offense works to find a running game to complement quarterback Devin Gardner.

Michigan 41, Central Michigan 10


John Borton: Central Michigan coach Dan Enos knows what it's like for the Chippewas to march into a sizable Big Ten Stadium, look the opponent squarely in the eye and then blacken it. Of course that was 22 years ago, when the then-Michigan State grad assistant and the No. 18 Spartans were getting punked at home, 20-3, by the Chips. Well, at least he knows it's possible. Then again, not this time.

Michigan 38, Central Michigan 10


Michael Spath: And so we're back and thanks to our agreement with Rivals/Yahoo Sports earlier this week, you're stuck with us for at least seven more years. By the end of that term, Borton will be collecting social security and getting into movie theaters at the senior rate, Balas will be the recruiting coordinator for John Beilein's staff, Sullivan will have retired, living the good life thanks to his doctor wife, Reid will be in charge of the Rivals.com Web cast arm, and I will be doing what I've done for a decade now - finishing 0-12 in staff picks.

Might as well get the ball rolling …

Michigan 42, Central Michigan 10


Andy Reid: Ben Franklin once said, "Beer is proof the God loves us and wants us to be happy." It's a shame Franklin never got to experience college football, otherwise he'd know that it's God's real gift to man.

College football is back! Rejoice, for America's favorite pastime (forget baseball) is once again upon us.

Michigan will comfortably roll to a week one victory without too much exertion. Devin Gardner will make some slick plays, Shane Morris will make his maize-and-blue debut and Frank Clark will wreak havoc on the Chippewa backfield. Fans should at least wait until the fourth quarter before kicking off the, "Beat The Irish," chant.

Michigan 45, Central Michigan 7


Tim Sullivan: Central Michigan looks like a pretty good squad, based on last year's results. They went 7-6 with a win over Iowa early in the season, and finished the year on a four-game streak, including a bowl victory. However, success is fleeting in the MAC, especially after losing the conference's first-ever No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The only team with a winning record that fell to the Chips last year was bowl victim Western Kentucky, and, well, Michigan ain't Western Kentucky. Michigan should get the chance to play backups early and often to build depth.

Michigan 45, Central Michigan 12


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