Can't Wait For Saturday | New coach, same old Michigan? That's the plan

May 27—***

The Big Ten football season will be here before you know it. Illinois is one of the two Big Ten teams opening Aug. 29 (Minnesota is the other). The rest of the league opens that weekend.

Between now and May 29, I am continuing to count down the 2024 Big Ten race. Feel free to disagree.

New coach Sherrone Moore did a bangup job filling in during the 2023 season when weirdo boss Jim Harbaugh was suspended. Moore clearly has the backing of the players, staff and administration. They are going to do everything in their power to make his first season a success. And don't forget, Michigan is the defending national champ, meaning there was oodles of talent on the field. Not all those guys left for the NFL. And the backups waiting in the wings are mostly four- and five-star recruits. Yes, Blake Corum was a star at running back, scoring 27 touchdowns on the ground. But Donovan Edwards is ready to carrry the load after a solid season.

Harbaugh got out for the NFL at the right time, with only six starters returning. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy is the biggest loss and no sure-fire replacement emerged in the spring. Ruh-ro. The schedule is full of tests, starting with the second game of the season at home against national title contender Texas. Fresno State also visits Ann Arbor. In league play, the Wolverines host Southern California and Oregon. They travel to Washington and Ohio State. And circle the 100-year anniversary of the Red Grange game in Champaign on Oct. 19.