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The Lions, Wolverines, and Spartans will give Michigan a lot to Cheer about this Season

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After watching the Detroit Lions, the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans, I think the Detroit area is in for a fine football season. The Lions have the look and feel of a winning team. They are strong on offense after acquiring two new offensive linemen in the off-season to rebuild the line. The new offensive line combined with a healthy Ameer Abdullah, as their starting running back, should improve the running game; and give Matt Stafford, the $92 Million Quarterback, time to throw the ball to his explosive receivers, Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay.
The Lions seem weakest on defense. Teryl Austin, Lions Defensive Coordinator, will have to devise a scheme to improve the pass rush. The Lions must reduce the time the opposing quarterback has to throw the ball to improve the team’s defensive pass coverage.  If not, Lions fans are in for a long season. Personally, I believe Jim Caldwell and his coaches will figure it out. My prediction is, the Lions will go 10-6 and make the playoffs.
My excitement for the Michigan Wolverines is boiling over this season. The prognosticators are picking Ohio State and Penn State to win the Big Ten this year, but I am not buying it. The champions of the West played a strong game against a highly touted Southeastern Conference Florida Gators team that was rated 17th in the country. Some experts expected the Wolverines to lose the game. They won and demonstrated how talented their young players are this season. The Florida game is evidence that they are primed to win the Big Ten this season for the following reasons. The offensive line is dominant like it used to be under Bo Schembechler. The running backs are fast and powerful, while the receivers are blessed with great hands and speed. The offense ran for 215 yards and passed for another 218 in their 33-17 win over Florida. The offense is balanced and ready to go. The Wolverines have not had weapons like this in a longtime. The team even has a top-notch kicker who made four field goals and two extra points. He even kicked a 55-yard field goal.
Michigan’s weakness was supposed to be the defense. After all, they had lost 10 returning players. However, coach Jim Harbaugh has recruited some great players like Rashan Gary and Devin Bush in his four years as head coach. These players create a fast and physical defense. It held the Florida offense to no touchdowns and only 192 total yards. The defense will get even better as the season progresses. Consequently, I predict that the Wolverines will go 10-1, losing to Penn State but defeating Ohio State. They will go undefeated with a little luck and compete for a national title.
Michigan State, on the other hand, will have a mediocre season. They beat Bowling Green handily.  However, they did not look that great doing it. Mark Dantonio is an
excellent coach so he will coach them up and they will get better. Unfortunately, they must play Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State this year. Therefore, I believe MSU is headed for a respectable 8-4 or 7-5 season with a return to a post season bowl game.
The state of Michigan can rest assured; football will give us a lot to cheer about this season!

Mark K. Jones, a 16-year veteran of DTE Energy, started his DTE career as a regional manager overseeing multi-state lobbying, and in 2007, he developed and launched what would become the company’s award-winning Faith Based Initiative.
In 2009, Mark took a brief hiatus from DTE to work for then-Mayor Dave Bing as the group executive over grants and stimulus, targeted business and workforce development.
Since returning to DTE in February 2011, Mark has managed the Faith Based Initiative, which works with area churches and mosques to disseminate DTE Energy’s messages concerning energy assistance, energy efficiency, supplier development and the job readiness youth training program.
Mark started his career in 1993 as the director of the Michigan Equal Employment and Business Opportunity Council with Gov. John Engler’s administration.
Mark is a longtime member of the Ceciliaville Board of Directors. Ceciliavilile has helped hundreds of children attend college using basketball as a vehicle.
A native of Detroit, Mark attended Cranbrook High School where played varsity football and ran varsity track. He also captained the Fisk University golf team in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Mark earned a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
He and his wife, Lisa, have three children.

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