ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 17: The Michigan Wolverines take the field before the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Ranking Michigan’s 2016 opponents: No. 12 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

It is time to rank Michigan's 2016 opponents and we kick things off with Hawaii.

Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines open with something of a "cupcake" schedule in 2016. The great possibility of a strong start in Ann Arbor has garnered a lot of attention but, in the same breath, Michigan faces perhaps its three toughest games away from Michigan Stadium and expectations are through the roof for the upcoming campaign.

In advance of kick-off on Sept. 3, we will glance at each of Michigan's opponents (12 in total) for 2016, placing them in order from most likely for victory to least likely. With some cushion between now and the start of the season, there are certain things still up for grabs for many squads, but in short, this is an informed prediction of the potholes that the Wolverines may encounter in the near future.

With that out of the way, let's get to the easiest opponent on the slate with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

2015 Performance

The Rainbow Warriors had a tough run of things in 2015, finishing the campaign with a 3-10 record. On the positive side, Hawaii (somehow) upended Colorado in the season opener by a 28-20 margin, but the team's other wins came against UC Davis and UL Monroe, leaving something to be desired.

When it comes to facing off against similar opponents to Michigan, it was fairly ugly. Hawaii lost to Ohio State and Wisconsin by a combined score of 66-0 and Boise State thrashed the Rainbow Warriors by a 55-0 margin in early October.

What to expect in 2016

Well... there is a reason that Hawaii is dead last among Michigan's opponents. SBNation's S&P+ statistic projects the team at No. 118 in the country and, in the same vain, gives the Wolverines a 98% chance to pull of a victory. On the "bright" side for the Rainbow Warriors, this will be their second game of the season against Michigan's first (on Sept. 3), but aside from that, it is tough to decipher any sort of real advantage that the visitors will have on the field.

Baseless prediction

Jim Harbaugh isn't shy about sending messages to the rest of the Big Ten and/or the college football world. With that in mind, I don't expect Michigan to "take it easy" on Hawaii in the opener, but there is some uncertainty at quarterback for the Maize and Blue, and that could aid in the visiting team avoiding complete embarrassment. The Wolverines are currently listed as more than a five-touchdown favorite and, well, anything less than that would be seen as mediocre.


Stay tuned as the preseason opponent countdown continues.