The 2012 Michigan Wolverines football team, sometimes known as Team 133 in reference to the 133-year tradition of the Michigan football program, was an American football team that represented the University of Michigan during the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season.
Under second-year head coach Brady Hoke, Michigan played in the Legends Division of the Big Ten Conference and played its home games at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Highlights of Michigan's season included Michigan becoming the first college football program to win 900 games in NCAA history with its victory over Michigan State and snapping a four-game losing streak to Michigan State as well, as well as a come-from-behind victory against Northwestern.
Taylor Lewan was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and All-American, while Will Hagerup was named the Big Ten Punter of the Year. Patrick Omameh also earned first team All-Big Ten recognition. Craig Roh, co-captain Jordan Kovacs and Jake Ryan earned second team recognition. Although they split the quarterbacking duties, both Devin Gardner and co-captain Denard Robinson earned multiple Big Ten Player of the Week awards with Robinson rewriting record books along the way. Following the season, Kovacs was voted team MVP.
The 2011 Michigan Wolverines football team compiled an 11–2 record under first-year head coach Brady Hoke and defeated Virginia Tech in the 2012 Sugar Bowl, 23–20 in overtime. In recognition of the team's drastic improvement from the 2010 season, Brady Hoke won Big Ten Coach of the Year awards from both the coaches and media.
Michigan returned 13 out of 22 starters — six on offense and seven on defense. Michigan had also expected to see the return of wide receiver Darryl Stonum, who was redshirted the previous season for disciplinary reason, but Stonum was dismissed from the team on January 17, 2012, for a violation of team rules. He transferred to Baylor. Michigan will be forced to replace captains center David Molk, defensive tackle Mike Martin, and tight end Kevin Koger, as well as starters defensive end Ryan Van Bergen, defensive tackle Will Heininger, safety Troy Woolfolk, offensive tackle Mark Huyge, long snapper Tom Pomarico and wide receiver Junior Hemingway, as well as the 2011 team's leading kickoff returner Martavious Odoms.
Safety Josh Furman was arrested February 11, 2012 and faced three misdemeanor charges (illegal entry, assault and battery, and domestic violence) in court. He declined the offer of a plea agreement of domestic violence. He was found not guilty of all three charges on April 26, 2012. On April 30 he was reinstated to the team. In late May 2012, defensive lineman Will Campbell was charged with felony malicious-destruction-of-property arising out of an incident on April 7 in which the six foot, five inch, 322-pound athlete "slid across the hood" of a Lincoln Towncar, causing damage to the hood. On June 14, Campbell reached a plea deal in which the felony charge was waived in exchange for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge and an agreement to pay $2,100 in restitution to the vehicle's owner. On July 23, Toussaint was suspended from the team following a July 21 arrest for driving under the influence.
Eight Michigan players were named to pre-season award watch lists: (1) Denard Robinson for the Walter Camp Award (best college), the Maxwell Award (best offensive player), the Davey O'Brien Award (best quarterback), the Manning Award (best quarterback as judged by the Sugar Bowl committee), as well as a Big Ten player to watch, (2) Fitzgerald Toussaint for the Maxwell Award and the Doak Walker Award (best running back), (3) Taylor Lewan for the Outland Trophy (best lineman), the Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker), as well as a Big Ten player to watch, (4) Jordan Kovacs for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player), (5) Roy Roundtree for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver), (6) Brendan Gibbons for the Lou Groza Award (best placekicker), (7) Kenny Demens for the Lombardi Award, and (8) Craig Roh for the Ted Hendricks Award (best defensive end). In addition, Patrick Omameh was nominated for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which is awarded for community service. On August 26, the team voted Denard Robinson and Jordan Kovacs as its captains for the season.
Michigan's recruiting class was ranked No. 4 by Scout and No. 7 by both Rivals and ESPN. The program received 25 letters of intent on National Signing Day, February 1, 2012.
Entering the season, Michigan was ranked No. 8 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll. Following its opening week loss to Alabama, Michigan dropped to No. 19 in both polls, but rose to No. 18 in the Coaches' Poll and No. 17 in the AP Poll following its victory against Air Force. After its victory against Massachusetts, Michigan rose to No. 17 in the Coaches' Poll, but fell to No. 18 in the AP Poll. Michigan dropped out of the rankings following its loss to Notre Dame, and then stayed unranked following the bye week. Michigan re-entered the AP Poll at No. 25 following its win against Purdue, but remained unranked in the Coaches' Poll. Following its victory over Illinois, Michigan rose to No. 23 in the AP Poll and re-entered the Coaches' Poll at No. 25. Michigan rose to No. 20 in both polls following its victory over Michigan State and entered the BCS rankings at No. 22. Michigan fell out of the rankings after its loss to Nebraska, and remained unranked following its victory over Minnesota. Michigan re-entered the rankings after its overtime win against Northwestern at No. 23 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches' Poll and No. 21 in the BCS poll. After its victory over Iowa, Michigan moved up to No. 20 in both the AP and Coaches' Polls and No. 19 in the BCS Poll. Michigan fell to No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the Coaches' Poll, but remained at No. 19 in the BCS Poll after its loss to Ohio State. Michigan rose to No. 19 in the AP Poll and No. 22 in the Coaches' Poll after a bye week. After its loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, Michigan finished the season ranked No. 24 in the AP Poll and unranked in the Coaches' Poll.Source: ESPN.com: 2012 NCAA Football Rankings
Radio coverage for all games will be broadcast statewide on The Michigan Wolverines Football Network and on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The radio announcers are Frank Beckmann with play-by-play, Jim Brandstatter with color commentary, and Doug Karsch with sideline reports.
Taylor Lewan was named to Sports Illustrated's midseason All-American team. On September 18, Patrick Omameh was named to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. On October 22, Denard Robinson was named a Davey O'Brien Award semifinalist. On November 1, Denard Robinson was named one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. On November 5, Brendan Gibbons was named a Lou Groza Award semifinalist. On November 13, Patrick Omameh was named a finalist for the 2012 Pop Warner National College Football Award. On November 27, Jordan Kovacs was named a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy.
Lewan was named Big Ten Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year, while Will Hagerup was the Conference Punter of the Year. Lewan and Omameh were named first team All-Big Ten by the coaches. Lewan and Hagerup were named first team by the media, while Craig Roh and Jordan Kovacs were second team by the coaches. Jake Ryan was named second team by the media. J. T. Floyd, Jeremy Gallon, Brendan Gibbons, Hagerup, Roy Roundtree, and Ryan were coaches honorable mention, while Will Campbell, Floyd, Devin Funchess, Gallon, Gibbons, Kovacs, Omameh, Robinson, Roh and Roundtree were honorable mention by the media. Lewan was a 2012 College Football All-America Team selection by the Associated Press (1st team), ESPN (1st team), Walter Camp Football Foundation (1st team), Lindy's Sports (1st team), Sports Illustrated (1st team), CBSSports.com (2nd team), FoxSportsNext.com (Scout.com 2nd team), and Pro Football Weekly (honorable mention). CBSSports.com also named Lewan along with Hagerup to their All-Big Ten team. Kovacs earned team MVP for the season.
60 Minutes aired a 13-minuted college football segment hosted by Armen Keteyian on November 18 that featured Michigan football. Athletic director David Brandon, Brady Hoke, Denard Robinson and Jordan Kovacs were interviewed. Only Brandon, Hoke and Robinson appeared in the on air segment and its online extra companion piece.
The following players were Academic All-Big Ten: Courtney Avery, Brennen Beyer, Seth Broekhuizen, Joey Burzynski, Jareth Glanda, Jeremy Jackson, Joe Kerridge, Jordan Kovacs, Mike Kwiatkowski, Desmond Morgan, Patrick Omameh, Joe Reynolds, Craig Roh, Matt Wile, Steve Wilson, and Charlie Zeller. Devin Funchess was a College Football News and FoxSportsNext Freshman All-America Second Team selection (behind Penn State's Kyle Carter). Robinson played in the 2013 Senior Bowl. Campbell and Roh were invited to the 2013 East–West Shrine Game.
Michigan finished the regular season ranked eighth in the Big Ten in total offense and fifth in scoring offense. Defensively, the team finished second in total defense in the Big Ten and 13th in the country, as well as second in the Big Ten in sacks allowed and fifth nationally in pass defense.
Denard Robinson finished third in the conference in rushing with an average of 115.09 yards per game. Dennis Norfleet finished second in the conference with an average of 28.21 yards per kick return. Desmond Morgan led the team in tackles with 7.36 per game, while Jake Ryan finished third in tackles-for-a-loss in the conference with an average of 1.23 tackles-for-a-loss per game. The per game team rankings below include 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams and 12 Big Ten Conference teams.
The per game rankings below include players who played in 75% of teams' games and were ranked in the top 100 national leaders and top 25 conference leaders:
Starters and backups against Alabama. Following Blake Countess's injury, Courtney Avery replaced him atop the depth chart beginning in the second week of the season, while Ramon Taylor replaced Avery atop the depth chart beginning in the sixth week of the season. Fitzgerald Toussaint was injured in the win against Iowa and missed the rest of the season. Thomas Rawls replaced him at the top of the depth chart for the final two games of the season. Brandon Moore was injured during the first game of the season, but was not replaced atop the depth chart until Week 10 against Northwestern, which saw Mike Kwiatkowski become the starting tight end.
The 2013 NFL Draft ran from on April 25 to April 27. Michigan players eligible to be drafted were Denard Robinson, Jordan Kovacs, Roy Roundtree, Kenny Demens, Ricky Barnum, Elliott Mealer, Vincent Smith, Patrick Omameh, Mike Kwiatkowski, Brandon Moore, Brandin Hawthorne, J.T. Floyd, Will Campbell, Craig Roh, Steve Wilson, Jack Kennedy, Paul Gyarmati, Matthew Cavanaugh, and Floyd Simmons. Taylor Lewan decided to return for his senior season, despite being considered a potential first round pick in the draft. Denard Robinson was invited to the 2013 Senior Bowl as a wide receiver.
Robinson and Campbell were selected in the fifth and sixth rounds of the draft. Undrafted free agent signees were Kovacs (Dolphins), Roh (Panthers), Roundtree (Bengals), Mealer (Saints), Omameh (49ers), Demens (Texans) and Barnum (Redskins).