A panel of college football coaches believe, collectively, that Michigan is the No. 9 team in the country with less than a month to go before the start of the season.

Tom Fornelli, a writer with CBS Sports, thinks the coaches might be a little off when it comes to the Wolverines.

Fornelli has Michigan as one of the five most overrated teams in the preseason coaches poll, ranking third on the list behind Auburn (No. 13) and Texas (No. 23), which tops his list.

It’s not for a lack of talent, Fornelli writes, but simply having to replace too many starters from last season’s 10-3 Orange Bowl team. There’s simply too many questions, which echoes ESPN’s assessment that the Wolverines are college football’s biggest mystery.

“Michigan loses eight players on defense that were named to an All-Big Ten team last year. Eight!,” Fornelli writes. “There are only six starters back from last season’s team total, so we’re going to see a lot of people in new, larger roles this season, and it’s hard to truly know how good this team will be before seeing it play a football game.”

Fornelli continues that Michigan could, by season’s end, be a top-10 team (that when it really matters, anyway, right?), and that the only reason the Wolverines are starting there now is because of the man running the program.

“Michigan will likely be a top 15 team in college football this year,” he writes. “It could end up in the top 10 and compete for a Big Ten title, but it shouldn’t start the season there now.

“And if it weren’t for the fact it was Michigan, and its coach was Jim Harbaugh, it wouldn’t be.”

Also on Fornelli’s list are No. 4 USC, and No. 19 Kansas State.

Michigan opens the season Sept. 2 against Florida in Arlington, Texas.