Michigan football could have been playing on Monday night if it weren’t for numerous mistakes in the College Football Playoff semifinal in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl against TCU. While that’s the bad news, the good news is the Wolverines have a lot to look forward to in 2023.
No, we don’t know with any certainty whether head coach Jim Harbaugh will return, and multiple players have not yet announced their decisions to stay or go to the NFL. But with J.J. McCarthy, Donovan Edwards, Will Johnson, Colston Loveland, Junior Colson, Mason Graham and other top, young talent returning next year, the maize and blue very well should be considered the team to beat in the Big Ten.
That’s precisely how 247Sports sees it, too.
247Sports put together a too-early top 25 for the 2023 season, with four analysts submitting votes. One had the Wolverines as high as No. 1 in the country (Georgia received the other three, while Alabama had three votes at No. 2) yet they checked in overall at No. 3
3. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
Highest ranking: No. 1 on one ballot
One of us took the Wolverines at No. 1 given Michigan’s two-deep, led by J.J. McCarthy at quarterback and a host of talented ball carriers. As long as Jim Harbaugh is the Wolverines’ head coach when the 2023 season kicks off, the Big Ten should once again go through Ann Arbor, as it has each of the past two seasons. For some reason, Michigan got away from its bread and butter in the playoff and for the second straight year, suffered a hard-to-stomach defeat. This team loaded up on portal players who will fill holes in the roster in a big way.
Rival Ohio State and Big Ten foe Penn State came in at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, and if that were to hold, it would be that much more difficult for Michigan to retain its newfound role as back-to-back defending Big Ten champions. However, no one expected the Wolverines to win it again in 2022, and they did so emphatically against both of those teams.
The next step is to play in 15 games, if not win all of them.