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3 major trends that Michigan football could break in 2023

While the Wolverines’ recent success has been nice, things could always be better. Michigan has the chance to break some trends in 2023.

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Throughout the past two Michigan football seasons, the Wolverines have seen quite a bit of success. Michigan has won two-straight Big Ten titles, made the College Football Playoff twice, and has claimed two-straight victories over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

For the first time since the mid-1940s, Michigan football has finished top-3 in back-to-back years, and the only things that have evaded the Wolverines have been postseason accomplishments such as a Playoff win and a National title. While Michigan’s success has been excellent, things can always get better — here are three trends that the Wolverines could break in 2023.

3. Michigan football could win third-straight Big Ten title

Five head coaches have passed through Ann Arbor since the Wolverines last won three-straight Big Ten Championships. In fact, Michigan football lays claim to a National title (1997) more recently than it has three-peated as Big Ten Champs.

The last head coach to win three-straight Big Ten titles was Gary Moeller in 1990-92 during his short stint as the Wolverines’ head coach. Jim Harbaugh could become the sixth coach in Michigan football history to win three-straight conference titles this fall.

It will not be easy — Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, and the Big Ten West Champion stand in Michigan’s way — but it can be done.

2. Wolverines could end postseason drought

Since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines have had a glaring issue on their hands: the inability to win postseason games. Since taking down No. 19 Florida in the 2016 Citrus Bowl (41-7), Michigan football remains winless in bowl games. As funny as it may seem, Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines have more Big Ten Championships (2) than bowl wins (1) over the past ten years.

Aside from Brady Hoke’s 2012 Sugar Bowl win and Jim Harbaugh’s 2016 Citrus Bowl win, the Wolverines have not won a bowl game since Lloyd Carr’s final season as head coach in 2007.

An even bigger issue is that the Wolverines have now lost back-to-back College Football Playoff games, most recently, a 51-45 loss in the Fiesta Bowl to TCU. Michigan looks unprepared come bowl season, which needs to change this year.

1. Michigan football could win National title

An accomplishment that is more important than any other in college football is the National Championship. The last time a National title was brought home to Ann Arbor was when Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines accomplished the feat in 1997 — led by Heisman winner Charles Woodson, Michigan football finished the regular season 11-0 before defeating Washington State in the Rose Bowl to improve to 12-0 and win the AP championship.

Since then, Michigan football has been close yet unable to bring home another title. Last week, Michigan rising senior running back Blake Corum predicted that the Wolverines will break this drought in 2023-24 and bring home the program’s first National title in over 25 years. Only time will tell, though Michigan’s chances are looking good at this point in the offseason.

Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebookand Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Managing Editor at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and all other steaming platforms.

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Four-star Michigan football target expected to commit soon

This four-star Michigan football target is about to announce his commitment.

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Michigan football, recruiting, 2024 recruiting class, Brian Robinson
Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolverines are one of the five remaining teams for Brian Robinson, a blue-chip edge rusher from Ohio, who is reportedly close to making a college decision. Robinson, who was once a prominent four-star Michigan football target in the 2024 recruiting class, was initially strongly leaning towards Michigan, but now it appears to be more uncertain. His commitment would be a significant and unexpected acquisition for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

Four-star Michigan football target Brian Robinson close to a final call

According to recent reports, Brian Robinson is nearing a decision and aims to conclude his recruitment within the next week or so. Robinson is currently ranked as the No. 131 recruit in the 2024 recruiting class. Given that the Wolverines have recently lost a substantial amount of talent on the defensive side of the football, especially at edge rusher, Robinson could be a major addition for Jim Harbaugh.

It doesn’t appear that Robinson is favoring the Wolverines right now, although Michigan football recruiting has seen significant changes recently, so anything is possible. At one point this year, it seemed highly likely that Ann Arbor would be Robinson’s eventual destination; however, his recruitment has become much more complicated in recent months.

If Jim Harbaugh can land Robinson, it would be huge for the 2024 recruiting class

The remaining schools in contention, aside from Michigan football, are Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Penn State. According to the RPM, Robinson’s preferred landing spot right now is the Kentucky Wildcats, with the Maize and Blue firmly in contention at the No. 2 spot.

As per the On3 industry rankings, Robinson is a highly sought-after four-star Michigan football target, ranking as the No. 131 player nationally, the No. 9 edge rusher in the 2024 recruiting class, and the No. 5 player in the state of Ohio.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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Latest buzz on impressive Michigan football freshman wide receivers

Here is the latest buzz from Schembechler Hall regarding a few rising stars — these Michigan football freshman wideouts are impressive!

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Michigan football, wide receivers, Ron Bellamy, Big Ten
© Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Wolverines’ wide receiver corps is led by Roman Wilson — the NCAA’s leader in touchdown catches (6) — and Cornelius Johnson. That said, below these two talented veterans are a number of impressive Michigan football freshman wideouts, who recently earned some high praise from wide receivers coach Ron Bellamy ahead of this weekend’s Big Ten conference opener against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0).

Michigan football freshman wide receivers continue to impress

Unlike the previous two seasons, the Michigan football offense is really starting to air the ball out often this fall. Aside from an unimpressive game against Bowling Green, junior quarterback JJ McCarthy has been dominant this year, which is a trend he hopes to keep up during this week’s matchup against Rutgers.

Ron Bellamy gives the latest ahead of this week’s Big Ten opener

Among this year’s wide receiver corps are a number of Michigan football freshman standouts, who have been turning heads throughout fall camp and even into the first few games of the season. Yesterday, Ron Bellamy — Michigan’s WR coach — gave the latest on these rising star Wolverines.

“They’re doing well,” Ron Bellamy said of the Michigan football freshman wide receivers. “They’re doing well — you can’t treat them like freshmen. I tell them all the time, ‘Whoever we play, they’re not going to look across and say, ‘Oh, this is an 18-year-old freshman here; take it easy on him.’ No, they are going to be attacking like they would any other player.’ That has to be the mindset, and we don’t treat them like freshmen. Those guys are diligent about their craft. That’s the thing I like about them. And that’s why they’re getting opportunities. Those guys are constantly wanting to learn and making sure that they’re dialed in and detailed in everything that we do.”

Keep an eye out for these freshmen when Michigan football takes the field

Ideally, Michigan football won’t need to rely on these freshman wideouts just yet; however, if you start to see names like Semaj Morgan, Fredrick Moore, and others getting some notable in-game reps, don’t be too surprised. From the sound of things, it seems that the Wolverines are confident in many of these rising stars, and are looking to continue developing them into the next generation of elite offensive skill players to wear the Maize and Blue.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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FOOTBALL

Top analyst has an interesting message for Michigan football fans

Top analyst Joel Klatt has some interesting thoughts about Michigan football heading into the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener this weekend.

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Michigan football fans, Joel Klatt, Big Ten conference, Penn State, Ohio State
Sep 9, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Roman Wilson (1) celebrates his touchdown against the UNLV Rebels with teammates during the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend, the Maize and Blue won their third-straight game of the 2023 season, downing the Bowling Green State Falcons by 25 points at home. While JJ McCarthy and the offense struggled, the Wolverines are still undefeated heading into Big Ten conference play this weekend. Still, with Penn State and Ohio State playing great football right now, top college football analyst Joel Klatt has an interesting message for Michigan football fans — he thinks that folks in Ann Arbor should be “antsy” right now.

Joel Klatt has an interesting take for Michigan football fans

Sure, last weekend’s victory over Bowling Green wasn’t pretty; however, Ohio State and Penn State have both seen their fair share of struggles so far this year. In fact, even outside of the Big Ten conference, schools like Texas, Alabama, and even Georgia have not been looking like their usual selves lately. Still, Joel Klatt says that there should be some tension among the Michigan football fanbase due to recent lackluster play during the non-conference slate.

“With what’s going on in the Big Ten East, namely Penn State and Ohio State? I would feel antsy if I were you, Michigan fans,” Joel Klatt explained on his show, ‘The Joel Klatt Show.’ “The one thing that will derail your season faster than anything else is if JJ McCarthy starts to turn the ball over. That’s why I would be antsy.”

“I know you’re going to run the football fine, I really do. I’m pretty confident that the defense is going to play really well. The one unknown is how efficient can JJ (McCarthy) play? Now, he was really good a year ago until late. Obviously, the TCU game (last year’s College Football Playoff semi-final), it got a little bit loose, and guess what? They (Michigan football) lost.”

Thoughts on what Klatt said about the Wolverines heading into Big Ten conference play

Now, I am going to disagree with Joel Klatt a bit here in a few aspects. First off, Michigan football has not proven that it can run the football consistently yet, and the offensive line is yet to mesh. This idea that the rushing attack will be elite this year because it was last year is simply not true — it’s a hard thing to admit, but fans are yet to see the same bruising Wolverines that they did over the past two seasons. Not that it won’t develop, but so far, Michigan is not nearly as dominant on the ground as it was in 2021 and 2022.

Additionally, Klatt said that JJ McCarthy was good in 2022 until late in the season, which is really not that accurate. JJ McCarthy was not seen as a great quarterback until the Ohio State game hit — not to say that fans didn’t see the talent, but he struggled to really get things going consistently until the final three games of the year, including the Wolverines’ CFP loss.

Right now, Michigan football fans should not be too concerned, if you ask me. That said, as the weeks go by and the Penn State and Ohio State matchups get closer, we need to see more from the Wolverines. The fact of the matter is that, with Michigan’s schedule this year, the Maize and Blue can have many shortcomings and still begin the year 9-0 — it’s the final three games that will truly define the 2023 team, so long as they can avoid upset beforehand.


Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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