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College football analyst says it’s do-or-die for Michigan football in 2023

According to one college football analyst, the 2023 season will be huge for Michigan football.



Michigan football, Jacob Smith
Apr 1, 2023; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on the sideline during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two seasons, Michigan football has won back-to-back Big Ten titles, appeared in the College Football Playoff twice, finished in the top three twice, and more. However, the Wolverines have yet to win a national title game or a CFP game. These are goals they are aiming to achieve in the 2023 season. According to college football analyst JD Pickell of ON3, the Maize and Blue need to take the next step in 2023. The deck appears to be stacked in Michigan’s favor, and now is the time for Jim Harbaugh to lead the Wolverines to the promised land.

College football analyst claims Michigan football is facing a crucial test with the 2023 season, must take the next step

This fall, Michigan football has no excuses for not being a College Football Playoff team. The Wolverines boast a nearly intact coaching staff, a second-year starting quarterback, the nation’s best offensive line and running back duo, and a top-ranked defensive unit according to ESPN. Furthermore, their toughest opponent, the Ohio State Buckeyes, who have a first-year quarterback, will be faced at home in late November.

The most challenging game on their schedule might be a mid-November matchup against Penn State, but the Wolverines are still expected to emerge as the favorites. JD Pickell, a prominent college football analyst at ON3, emphasizes that this is the year for Michigan football to transition from contending for Big Ten titles to contending for national titles.

“The thing for them is that they got to beat the boss level, right,” PicKell said on ‘The Hard Count.’ “Because you’ve done everything else up into this point a couple years ago, you would have said we beat Ohio State. Awesome. That’s all we want in this world is to beat the Buckeyes. Well, now you’re saying we beat the Buckeyes twice in a row. We’ve won the Big Ten championship twice in a row and now you’re saying Big Ten title or bust and you’ve earned that.”

For Michigan football, surpassing Ohio State and winning the conference is no longer the ultimate goal. The Wolverines have become accustomed to achieving these milestones. Now, the focus is on pushing even further and securing a national title.

“It’s like when you play the video game and you beat level one, level two, but then you get to the boss level. And you don’t care about anything besides beating that boss and the boss right now for Michigan is a national title.”

Pickell further emphasized that if Michigan fails to contend for the championship this fall, doubts may arise regarding whether the Wolverines have reached their peak under Jim Harbaugh. Some individuals have already begun to question this, especially after the team’s consecutive losses in the College Football Playoff.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.