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Michigan football chosen over Ohio State in 2023-24 CFP predictions

Michigan football was chosen to make the CFP this year, and was the lone Big Ten program included.

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Nov 27, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins (25) rushes in the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan football is red-hot after finishing back-to-back seasons with Big Ten championships and College Football Playoff appearances. With key contributors returning, such as Blake Corum and J.J. McCarthy, the Wolverines are slated to have another big season in 2023, perhaps making a third-straight return to the CFP.

Action Network unveils new CFP predictions and more

Action Network recently released their “Way-too-early” New Year’s Six bowl game predictions. For the 2023 season, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will serve as the College Football Playoff Semifinal games.

Action Network’s CFP predictions state that Michigan will play Florida State in the Rose Bowl, ranking Michigan football above conference rivals Ohio State and Penn State. Georgia and Washington were the other two teams predicted to make the playoffs via the Sugar Bowl.

Notably, Clemson and Alabama, the two most successful programs in modern playoff history, were left out of the College Football Playoff. Since the creation of the playoff in 2014, Clemson has made six appearances, while Alabama has made seven.

Despite Alabama’s reputation as a recruiting powerhouse and their consistent playoff appearances, national media believes that the loss of key starters, such as Bryce Young, will cause Alabama to miss the playoffs for the second straight year.

Media Shift Surrounding Michigan Football

Following the 2021 football season, Michigan fans had plenty to celebrate. Jim Harbaugh had finally beaten Ohio State (as a coach), won a Big Ten Championship, and made the College Football Playoff.

Entering 2022, Michigan was ranked seventh in the AP preseason poll. Despite losing to Michigan the previous year, Ohio State was ranked second. It was clear that the 2021 season was seen as a fluke, and the media wasn’t fully confident that Michigan was truly the better team.


If beating Ohio State once wasn’t enough proof, beating them twice surely was. Now that Michigan football has demonstrated its ability to replicate its success from the 2021 season, the media is giving Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines the respect they deserve.

Michigan’s ranking above Ohio State signifies a shift in the tide for the program’s reputation; the Wolverines are no longer the underdogs they were in 2021 when they went from unranked to Big Ten champions. Jim Harbaugh will seek to replicate the success of the past two years as the Wolverines pursue a third consecutive national championship.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and 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 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!

 

FOOTBALL

Michigan football veteran defensive lineman is looking primed for a breakout season

Michigan football defensive lineman Kris Jenkins is looking like a beast heading into 2023!

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Michigan defensive lineman Kris Jenkins (94) celebrates a play against TCU during the second half at the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.

Few have been as good as Michigan football when it comes to producing elite defensive linemen at the college level. In 2023, defensive linemen Mazi Smith and Mike Morris were drafted into the NFL. The year prior, Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo were also drafted. Now, the Wolverines look primed to have another stud defensive lineman head to the NFL draft as Kris Jenkins looks prepped and ready to go for 2023.

Michigan football defensive lineman Kris Jenkins is taking off-season training to a new level

Every year, Michigan’s strength and conditioning team does an elite job of developing in the off-season. In fact, strength coach Ben Herbert is widely known as one of the best in the business.

Heading into 2023, he appears to be working some magic again. Defensive lineman Kris Jenkins has been a consistent player in the defensive line rotation for Michigan over the years. However, he’s never quite had his opportunity to break out. In 2023, that opportunity might be on the way!

In 2022, Jenkins was listed at 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, and looked like an absolute beast. Still, it appears he wasn’t happy with his 285-pound frame, though, as he recently took to Twitter to update fans on his current weight.

If this is real, and Jenkins does indeed stand at 309 pounds, then offensive linemen be warned. Defensive lineman Kris Jenkins looks like an absolute menace right now and could be prepping to take over college football. He clearly has the will to improve; now we have to see it take shape on the football field.

How high can his stock rise for the 2024 NFL draft?

For now, it’s not looking like Kris Jenkins will be a top draft pick. That’s not exactly a knock on him, but rather a situation of opportunity. In 2021, Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo were the stars of the show. Then in 2022, Mazi Smith was the man of the hour, eating up seemingly three blocks every single play. Now, it seems like the door is open for a breakout season for Jenkins, and it could literally pay off in the form of the 2024 NFL draft.

In his last two seasons with the program, Jenkins has recorded a total of 76 tackles and two sacks. While the sack numbers are low, they aren’t all that concerning, mainly because he’s more of a run-stopper than anything. In fact, that extra weight should only increase his ability to stop the run.

For the time being, Jenkins has the makings of a middle-rounder in the NFL draft, but this could quickly improve with a big season in 2023. It’s all up to him, and he’s aware of it. Considering the significant changes to his body already this off-season, he’s put the work in. Now, he just needs to show what he’s capable of on the field.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics 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 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 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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Blake Corum, JJ McCarthy ranked top 25 in college football NIL value

Blake Corum and JJ McCarthy are fantastic examples of what NIL value can look like for Michigan football!

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Michigan running back Blake Corum and quarterback J.J. McCarthy run against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

We’ve hit the point where Michigan football now fully understands the importance of NIL. For the beginning portions of the new NCAA rule, which allows college athletes to be paid based on their name, image and likeness, the University of Michigan showed some hesitations. This now appears to be a thing of the past as Blake Corum and JJ McCarthy are listed as two of the top 25 players in college football in NIL value.

Blake Corum and JJ McCarthy are proof of Michigan football’s ability to work NIL value

In an era in which NIL rules all, if your football program doesn’t know how to use it, they’ll generally struggle to compete with the best in college football. That’s why programs such as Georgia, USC and even Colorado have been able to take over the college football landscape.

While the University of Michigan hasn’t been bad in taking advantage of NIL, it hasn’t been a priority for them. However, that is no longer the case, as two Michigan football stars have some of the best NIL value in college football, according to ON3. Blake Corum is coming off of one of the best running back seasons in Michigan football history. JJ McCarthy is one of the best quarterbacks in college football and maybe the best in the Big Ten.

Blake Corum took his elite past couple of seasons and turned them into NIL deals with some major brands. Companies like Outback Steakhouse, Subway and M Den have all signed deals with him.

On the flip side, while McCarthy has only been the starter at Michigan for one season, this hasn’t hurt his NIL value in the slightest. In just one year starting, he’s signed deals with big-time companies like Bose, Essentia Water and Topps.

Michigan’s stars have used their NIL value for the betterment of the community

For some college athletes, having thousands of extra dollars in their bank account would be a dream. They’d be able to buy just about anything they wanted, all while being able to play the sport they love.

For Wolverines like Blake Corum and JJ McCarthy, they had different ideas for ways to use that money. Since their NIL paychecks began coming in, the two stars have looked to the community to find ways to help.

Blake Corum, for instance, used Thanksgiving as an opportunity to give back. Days before Thanksgiving 2021 and 2022, Corum walked around Ypsilanti, delivering turkeys to various families. It was a small gesture, but it significantly impacted the lives of those who received one.

JJ McCarthy had a similar idea, donating money to multiple children’s hospitals. He made this decision following the tragic shooting at Oxford High School in 2021.

With Blake Corum and JJ McCarthy continuing to rise in stardom, even more opportunities to give back could arise. In the meantime, the two players are top 25 in NIL value in college football and have used it to help make their communities a better place. With this kind of NIL success popping up in Ann Arbor, don’t be surprised to see more athletes donning the ‘block M’ in the future.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics 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 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 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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New Michigan football transfer portal target emerges in veteran defensive back

A new transfer target has been offered by Jim Harbaugh and the staff.

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Michigan football transfer portal, Josh Wallace
Oct 2, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh looks on during the second quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This year’s Michigan football roster is one of the best in the nation, boasting loads of talent and potential, and aligning the Wolverines with the national championship discussion. The one area of concern that Michigan still has is at cornerback — with Will Johnson still battling injury and the room looking a bit shallow, the Wolverines could use some extra depth ahead of their 2023 campaign. Yesterday, a new Michigan football transfer poral target emerged in the form of former three-star UMass defensive back Josh Wallace, a native of Maryland.

New Michigan football transfer portal target: UMass cornerback Josh Wallace

Throughout his remarkable career, Wallace has consistently demonstrated his exceptional skills and leadership qualities. As a team captain at UMass, he earned the trust and admiration of his teammates and coaches, solidifying his reputation as a natural leader both on and off the field.

Notably, Wallace’s outstanding performance on the gridiron earned him recognition as a second-team All-Independent honoree, further underscoring his impact within the conference. This accolade serves as a testament to his consistent excellence and highlights his ability to make a significant impact in every game he plays.

Wallace’s career thus far

During the thrilling 2022 season, Wallace’s presence was felt in all 12 games he participated in. His defensive prowess shone through as he recorded an impressive total of 41 tackles, including three tackles for loss. His ability to disrupt plays and make crucial stops showcased his versatility and knack for making a difference on every down.

Moreover, Wallace’s remarkable playmaking abilities were on full display as he contributed with one fumble recovery, two interceptions, and eight pass breakups. His exceptional awareness and keen instincts allowed him to create turnovers and provide strong coverage in the secondary, making him a force to be reckoned with.

As Wallace continues to progress in his career, his consistent performance, exceptional leadership, and game-changing abilities make him an invaluable asset to any team. With each accomplishment, he solidifies his status as a rising star in the world of football, hinting at a bright and prosperous future ahead.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics 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 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 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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