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Michigan football offensive line snubbed by major media outlet

The Michigan football offensive line was recently ranked No. 2 in the nation ahead of the 2023 season.

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Michigan football offensive line, Joe Moore Award
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive line coach Mike Elston alongside offensive lineman Jeffrey Persi (79) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two seasons, the Michigan football offensive line has won the Joe Moore Award (given to the nation’s top O-line) in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first program to ever accomplish this feat. Heading into the 2023 season, Michigan has one of the best and most experienced lines in the country, yet in the newest On3 offensive line rankings, the Wolverines came in at No. 2.

Michigan football offensive line ranked in top-2, falls short of No. 1 ranking

Today, On3 released their annual post-spring offensive line rankings, and Michigan football came in at No. 2. This decade, the Wolverines have established themselves as one of the top offensive line schools in the nation, winning two Joe Moore Awards during their back-to-back Big Ten title-winning seasons in 2021 and 2022. Now, heading into 2023, Michigan football could very well win a third straight Big Ten title, and appears to be an early favorite to claim another Joe Moore Award, though its new-look offensive line will be put to the test.

Ahead of the Michigan football offensive line on On3’s list is the Georgia Bulldogs, who are yet to win a Joe Moore Award this decade yet have claimed two-straight national championships, most recently downing the TCU Horned Frogs in the title game by a gruesome score of 65-7. Right below the Wolverines on the list is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, followed by LSU and Texas, who rounds out the top-5.

The Michigan football offensive line is also the only Big Ten O-line to make the list; other notable lines in the Big Ten include those of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions, who are both reloading and looking to reclaim the Big Ten title for the first time in a few years. Ohio State’s last title came in 2020, while Penn State’s most recent title came in 2016.

Why No. 2?

Here is On3’s explanation for ranking the Michigan football offensive line at No. 2 in their rankings:

“The reigning back-to-back Joe Moore Award winners have a retooled OL unit that should still be among the nation’s best in 2023. The Wolverines bring back two of the better guards in the country in Trevor Keegan and Zak Zinter, and they’ve added multiple transfers who look primed to start at center (Drake Nugent from Stanford) and tackle (LaDarius Henderson from Arizona State). 

Michigan OC/OL coach Sherrone Moore has depth to work with, too, with fellow Stanford transfer tackle Myles Hinton and third-year interior vets Greg Crippen and Raheem Anderson.”



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

FOOTBALL

Michigan football opens with impressive odds to win the 2023 Big Ten title

Michigan football is a strong favorite to win this year’s Big Ten title game.

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Michigan football, betting odds, Big Ten title
Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh lifts the Big Ten Championship Trophy with his team after the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Following an impressive campaign last fall, it may come as no surprise to Michigan football fans that Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines are clear-cut favorites in the early betting odds to win the 2023 Big Ten title. According to Caesars Sportsbook, no team in the Big Ten has better odds to claim the conference championship than the Michigan Wolverines, who lead the pack with +165 odds.

Michigan football opens with impressive betting odds to win 2023 Big Ten title

In 2021, Michigan football became the first program to ever begin the year unranked yet make the College Football Playoff. The Wolverines also claimed their first Big Ten title since 2004 and defeated Ohio State for the first time since 2011. A season later, Michigan did it all again, this time going 12-0 in the regular season with another series of dominant rivalry wins.

In addition to their impressive 13-1 record, Michigan football added a second-straight Big Ten title to the trophy case. This year, Jim Harbaugh has the chance to do something that the Wolverines have not done since the early 1990s under former head coach Gary Moeller: win three Big Ten titles in a row. Even Lloyd Carr, who won a national championship, did not accomplish this feat during his time in the Maize and Blue.

These new Caesars Sportsbook odds place Michigan football ahead of two other Big Ten giants as well: Ohio State (+200) and Penn State (+650). The success for Michigan is nice, but now a new task has emerged: remaining focused despite the hype heading into the year.



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Michigan football transfer portal addition is hungry and gunning for a national title

A new Michigan football transfer signee is coming to Ann Arbor to win a national title and prove that he belongs.

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Michigan football transfer portal addition, Josaiah Stewart
Apr 1, 2023; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines helmet on the sideline during the Spring Game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 Michigan football transfer portal class is largely regarded as one of the best in the nation. The Wolverines had few roster holes to fill after an incredible season last fall. However, whatever remaining question marks the program had were promptly addressed through a series of impressive transfer acquisitions by Jim Harbaugh and the coaching staff. One of these new commits, Josaiah Stewart, could have a significant impact in the Maize and Blue this upcoming season.

New Michigan football transfer portal addition is hungry

During his time with Coastal Carolina, Josaiah Stewart stood out as a defensive end, making his mark on their Group of Five program as it aimed to rise through the ranks. Stewart recorded 80 tackles, 16 sacks, and four fumble recoveries during his tenure with Coastal Carolina. Following his most recent season in the Black and Teal, Stewart entered the transfer portal and was swiftly picked up by Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football program.

“I’m coming in hungry, I always have a chip on my shoulder,” he said after the 2023 Michigan football spring game. “Either I am undersized, under-recruited, or whatever the case may be; I am always hungry, so nothing has changed [since being at Costal Carolina].”

Josaiah Stewart looking to prove that he belongs in the Big Ten

As we approach the 2023 season, this four-star addition to Michigan football via the transfer portal appears poised for some significant moments in the fall. Stewart is arriving in Ann Arbor to address a noticeable need for the Wolverines at defensive end. Just as we witnessed the previous season, Michigan is losing two of its top pass rushers, including All-Big Ten edge rusher Mike Morris, before the new campaign. Stewart, alongside rising stars like Braiden McGregor and others, will be filling that void.

“I belong here,” he said when asked about what he intends to prove during his time in Ann Arbor. “Everybody is doubting, everybody is questioning, you know, ‘how can he play in the Big Ten?’ Well, I’m going to show you guys, that’s all there is to it.”

Fueling the pursuit of a national title in year one

The upcoming fall could be a pivotal season for Josaiah Stewart, the new addition from the Michigan football transfer portal. He is certainly a name to keep an eye on as the team enters summer training and beyond. Despite his lack of Power Five experience and his young tenure with the Wolverines, it’s clear that Josaiah Stewart is well-aware of what is expected of him and his team.

“You can tell [Michigan football] is a winning environment,” Stewart continued. “You can tell how seriously they take winning here, and we all know what the goal is — it’s not just the Big Ten Championship, it’s a national championship. And you can feel that as soon as you walk in the building.”



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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Michigan football update: Wolverines looking to add flash to their offense in 2023?

The 2023 Michigan football offense has fans and experts excited for the fall opener and beyond.

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Michigan football offense, JJ McCarthy, Colston Loveland
Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines tight end Colston Loveland (18) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago, Michigan football saw one of its best seasons in program history, going 13-1 all said and done, as well as claiming a Big Ten title, CFP berth, and more. Heading into a new season this fall, the Wolverines look as dangerous as ever. However, it has become clear that if Michigan wants to take the next step and compete for a national title, the offense needs to be able to adapt more than it did in 2021 and 2022. That could start with Colston Loveland, JJ McCarthy, and others.

A new chapter for the Michigan football offense in 2023?

According to Michigan football tight end Colston Loveland, a rising sophomore star in the Maize and Blue, the Wolverines are well on their way to establishing a flashier offense behind second-year starting quarterback JJ McCarthy, a potential Heisman Trophy candidate this year.

Colston Loveland shined in year one with Michigan football last year, truly coming into his own as the season went on. With injuries to starting tight ends Luke Schoonmaker and Erick All, Loveland was a freshman playing the role of an upperclassman and turned heads while doing so. This year, the sophomore Wolverine is looking for a bigger role alongside transfer addition AJ Barner from Indiana.

Colston Loveland, JJ McCarthy looking to take the next step throughout a new season

As a deep threat tight end, Colston Loveland could be a perfect target for JJ McCarthy this fall as the Wolverines attempt to modernize their offense in pursuit of a third-straight Big Ten title and more. A national championship is not off the table for Michigan football right now. However, as history has proven, Michigan needs more offensive diversity and a stronger defensive push in playoff games.

“I think we’re definitely going to spark a little more in the pass game this year,” Colston Loveland explained to ON3. “especially building the chemistry. We got J.J. all offseason. I think we’re going to sling it around the yard a little more.”

Smashmouth football has worked well for the Wolverines in Big Ten play, boasting an impressive 19-1 conference record over the past two seasons with consecutive Big Ten titles and wins over Ohio State. Still, the national championship has eluded Jim Harbaugh’s grasp, largely due to offensive breakdowns in 2021 and mistakes in 2022.

As former five-star quarterback JJ McCarthy progresses throughout his junior season in Ann Arbor, Michigan football may have all the tools it needs to take things to the next level, perhaps claiming its first national title since the late 1990s.

This newfound offensive firepower is a reason for excitement in Ann Arbor and a great sign of things to come for the Michigan football offense in 2023.



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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