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Michigan Football One Of Three Big Ten “Contenders” Per FOX Sports

Are the Wolverines “contenders” this year?



Nov 13, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) attempts to recover his fumble during the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football Is One Of Eight Teams Listed As A “Contender” Per FOX

If you thought that beating your rivals on a yearly basis, winning numerous conference titles, and making the CFP in consecutive years would earn you national respect, you would be spot on. That is exactly what the Michigan football team has done since 2021, and heading into 2023, no one looks better equipped to win the Big Ten and more than Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines.

Michigan football, two other Big Ten schools are “contenders”

FOX Sports recently released their preseason expectations for the 2023 college football season. At the top of this list are three Big Ten programs, all of which are expected to contend nationally this fall. Michigan football, the reigning Big Ten Champions for two-straight seasons now, have gotten a lot of praise as of late, and sit atop FOX’s list.

With the Michigan Wolverines are the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions both finished in the top-7 with an 11-2 record a season ago, and are heading into 2023 with massive expectations. Per usual, Ohio State is expected to be in contention for a Big Ten title and more; and unlike years past, this year could be the one for James Franklin and his Penn State Nittany Lions. Both have many question marks, though only one of them (Penn State) gets the Wolverines at home.

The other five contenders listed are the Florida State Seminoles, the Georgia Bulldogs, the USC Trojans, the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the LSU Tigers. Of the eight teams listed, six are from the Big Ten and SEC — this is quite indicative of the state of college football at the moment.

Two Other Big Ten Programs Expecting Improvements

Just as we saw in the SP+ rankings, which were released earlier this week, the Big Ten appears to be top heavy this year. Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State lead the conference; however, below these three there is not much going on. In the SP+ rankings, the three Big Ten giants were all listed in the top-5, though there was only one other Big Ten team to crack the top-25: the Wisconsin Badgers.

Wisconsin comes into the year ranked No. 25 in the SP+ rankings, and according to FOX, will see great improvements this fall. The Wisconsin Badgers and Indiana Hoosiers are the only other Big Ten teams listed — they both sit in the “Will Improve” category.

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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.