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Michigan Wolverines football still motivated by College Football Playoff loss to TCU

Michigan Wolverines football is still driven by last year’s crushing 6-point College Football Playoff loss to TCU.



Michigan Wolverines football, College Football Playoff
© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

On New Year’s Eve in 2022, the Michigan Wolverines football team suffered one of the most heart-breaking losses in program history, falling just short against the TCU Horned Frogs by a mere six points. The Horned Frogs, in turn, were defeated in the national title game (by Georgia) by a score of 65-7. As the 2023 season approaches, the Maize and Blue are determined to return to the College Football Playoff this winter and secure a spot in the national title game for the first time in program history. That said, the start of fall camp media availability has made it evident that last year’s CFP loss continues to fuel the Wolverines’ drive for the upcoming season.

Michigan Wolverines football still using CFP loss as motivation in 2023

In just 13 days, the Michigan Wolverines football team will kick off a new season against East Carolina at Michigan Stadium on September 2nd. Despite the imminent start of the season, the memory of last year’s College Football Playoff semi-final defeat to Texas Christian still serves as a motivating factor in Ann Arbor.

“Yeah, a lot,” Karsen Barnhart said on Friday when asked if the College Football Playoff loss is motivating the Wolverines. “You can see it in the offseason with how the guys train, How we were in spring ball, and you can still see it out there today.”

JJ McCarthy and his Wolverines seeking to reach the College Football Playoff for the third year in a row

At the start of the month, JJ McCarthy, who is heading into his second year as the starting quarterback in Ann Arbor, shared his perspective on the playoff loss and its influence on the Michigan Wolverines football program as they approach the 2023 season. Rather than letting the defeat bring them down, McCarthy and his team have used it as motivation to push themselves even harder.

“… It really is just a train that kept on rolling ever since TCU,” JJ McCarthy explained. “We ran into a little bit of an obstacle, but that train kept on moving. All the guys that came in, the young guys, the transfers, they hopped on, and they kept helping us push all the way from the start of this winter offseason. It’s been really awesome to build off of that because a lot of times you build everything up from the season, you get to a certain point, and then it goes back down, and you’ve gotta build it back up again. It doesn’t feel like we went back down, we just kept going.”

The Michigan Wolverines football team has secured a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff twice in a row, clinching a pair of matching Big Ten titles in the process. However, this upcoming season, Michigan football must overcome these post-season hurdles and finally win a CFP bowl game. If the Wolverines can accomplish this, the program will have the opportunity to compete for a national championship for the first time since the 1997 season.

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