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Sports Illustrated predicts the best and worst case for Michigan in 2023

Are the Wolverines building towards greatness or will they fall short this fall?



Michigan Wolverines football 2023, Jim Harbaugh
© Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Against all odds, Jim Harbaugh turned his program around two seasons ago, going from 2-4 in 2020 to 12-2 and winning a Big Ten title in 2021. Following his second-straight Big Ten title, College Football Playoff appearance, and triumph over Ohio State, new best and worst-case scenario predictions are being placed for the 2023 Michigan Wolverines football season. Are the Wolverines national title contenders or pretenders heading into the 2023 season?

The best case scenario for the 2023 Michigan Wolverines football season

According to the new preseason predictions for the 2023 Michigan Wolverines football season, Michigan’s best-case scenario is a 15-0 finish with a third-straight Big Ten title, and the program’s first national title game win.

Despite some challenging road games — such as Penn State, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Maryland — the 2023 Michigan football roster is talented enough and experienced enough to overcome harsh road obstacles. A season ago, we saw the Michigan Wolverines walk into Columbus, where they hadn’t won since the year 2000, and defeat the No. 2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes by over 20 points — anything is possible for the 2023 squad.

Aside from a massive mid-November road game in State College, the only other preseason-ranked team that Michigan football will face is Rydan Day’s Ohio State Buckeyes, who will be searching for revenge after being embarrassed twice in a row at the hands of Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines. While Michigan must still overcome the usual Big Ten East teams, such as Michigan State, the conference is currently looking like a three-team league, with Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State as the only rankable teams at the moment.

The worst case for the Wolverines this fall

If everything goes wrong for Michigan football this fall, Sports Illustrated is still pretty high on Jim Harbaugh & Co., predicting that the Wolverines will still finish with nine wins all said and done.

In a world where everything goes wrong this fall, SI still sees the Michigan Wolverines falling just short of Jim Harbaugh’s sixth 10-win season since taking over as head coach, going 9-4 to finish the year. In this scenario, Michigan will suffer key losses at Michigan State, at Penn State, against Ohio State, and in the program’s bowl game. Still, Michigan football’s 9-4 record would be good enough to end the season ranked.

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