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Friday Discussion: What makes 2023 a successful season for Michigan?

Is it national championship or bust to be considered a successful season?

2023 Big Ten Championship - Iowa v Michigan Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Obviously the 2023 Michigan Wolverines have national championship aspirations. That’s no secret. Every team starts the year with visions of glory but only one team gets to take home the trophy. Success looks different in Ann Arbor, Michigan than it does in Iowa City, Iowa. It looks even more different in Bloomington, Indiana. This week’s discussion boils down to this: what makes the 2023 Michigan football season a success or a failure?

Back in the day, the answer to this question was simple: beat Ohio State. I have no doubt that a faction of those of you reading this still feel this way. Beating Ohio State in The Game is all it takes to be a successful season. To a point, I have no issue with this logic. Beating the Buckeyes is usually accompanied by a Big Ten Championship. Prior to the BCS, it even occasionally came with a national championship to boot.

However, in this modern era of college football is beating the Buckeyes enough? The Michigan Wolverines are back-to-back-to-back Big Ten Champions. It never gets old writing that. Following disappointing CFP performances against Georgia and TCU, has the mark of success shifted to winning a playoff game? Should we, as fans, take it even a step further and simply state that it’s national championship or bust this year?

It all comes down to context. In most years, winning the Big Ten would be enough to satisfy most Michigan fans’ appetites. This year, that’s up for debate. Michigan is the No. 1 team in the country and a slight favorite in the Rose Bowl. It would be disappointing to see the Wolverines lay an egg and bow out of the playoffs.

My ask to you in the comments is simple: where do you draw the line? If Michigan were to get blown out in the Rose Bowl, once your disappointment subsides, would you reconcile that this was still a successful season? What if it’s an instant classic? If Michigan wins the Rose Bowl but fails to win the national championship, would that constitute success as they’d have taken another step past 2021 and 2022? Does Michigan need to win the whole damn thing for you to be happy with 2023?

We want to know what your mindset is heading into the CFP semifinals.