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Survey: Was the 2023 Michigan National Championship team better than the 1997 squad?

Which is the best of all-time?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 08 CFP National Championship - Michigan vs Washington Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Daniel Plocher Dan Plocher contributes to Maize n’ Brew in several areas including podcasts, game previews/recaps, and various YouTube videos.

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Michigan Wolverines fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

The 2023 Michigan Wolverines join the 1997 squad as the two teams in the modern era that have been crowned national champions. Two legendary coaches - Jim Harbaugh and Lloyd Carr - led the way to perfect seasons, Big Ten Championships, and a Rose Bowl win. Harbaugh took it a step further, however, winning two more games, including the National Championship.

Looking back, the 1997 squad probably had some bigger names, most notably, Charles Woodson who won the Heisman Trophy that season. College Football Hall of Famer Steve Hutchinson also manned an impressive offensive line that protected quarterback Brian Griese. Running back Anthony Thomas was also named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

This 2023 team also has quite a few names that will be remembered forever at Michigan. At the top of the list is Blake Corum who never won the Heisman, but was a Top-10 candidate in consecutive seasons. This defense may also have been better led by Mike Sainristil, Will Johnson, Mason Graham, and Kenneth Grant. Three of them have still yet to have their legacy finished as they have at least a year to go.

When observing these two teams, which do you believe was the better squad: 1997 or 2023?

In the history of college football, only four teams have gone 15-0 and won a national championship to go with it - Michigan this season, 2022 Georgia, 2019 LSU, and 2018 Clemson.

2019 LSU probably had the most explosive offense with Joe Burrow, Ja’Maar Chase, Justin Jefferson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and Terrance Marshall Jr. leading the way. They scored 48.4 points per game and Burrow won the Heisman with probably the best collegiate season in the history of the sport.

Clemson’s team from 2018 would like a word though as they were led by Trevor Lawrence, Travis Ettiene, Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross, Hunter Renfrow, and more scoring 44.3 points a contest. Their defense also allowed only 13.1 points per game, which was the best in college football that year.

Georgia’s 2022 team became the next to go undefeated in the College Football Playoff era led by a defense that allowed 14.3 points a game with a defensive line that had guys like Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith leading the way. Stetson Bennett was a Heisman finalist and brought home his second championship in as many seasons, they put up 41.1 points a game.

Then comes this Michigan team led by maybe the best defense of the bunch allowing just 10.4 points per game. They relied on that to the National Championship, crushing Michael Penix Jr. and the Washington offense. Their offense is also maybe the worst-performing reaching 35.9 points a contest.

Which of these four teams do you believe is the best of the four-team CFP era?

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