Look, I get it. The loss in the Fiesta Bowl stings a lot. The road to get back to that position seems daunting for the Michigan Wolverines because of everything that has to go right to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
However, the Wolverines came back to the playoff this year stronger than last, and there’s reason to believe that will happen again. Here’s why you should be excited for the 2023 Michigan football team:
Michigan has QB1 returning, and that’s a huge piece of the puzzle for next year. Despite a couple rough throws in the Fiesta Bowl, McCarthy has shown the past few weeks he can lead the offense with his arm. Even with the pick-sixes, the Wolverines could’ve won that game if a couple other things didn’t go wrong.
McCarthy’s arm aided many big plays against Ohio State and Purdue as well. This was also his first year starting. It’s clear McCarthy is hungry to improve, and he’s going to come back stronger in 2023.
When Blake Corum went down with a season-ending injury, Donovan Edwards picked up the slack and showed he can be another elite running-back for the Wolverines. Edwards rushed for at least 120 yards in all three games Corum missed, and was well over that mark in two of those games.
Regardless of what Corum decides to do — enter the draft or return to Ann Arbor — the Michigan offense should be electric next year, and Edwards is a big part of that.
Say what you want about Michigan’s non-conference schedule, but it didn’t hurt the Wolverines at all this year. If Michigan takes care of business in the Big Ten, it could play three high school teams in the non-con and still make the playoff.
We’ll hear all about it from rival fans, but the non-conference schedule shouldn’t give Michigan any problems. The Wolverines play East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green.
I think the Big Ten schedule is a little more challenging compared to 2022 because of some tough road trips (Minnesota, Penn State, Michigan State) but if the Wolverines can go into Columbus and win by 22 points, they can win anywhere in the conference. Having Ohio State at home will be huge, too.
The schedule sets up nicely for Michigan to make a return to the College Football Playoff.
Michigan had so many important players on defense this season who are young and still learning and getting better. The Wolverines had to replace a lot in 2022 that was lost from 2021, but that won’t be the case next year.
The secondary, for example, will especially be in great hands with Rod Moore (sophomore in 2022) and Will Johnson (freshman in 2022) coming back after having very productive years at a young age. The Wolverines have a lot of young guys coming back that played important roles on the 2022 defense.
The Fiesta Bowl loss will hurt until the 2023 season begins, but there’s no reason for the Wolverines to not come back stronger.