The Michigan Wolverines are among the most hyped programs heading into the 2023 season. With returning players like J.J. McCarthy, Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards and a plethora of talent on defense, what’s not to like about Michigan right now?
The answer for USA Today — not a whole lot, as the national publication released a new preseason top-25 and placed the Wolverines at No. 2, just one spot behind the reigning national champion Georgia Bulldogs.
Here is what they had to say about Michigan:
An offensive line set to rebuild around multiple Power Five transfers will lead the way for another intimidating running game. Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards give the Wolverines an explosive backfield also capable of taking over games with tough yards inside the box. On paper, this is the strongest and deepest roster of the Jim Harbaugh era and a team worthy of being viewed as Georgia’s biggest threat. it will also benefit from an easy non-conference schedule and manageable Big Ten slate outside of Penn State and Ohio State.
Surprisingly, they put Ohio State at No. 6, two spots behind the No. 4 Penn State Nittany Lions. USA Today mentions left tackle Olu Fashanu, sophomore quarterback Drew Allar, the running backs and the “increased depth and experience” the Nittany Lions have to justify their ranking.
As for Ohio State...
There are personnel issues, including an ongoing competition at quarterback, and there are bigger-picture concerns heading into coach Ryan Day’s fifth season. Front and center among those larger worries is the Buckeyes’ inability for the past two seasons to stop Michigan and combat the Wolverines’ physical play. Day and Ohio State can make any number of personnel changes but won’t get back to the playoff without solving what Michigan brings to the table. For now, the Buckeyes are third in their division.
Well damn, that sure is a shame.
The other teams in the top-10 include Alabama (No. 3), Florida State (No. 5), Notre Dame (No. 7), Clemson (No. 8), Texas (No. 9) and USC (No. 10). Other Big Ten teams to make the list include Iowa (No. 14) and Wisconsin (No. 25).
What do you think of USA Today’s early preseason top-25? Let us know down in the comments!