Last year, University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh almost took the Minnesota Vikings job but decided to stay in Ann Arbor and led the Wolverines to their second straight Big Ten title and another spot in the College Football Playoff, although UM was upset in the semifinal by TCU.Here we bring you the best betting options in the NCAAF.
With Jim Harbaugh Back, Michigan Among 2023 College Football Championship Contenders
The Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts (Harbaugh played quarterback there) and Carolina Panthers all reached out trying again to lure Harbaugh back to the NFL but once again he is staying put and will have a mega-talented team in 2023. The Wolverines are +1400 to win the national title.
“I love the relationships that I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, president Santa Ono and especially the players and their families,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go Blue!”
Harbaugh’s return comes amid an NCAA investigation into alleged violations during the COVID-19 recruiting dead period. Among the alleged infractions is a Level I violation for Harbaugh for not complying with or misleading NCAA investigators. Level I violations are the most serious and could carry a multigame suspension for the coach. That’s why if Harbaugh was going to leave for the NFL, the time was now.
Six starters are expected back on offense for Michigan, led by QB JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum. McCarthy was a third-team All-Big Ten pick this past season after winning the job early in the 2022 season over Cade McNamara, who transferred out. In the playoff loss to TCU, McCarthy set a career-high with 343 yards on 20-of-34 passing, accounting for three touchdowns (one rushing) and a two-point conversion.
Corum was in the Heisman Trophy conversation before suffering a knee injury on Nov. 19 against Illinois and essentially missing the regular-season finale against Ohio State — he tried to play through pain on the first play vs. the Buckeyes but was pulled – and not suiting up for the Big Ten title game win over Purdue or the CFP semifinal loss to TCU. Corum rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns and most believed he would turn pro.
Thanks to Corum and sensational No. 2 Donovan Edwards, the Wolverines averaged 238.9 yards per carry, good enough for No. 5 in the nation. The mark trailed only Ole Miss and the three option-based service academies in rushing offense. Edwards racked up 520 of his 991 yards on the season in the Wolverines’ final three games.
Starting offensive linemen Trevor Keegan and Zak Zinter and wide receiver Cornelius Johnson also return. Johnson had six touchdowns on 32 receptions for 499 yards, ranking as Michigan’s No. 2 wide receiver. U-M will lose leading wide receiver Ronnie Bell and tight end Luke Schoonmaker, who finished second on the team with 35 receptions.
In another minor surprise, defensive lineman Kris Jenkins also opted against declaring for the draft. The son of former NFL standout Kris Jenkins and the nephew of former NFL standout Cullen Jenkins, the younger has turned heads ever since arriving in Ann Arbor. This past season, he had 54 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He bulked up to 285 pounds, and become one of the nation’s top run-defenders. Out of 1,265 defensive players to play at least 200 snaps against the run this season (via Pro Football Focus), Jenkins finished sixth with a stop-rate of 13.7 percent and his 31 run stops ranked first among all Power Five defensive linemen.
Harbaugh also has added some high-profile transfers: Ernest Hausmann, Drake Nugent, AJ Barner, LaDarius Henderson and Myles Hinton. The 6-1, 300-pound Nugent, formerly with Stanford, was one of the highest-rated centers in all of college football during the 2022 season, according to PFF College. Michigan remains at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to transfers, who must undergo a rigid admissions process just to gain entry.
Michigan will easily run the table in non-conference in 2023 with a laughable schedule, all at home, against East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green. While the Wolverines do visit Michigan State and Penn State, they host Ohio State.
Michigan 2023 Football Schedule
- Sept. 2 vs. East Carolina
- Sept. 9 vs. UNLV
- Sept. 16 vs. Bowling Green
- Sept. 23 vs. Rutgers
- Sept. 30 at Nebraska
- Oct. 7 at Minnesota
- Oct. 14 vs. Indiana
- Oct. 21 at Michigan State
- Oct. 28 BYE
- Nov. 4 vs. Purdue
- Nov. 11 at Penn State
- Nov. 18 at Maryland
- Nov. 25 vs. Ohio State
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