Championship or bust.
That’s what it feels like for Michigan this year (imo)
Back-to-back Big Ten titles, consecutive victories in THE Game for the first time since I was an 8-year-old kid playing with Ninja turtle action figures and pretending I was Batman in my front yard.
Regardless of if I still do those things…I’m now an almost 32-year-old man…
And Michigan has BIG expectations to fill, not just by their fans, but by the entire country.
Two playoff appearances, two playoff losses.
Michigan’s path to the championship is theirs for the taking, an experienced McCarthy under center, the best RB duo in the country in Corum/Edwards (Williams/Henderson are next in line), a 2x Joe Moore award winning offensive line, and a tenacious defense.
For the first time in my life, Michigan is the better team on paper, but they were against TCU as well and we saw what happened there…
You’d hate to see it again.
Expectations are a blessing and a curse.
Michigan is ranked #2 in the AP poll to start the season.
That’s the highest pre-season ranking since 1991 – a full year before your author was born.
The Wolverines are 25-3 over the last two seasons.
They’ve won 25 of 26 non-playoff games.
They’ve beaten Ohio State. Twice.
Entering the 2023 campaign, Michigan boasts not only the best team of Harbaugh’s tenure, but the best to don the maize and blue since . . . well, the 1997 national championship squad.
Fitting. That’s exactly the expectation.
“We’re gonna win the national championship,” Blake Corum guaranteed.
Therein lies the curse of being a Michigan Man.
Michigan should compete for a national title this year.
Heck, I truly believe Michigan will win the whole thing.
But that nagging doubt still lingers.
Some of it is holdover from the disappointments of years past.
The Rich Rod era. The Hoke era (especially beginning with such promise!)
The beatdowns in 2018 & 2019 of teams that (we were told) could finally beat those Buckeyes.
But there’s something about success that shakes your nerves more than mediocrity.
Being the underdog provides safety. If you lose – well, hey, a good effort by all!
But being the favorite is another risk altogether.
*suddenly remembers that Michigan went 5-7 the year before Harbaugh took over*
You know what? I’ll take the risk.