Another disappointment in the College Football Playoff has Michigan aiming to regroup and attempt another run at winning it all.

Consecutive seasons ranked No. 2 in the CFP, 2 straight wins over Ohio State, back-to-back Big Ten titles — but yet, the Wolverines remain searching for more under coach Jim Harbaugh, who is now 1-6 in bowl games at Michigan.

Saturday’s 51-45 loss to No. 4 TCU, a team that nobody thought would handle UM, was the worst way to send the Wolverines into the offseason. Instead of playing for a national championship, the Wolverines will be sitting on their couches and watching Georgia and TCU play for all the marbles.



Just not enough.

Despite having a star QB, 2 big-time RBs, the best o-line in the country and one of the top defenses in the land, Michigan — yet again — failed to assert its style of play when it mattered most.

Michigan is in much better position than it was a couple of years ago. Now it’s a matter of getting over the hump. Harbaugh has taken control of the rivalry with Michigan State and has mastered the regular season. However, a 25-3 record over the past 2 seasons still comes up short of the ultimate goal: winning the CFP.

Will Year 9 be different? Will Michigan return to centerstage and fight among the best in 2023?

Let’s take a look at some of the most important issues facing the Wolverines, who were just a handful of plays from beating the Horned Frogs on New Year’s Eve in Glendale, Arizona.

Would Harbaugh leave for the NFL?

It’s that time of year. Do we really need to go over this again and again? Per reports, Harbaugh, if offered, would accept a position in the NFL. Right now, it appears that the Denver Broncos are after Harbaugh, who said that he’d “enthusiastically” return to Michigan in 2023 (but that was before the CFP loss).

Assistants leaving?

This has been common during the Harbaugh era: Coordinators come and go every season. Will we see similar departures this season? With the Harbaugh-NFL talk, it’s logical to assume that some coaches could be on the move in the coming weeks.

OL really that good?

Awards are great. Michigan’s offensive line has become a strength of the program, no longer a liability like it was during the Brady Hoke era. It’s a safe to suggest that Michigan would gladly return the Joe Moore Award in exchange for great play during the postseason.

Blake coming back?

Once a Heisman favorite, Blake Corum has the option of returning to Michigan or heading toward the NFL (which would be the smart choice). Corum had knee surgery after missing the final 2 games of the year and only playing briefly during the first half of Michigan’s win over Ohio State.

Michigan has been able to reload at certain positions, but guys like Corum don’t grow on trees. He’d be sorely missed if he were to make the jump into the NFL.

Mr. Motivation

After walking out of the postgame press conference Saturday, QB JJ McCarthy promised that Michigan would return to the CFP next season. As a 1st-year starter, the sophomore — who took over in Week 2 — went 12-1 and completed 64.6 percent of his passes. A pair of pick-6s overshadowed an otherwise solid performance in the national semifinal by McCarthy, who threw for a career-high 343 yards in the loss.

There is no doubting that he’ll be QB1 next season. He’s been motivated since Day 1. Nobody can question his commitment to his teammates. It’ll be interesting to see how he can elevate the Wolverines in 2023.

Moody replacement?

Jake Moody saved Michigan’s rear end vs. Illinois and kept UM competitive Saturday with TCU. The Wolverines’ all-time leading scorer has been a major — yet vastly underrated — part of Michigan’s success during the past 2 seasons. His career-long and school-record 59-yard field goal to close the first half of the Fiesta Bowl was a prime example of Moody’s value to the Wolverines, who would have been down 21-0 if not for a trio of field goals from arguably the best kicker in Michigan history.

The Wolverines have a few kickers on the roster but, due to Moody, they’ve yet to get a chance to show their stuff.

Who will back up JJ?

Alex Orji seems like the logical backup heading into the offseason. Alan Bowman transferred. Cade McNamara is gone. Michigan picked up Indiana transfer/veteran Jack Tuttle via the portal, so it’s possible that he could step in before Orji, a sophomore, gets a chance to claim the No. 2 role.

3 in a row?

Michigan hasn’t beaten Ohio State thrice in a row since 1995-1997. As of now, at least with Harbaugh at the helm, it appears that UM has turned the tables, even if just for 2 years. But that’s how streaks start, right?

More transfers?

It’s transfer season, once again, so be on the lookout for the usual departures. Each year, at least a handful of players exit Ann Arbor.

Changes in the defense?

Jesse Minter did a great a job as a 1st-year DC, but giving up 51 points (even with 2 pick-6s) to TCU certainly raised some questions — the same questions that faced former coordinator Don Brown, and even Mike Macdonald. Point being: Michigan gives up a lot of points during bowl games, roughly 33 per game.