Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates the 43-22 win against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.

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No to pro: Jim Harbaugh plans to ‘enthusiastically’ coach Michigan in 2023

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh shot down rumors he was ready to consider the “right opportunity” in the NFL.

Harbaugh, 19-1 against Big Ten competition since he took at pay cut to return as Wolverines head coach before the 2021 season, has No. 2-ranked Michigan back in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Michigan beat Purdue in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday to earn a spot in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 3 TCU.

“I think the people are going to be happy to know that I’ll be enthusiastically coaching the Wolverines in 2023,” Harbaugh said Sunday.

NFL Network reported Sunday that Michigan (13-0) was aware Harbaugh was on the radar of clubs already doing their homework in preparation for the upcoming coaching cycle.

Harbaugh signed a five-year contract extension last season following significant discussions with the Minnesota Vikings. He discussed the opening with the Vikings twice, including an in-person sit-down with ownership on National Signing Day, only to ultimately return as Wolverines head coach.

Michigan first hired Harbaugh as head coach in 2015. The Wolverines are 74-24 under Harbaugh with five consecutive bowl game losses since winning the Citrus Bowl in 2015.

The former Michigan quarterback who played in the NFL from 1987-2001 last coached in the NFL from 2011-2014, guiding the San Francisco 49ers to five playoff wins. The 49ers were Super Bowl runner-up to Jim’s brother John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens to end the 2012 season.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards (7) celebrates after scoring on a 27-yard touchdown run during the second half of the Big Ten Championship against the Purdue Boilermakers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Michigan defeats Purdue for second straight Big Ten title

Donovan Edwards rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries to lead No. 2 Michigan to a 43-22 win over Purdue in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday in Indianapolis.

J.J. McCarthy threw for three touchdown passes for Michigan (13-0, 9-0 Big Ten), which won its second straight league title.

Mitchell Fineran kicked five field goals for Purdue.

Leading 14-13 at halftime, Michigan extended its lead to 28-13 on a pair of touchdowns in the first five minutes of the third quarter.

Four plays after Edwards ran for 60 yards to the Purdue 15, Kalel Mullings scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Wolverines a 21-13 lead with 12:25 left in the third quarter.

The Wolverines then went up 28-13 with 10:32 remaining in the third on a 27-yard touchdown run by Edwards.

Purdue cut Michigan’s lead to 28-19 on a pair of field goals by Fineran, the second being a 27-yarder with 12:37 remaining.

But following an interception by Will Johnson that gave Michigan the ball at the Purdue 16-yard line, the Wolverines took a 36-19 lead with 9:07 remaining on 17-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy to Ronnie Bell and a two-point conversion pass from McCarthy to Luke Schoonmaker.

Michigan took a 7-0 lead with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter on a 25-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy to Colston Loveland.

Purdue answered, going 92 yards in 10 plays and tying the game at 7-7 with 4:13 to go in the first on a 1-yard touchdown run by Devin Mockobee.

Purdue (8-5, 6-3) took a 10-7 lead with 13:39 left in the second quarter on a 33-yard field goal by Fineran, but Michigan grabbed a 14-10 lead with 7:05 to go in the first half on a 7-yard touchdown pass from McCarthy to Schoonmaker.

The score was set up after Purdue jumped offsides on fourth-and-6 when Michigan lined up for a 48-yard field-goal attempt.

The Wolverines then sent the offense back on the field and converted on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive going.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) passes against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa lands Michigan transfer QB Cade McNamara

Iowa appears to have found its starting quarterback for 2023, as former Michigan starter Cade McNamara announced Thursday night that he is committed to the Hawkeyes.

McNamara entered the transfer portal earlier this week.

“New beginning,” McNamara tweeted along with a mock-up of himself in an Iowa uniform.

McNamara led Michigan to its first College Football Playoff appearance in 2021. The Wolverines won their first Big Ten title since 2004 and finished the season 12-2.

However, in the second game of the 2022 season, McNamara lost his starting job to sophomore J.J. McCarthy, a five-star recruit in the 2021 class who has the Wolverines on the brink of a second straight CFP appearance.

McNamara, named an offensive captain in August, started the opener against Colorado State on Sept. 3 and was 9 of 18 for 136 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson, before McCarthy took over the job.

After getting hurt in the Wolverines’ Sept. 17 game against UConn, McNamara subsequently underwent knee surgery.

McNamara played in 21 games at Michigan and completed 267 passes for 3,181 yards, with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added two rushing TDs.

Iowa (7-5, 5-4 Big Ten) has needed help at quarterback. Spencer Petras was the Hawkeyes’ starter in 2022, and he threw for 1,725 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions while completing just 55.9 percent of his throws, all while Iowa ranked 130th of 131 FBS programs in total offense (255.4 yards per game).

Petras is playing his final year of NCAA eligibility, and backup Alex Padilla entered the transfer portal earlier this week.

McNamara will have two seasons of eligibility remaining due to a redshirt and the NCAA’s decision to add a year of eligibility because of COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

Michigan running back Blake Corum (2) is hugged by co-offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore during warmups before the game Nov. 26, 2022 against Ohio State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

Reports: Michigan RB Blake Corum (knee) done for season

Michigan running back Blake Corum, who ran himself from national obscurity and into the Heisman picture this season, will undergo season-ending knee surgery, NFL Network and ESPN reported Thursday.

No. 2 Michigan is preparing to play Purdue in the Big Ten championship game Saturday.

Corum sustained the injury against Illinois on Nov. 19. He tried to play in the Ohio State game last week but was limited to just two rushes for six yards.

Corum finishes the season with 1,463 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns, good for eighth and tied for fourth, respectively, in all of FBS. He was just named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, the nation’s top running back, earlier this week.

Donovan Edwards ran for 216 yards and two touchdowns in place of Corum against Ohio State.

Corum has rushed for 2,492 yards total in 30 career games at Michigan.

–Field Level Media

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) celebrates his touchdown against Ohio State with wide receiver Roman Wilson (14) during the second half at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.

No. 2 Michigan needs to avoid letdown vs. Purdue

The exhilaration felt after conquering their archrival still reverberates through their collective brains.

It may be hard to top but that’s what the second-ranked Michigan Wolverines want to do in the Big Ten championship game.

The Wolverines also don’t want to leave anything to chance, knowing they would be locked into a College Football Playoff bid if they defeat Big Ten West Division survivor Purdue in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Michigan (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) captured the East crown with a stunning second-half performance in Columbus last week against previously unbeaten Ohio State. The Wolverines outscored the Buckeyes 28-3 after halftime en route to a 45-23 victory, Michigan’s second straight in the storied rivalry and first on Ohio State’s home turf since 2000.

“Definitely right up there as one of the greatest wins, and we’ve had a lot of good ones in 143 years,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.

Beating the Boilermakers won’t go down as a great accomplishment in the program’s history books, but it would get the Wolverines closer to their ultimate goal.

“The week before was the biggest game in the world. Past game was the biggest game in the world to us,” Harbaugh said. “Now, this game is the biggest game in the world to us. (We’re) going about the preparation, the study of our opponent, the meetings, the practices and getting ready for this game so we can have the same feeling of winning and thrill of victory.”

Purdue (8-4, 6-3) has a long-standing reputation of being giant killers. The Boilermakers are 7-6 in the past five years against ranked opponents.

They will make their first appearance in the conference title game with a “nothing to lose” mentality.

“I remember the feeling last year and nobody expected us to be there last year. Here’s this opportunity to go play in the (Big Ten) championship game,” Harbaugh said. “I know how dangerous a team like that can be. I would imagine that is the same feeling Purdue is having.”

The Boilermakers will have to figure out a way to slow Michigan’s rushing game, even though No. 1 back Blake Corum is dealing with a knee injury. Corum was able to go only a couple of plays against the Buckeyes before the coaching staff shut him down.

Donovan Edwards more than filled the void, rushing for 216 yards, including scoring runs of 75 and 85 yards in the fourth quarter.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw three touchdown passes of 45 or more yards.

“That combination is really lethal,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “You’re going to have to find a way to stop something and they’re able to do so many things. Then off of that, their defense can play lights out at any time and get stops.”

Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell left the team early in the week to mourn the death of older brother Sean. He is expected to return in time for the Saturday game, albeit with a heavy heart.

“It’s a very tough time for him and his whole family,” wide receiver Charlie Jones said.

O’Connell and Jones are a formidable duo. O’Connell has thrown for more than 3,124 yards and 22 touchdowns. Jones has caught 97 passes for 1,199 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“There’s going to be more pressure on Michigan, of course,” Brohm said. “They’ve got a chance to really do something special this year and they’re in a great position to do that. For us, this is a one-game shot to play in the championship game and roll the dice and see what we can do.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) and offensive lineman Brett Neilon (62) celebrate after the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia, Michigan, TCU, USC top 4 in final rankings before field picked

Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Southern California are in prime position for the College Football Playoff five days before the field is finalized.

The Bulldogs, Wolverines, Horned Frogs and Trojans occupied the top four spots in the penultimate CFP rankings of the season revealed Tuesday night.

That quartet of programs will play in their respective conference title games on Friday and Saturday. The four-team field will be cemented the following Sunday; Georgia (12-0), Michigan (12-0) and TCU (12-0) may have locked up their spots even if they lose Saturday.

Michigan ran away from Ohio State 45-23 on the road Saturday and moved up one spot to No. 2, remaining behind defending national champion Georgia.

“As we looked at it, Georgia, there was nothing they did last weekend against Georgia Tech that to really diminish it,” CFP selection chair and NC State athletic director Boo Corrigan said in an ESPN interview. “They’re 4-0 against ranked teams in our Top 25. Michigan, huge win, particularly in the second half against Ohio State (and) 2-0 against teams in the Top 25. Again, we didn’t see any reason to move Georgia out of the top spot.”

TCU will face No. 10 Kansas State in the Big 12 title game; the Horned Frogs rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the Wildcats 38-28 on Oct. 22.

The Trojans, which rose two spots to No. 4 after losses by Ohio State and LSU, are 11-1 and can avenge their lone loss when they face No. 11 Utah in Friday’s Pac-12 championship game. Utah beat visiting USC 43-42 on Oct. 15.

Ohio State (11-1) fell to No. 5 following its first loss of the season. Alabama (10-2), Tennessee (10-2), Penn State (10-2), Clemson (10-2) and Kansas State (9-3) round out the top 10.

The full rankings are below:

1. Georgia
2. Michigan
3. TCU
4. Southern California
5. Ohio State
6. Alabama
7. Tennessee
8. Penn State
9. Clemson
10. Kansas State
11. Utah
12. Washington
13. Florida State
14. LSU
15. Oregon State
16. Oregon
17. UCLA
18. Tulane
19. South Carolina
20. Texas
21. Notre Dame
22. UCF
23. North Carolina
24. Mississippi State
25. NC State

–Field Level Media

Oct 29, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker on the sideline in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten fines Michigan State $100K over tunnel incident

The Big Ten fined Michigan State $100,000 and suspended Spartans cornerback Kahry Crump an additional eight games over the tunnel brawl in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Oct. 29.

The conference also reprimanded host Michigan for its game management policy.

The $100,000 fine is the largest ever doled out by the conference.

“The Big Ten Conference has a standard of excellence both academically and athletically that has been built over 127 years,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “Our standards require that our student-athletes, coaches and staff members represent the conference, and their member institutions, with the highest level of decorum and sportsmanship. We are taking disciplinary action and will continue to work with our member institutions to strengthen their gameday procedures and ensure our honored traditions.”

Seven Michigan State players were charged with crimes last week. Crump was charged with one count of felonious assault, stemming from video showing him hitting Michigan defensive back Gemon Green in the head with a helmet during the incident.

Crump will miss the first eight games of the 2023 season in addition to the four games he was suspended this season.

Michigan State defensive end Jacoby Windmon was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery. Five players were charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault. They are linebacker Itayvion Brown, safety Angelo Grose, cornerback Justin White, defensive end Brandon Wright and defensive end Zion Young.

The Big Ten said Monday that the four-game suspensions of those six were sufficient and they were immediately reinstated to the team.

Spartans cornerback Malcolm Jones also was suspended three games but he was not charged criminally. He was reinstated last week.

“We accept the findings from the Big Ten Conference and are ready to move forward as a football program. We are committed to supporting our student-athletes and will continue to do so throughout this process,” Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller and coach Mel Tucker said in a statement.

Michigan was also cited for not meeting safety standards.

“The conference has concluded that the University of Michigan did not meet the standards of the Big Ten Conference Football Game Management Manual policy. The policy requires the conference member institution game host to provide adequate protection for personnel of both home and visiting teams when entering and leaving playing arenas.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) gets set to run a play against the Colorado State Rams at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Ex-Michigan starting QB Cade McNamara enters portal

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara entered the transfer portal, multiple outlets reported Monday.

McNamara, in his fourth season in Ann Arbor, led Michigan to the College Football Playoff in 2021.

But in the second game of this season, he lost his starting job to sophomore J.J. McCarthy, a five-star recruit in the 2021 class who has the Wolverines on the brink of a second straight CFP appearance.

McNamara, named an offensive captain in August, started the opener against Colorado State on Sept. 3 and was 9-of-18 passing for 136 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson.

Coach Jim Harbaugh, who didn’t declare a starting quarterback in summer practice, switched starting quarterbacks in the second game of the season against Hawaii and then declared McCarthy the starter.

McNamara played in relief in the Sept. 17 game against UConn — a 59-0 thrashing — and completed one pass for 18 yards but sustained a leg injury and missed the rest of the regular season.

Last season under McNamara, the Wolverines finished 12-2 and won their first Big Ten title since 2004. They lost to eventual champion Georgia in a national semifinal game, 34-11.

He played in 22 games at Michigan and completed 267 passes for 3,181 yards, with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added two rushing TDs.

McNamara will have two seasons of eligibility remaining due to a redshirt and the NCAA’s decision to add a year of eligibility because of COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

Oct 12, 2019; Champaign, IL, USA; A Michigan Wolverines helmet sits on the back of the bench during the second half of the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

2024 four-star OL Luke Hamilton commits to Michigan

Michigan gained another victory in Ohio this weekend with the commitment of four-star offensive lineman Luke Hamilton to its 2024 class.

Hamilton, from Avon, Ohio, said Sunday he was committing to the Wolverines. He was on hand in Columbus on Saturday when No. 3 Michigan knocked off No. 2 Ohio State in a battle of previously 11-0 teams.

“Last night, watching them do something like that to a team with such success kind of pushed me over the edge to do it and I’m not looking back,” Hamilton told 247Sports.

The 247Sports composite lists the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Hamilton as the No. 8 offensive tackle in the nation. He also gave strong consideration to Michigan State.

“The past two years they’ve been on the uprise,” Hamilton said of the Wolverines. “Of course they’ve always been a top-tier program. They’ve been pushing the past few years. They’re going to be a team nobody wants to mess with. They’re going to be that ‘Bama. They’re going to be a high-level team nobody wants to play and be scared of.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Mike Sainristil (0) celebrates after knocking the ball away from Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover (8) on a play in the end zone in the fourth quarter of their game at Ohio Stadium.

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Michigan up to No. 2 behind Georgia in AP Top 25

Michigan rose to No. 2 and Southern California cracked the top four in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25 poll after big rivalry wins.

Georgia held on to the No. 1 spot for the eighth straight week and the 11th time this season, earning 58 of the 63 first-place votes.

The Wolverines got the other five votes following a 45-23 win Saturday at Ohio State, with the Buckeyes slipping three spots to No. 5.

No. 3 TCU and No. 4 USC both moved up one slot, staking out their spots ahead of the College Football Playoff rankings to be released on Tuesday.

The Horned Frogs hammered Iowa State 62-14, while the Trojans earned a 38-27 triumph over Notre Dame.

Following Ohio State, the rest of the Top 10 features Alabama, Tennessee, Penn State, Washington and Clemson.

LSU and Oregon each fell five places to Nos. 11 and 15, respectively. The Fighting Irish and North Carolina tumbled six spots each to Nos. 19 and 24, respectively.

No. 23 UTSA joined the Top 25 for the first time this season and No. 20 South Carolina and No. 25 Mississippi State both rejoined the poll.

Ole Miss, Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina dropped out of the rankings.

–Field Level Media