Michigan Football: Ohio State rated ahead of Wolverines

(Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images) /

Two more sets of preseason rankings have Michigan football ranked behind Ohio State as we head into the 2023 season.

Despite two straight wins over the Ohio State Buckeyes and the fact that Michigan football returns a ton of starters, more power rankings have the Buckeyes ahead of the Wolverines going into the 2023 season.

The 2023 college football power rankings by Pro Football Focus had Michigan football in fourth overall, while Ohio State came in second.

Phil Steele, a well-known college football analyst, also put Ohio State ahead of Michigan football in his preseason power rankings. Steele has Michigan football third in the rankings which he says takes into account the strength of the schedule.

In that ranking, which essentially predicts the outcome of next season, Michigan football is ranked third in his poll, behind Georgia and Clemson.

Is Ohio State better than Michigan?

However, Steele says that in terms of just talent, Ohio State is ahead of Michigan football, just barely. Here’s what he wrote via On3: 

"“My power poll has the Wolverines No. 2 in the Big Ten in talent, but it’s close, and they have a much better schedule,” Steele wrote in his college football preview magazine. “Michigan should be favored in every game, with the road trip to Happy Valley [Nov. 11 at Penn State] a toss-up. They are the only prime contender with a veteran quarterback, and not only do all eight groups rank in my top units, but five of them are top seven in the country. The Wolverines are No. 7 on my experience chart. The question is, will this be the year they win a playoff game?”"

Steele predicts that Michigan football and Ohio State will tie for the Big Ten East title, which they did back in the 2021 season.

However, as we all know, the Wolverines went to the Big Ten title game, based on their 42-27 win over the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor. To me, it sounds like Steele is predicting Michigan to lose at Penn State, but beat Ohio State at home.

Next. Top 10 Michigan wide receivers of all time. dark

If there happened to be a three-way tie at 8-1, then it would get really interesting. Otherwise, the tiebreaker will be the head-to-head matchup and in my eyes, “The Game” is likely to decide the Big Ten East championship for the third year in a row.