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ESPN Predicts Michigan vs. TCU

Michigan fans are feeling pretty good about U-M's first-round matchup.

No. Michigan is playing No. 3 TCU in the semifinal round of the College Football Playoff and most see the Wolverines winning and advancing. Michigan is significantly better than the Horned Frogs in just about every major statistical, especially on defense. TCU can definitely score, but they haven't faced a defense like Michigan's all season. They also haven't seen a rushing attack like Michigan's and give up nearly 150 yards per game on the ground. They've also given up 21 rushing touchdowns on the year. That should have Michigan and its backs salivating. 

Because of the matchup, most see U-M winning the game and advancing to the national championship. As of right now, the Wolverines are favored by 9.5 points against TCU and have the offensive and defensive makeup to cover that number. 

Adam Rittenberg is a senior write at ESPN and he recently put some of his thoughts together in order to predict the matchup between the Wolverines and Horned Frogs. 

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl: Michigan Wolverines vs. TCU Horned Frogs

JJ McCarthy and the Wolverines quickly shifted their attention to the CFP after the Big Ten title game, saying the team has "got a lot bigger plans" for the postseason after struggling against Georgia in last year's semifinal. TCU makes its first CFP appearance after a dream season, and star quarterback Max Duggan and his supporting cast will stress a Wolverines defense that has exceeded expectations following key personnel losses. The Hypnotoads make their customary second-half push, but Michigan is a second-half team, too, and playing with too much confidence on both sides of the ball. The Wolverines get key contributions from their young, celebrated recruits like McCarthy, running back Donovan Edwards and cornerback Will Johnson and march on to the natty.

Prediction: Michigan 38, TCU 31

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March on to the natty...let that line sink in for a minute. Just two seasons ago, Michigan limped through a strange COVID-ridden 2020 season to a 2-4 mark and Jim Harbaugh was essentially on his way out. Now, the Wolverines are elite and virtual locks to make the national title game. Once there, they are certainly good enough to beat either Ohio State or Georgia, bring a national championship back to Ann Arbor for the first time since 1997.