Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Michigan Wins College Football Playoff, Honored With MacArthur Bowl


Michigan's Blake Corum scoring a touchdown. Provided by NFF.

The Michigan Wolverines won the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, as they beat the Washington Huskies, 34-13, at NRG Stadium in Houston. 

This is Michigan's first national championship since 1997, the completion of a 15-0 season, the best in their illustrious history, and the first for Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Michigan running back Blake Corum was the Offensive MVP, as he ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and defensive back Will Johnson was the Defensive MVP, as he had an interception on the first snap of the second half when Michigan was clinging to a 17-10 lead.

In addition to Corum's 134 yards, Donovan Edwards ran for 104 yards and also had two TDs, part of a 303-yard rushing output for Michigan, a CFP title game record. 

Quartetback J.J. McCarthy threw for 141 yards, as he completed 10 passes, and he rushed for 31 yards. Defensive back Mike Sainristil led Michigan with eight tackles, and he sealed the win with an interception which he returned 81 yards with 3:53 remaining in the fourth quarter. 

This was the third straight season that Harbaugh led them to the College Football Playoff, and the first time they reached the championship game. He has led them to a 40-3 record the past three seasons, and an 88-25 mark since taking over in 2015.

Michigan became the recipient of the 2023 NFF MacArthur Bowl National Championship Trophy for the second time. Its name will be etched among the champions of college football, including the 1997 Wolverines, on the trophy, which is housed at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The MacArthur Bowl has been presented to every college football national champion since 1959. The trophy was the gift of an anonymous donor, who commissioned Tiffany & Co. to craft it from 400 ounces of silver, in honor of early NFF leader General Douglas MacArthur. It took eight months to make, and the trophy features MacArthur's famous quote, "There is no substitute for victory."

Twenty-four different schools have won the trophy at least once in its 65-year history. Alabama has won it the most, 10 times, while Notre Dame is second with five, followed by Ohio State, Miami, Southern California, and Texas, with four. The trophy is a replica of a football stadium, and it features archways with space to engrave the names of 100 teams and miniature goal posts.

NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell said, "On behalf of the National Football Foundation, our 12,000 members, our Board of Directors and Chairman Archie Manning, we are extremely proud to recognize Coach Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines. 

"This trophy was started in 1959 by General Douglas MacArthur, the great sportswriter Grantland Rice and legendary coach Red Blaik, and etched on the side of this stadium replica in all silver are all of the subsequent national champions. As the keepers of the history and the legacy of the sport of football, we are exceptionally pleased to maintain this unique tradition by etching the 2023 Michigan team on its walls."

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