Is Michigan The Top Football State In The Country For 2023?

Written By Drew Ellis on December 28, 2023 - Last Updated on January 3, 2024
A Lion and a Wolverine representing Michigan's top college and NFL football teams

It’s been a very long time since the state of Michigan has had this much pride in its football teams.

Entering 2024, Michigan has both a college and professional football team that is in contention for a championship.

The University of Michigan enters the College Football Playoffs as the top seed. It is set to face Alabama in the Rose Bowl on Monday, Jan. 1.

The Detroit Lions are NFC North champions and tied for the best record in the NFC with two weeks left in the regular season. Regardless of how the season plays out, the Lions are assured a home playoff game.

When the smoke clears on both postseasons, will the state of Michigan be able to say it is king of football this season?

Wolverines seek first national title since 1997

The University of Michigan football team is making its third consecutive playoff appearance when it takes on Alabama on Monday in The Rose Bowl. The game airs live on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET.

However, the Wolverines are the top seed in the four-team playoff for the first time.

Michigan’s previous playoff appearances were less than ideal. The Wolverines suffered a 34-11 loss to Georgia in 2021 and a 51-45 loss to TCU in 2022.

Coming into this year’s playoff the Wolverines are a slight favorite against Alabama. The Crimson Tide have won the most CFP games in history at nine, including three national titles.

Should Michigan defeat Alabama, the Wolverines are currently favored in potential finals matchups with both Texas and Washington.

Will the Wolverines have what it takes to bring home the first national title to the state since 1997?

Detroit Lions win first division title in 30 years

Last Sunday was a day of celebration for Detroit Lions fans.

After 30 years, the Lions finally secured another division title, winning the NFC North for the first time with a 30-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

This means the Lions will be hosting a home playoff game for the first time since the 1993 season. They hope to win their first playoff game since Jan. 5, 1992. That’s 11,680 days and counting.

As it stands, Detroit is 11-4 on the season and tied for the best record in the NFC with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

It’s possible the Lions could earn the No. 1 seed in the playoff, but odds are much more likely it will be the No. 3 seed and have to go on the road if it hopes to reach the Super Bowl for the first time.

Bet on the Lions, Wolverines at Michigan online sportsbooks

One of the best parts about the success of the Wolverines and Lions is you can bet on them at a long list of Michigan online sportsbooks.

If you back either team, you can win when they win.

Learn more about MI online sportsbooks:

Michigan sits atop football power rankings

When trying to determine just what state is king for football in 2023, Michigan is arguably at the top.

The state has legitimate contenders to win the championship in both college and professional football.

Alabama doesn’t have a professional team, so they are out right away.

That leaves Michigan with Texas and Washington to compete with.

Washington is the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoffs. The Huskies are making their first playoff appearance since 2016. In the NFL, the state has the Seattle Seahawks, who sit at 8-7 on the season. Seattle is currently the seventh seed in the NFC playoffs as a wild card team.

Texas is the state that probably has an argument over Michigan. Along with having the Longhorns as the third seed in the playoffs, the state has the luxury of having multiple NFL teams.

The Dallas Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot at 10-5 and could still earn a division title for a top-3 seed. The Houston Texans have been one of the surprises of the 2023 NFL season. With a new coaching staff and a young squad, they are 8-7 and fighting for the AFC South title, as well as a potential wild card playoff spot.

Texas could possibly bring in two NFL playoff teams to go along with the Longhorns, but it is also possible that neither of their NFL teams will be division champions.

Michigan is the only state to have the top-seeded college team and a NFL division champion. I think that gives the state bragging rights for 2023.

Go ahead Michigan, celebrate being football kings for once. You’ve earned it.

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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