Monday, January 1st, 4:00PM CT
ROSE BOWL CFP SEMIFINAL
4 ALABAMA (12-1) VS 1 MICHIGAN (13-0)
We’re finally here the final version of the four-team format for the College Football Playoffs and what a way to start it off—Nick Saban vs Jim Harbaugh who is back after his three-game suspension to end the regular season. This Bama team by no means is the best of the Saban era but they began to click at the right time. Jalen Milroe has improved leaps and bounds as the season went on and he’s the engine of this Alabama offense.
Michigan has been dominant all season and when Harbaugh was suspended and they were able to go 3-0 in that stretch they felt like a team of destiny. Now, after some time off and the return of their head coach, they are still the favorites BUT I have concerns, in my opinion, Michigan is a lesser Georgia and Bama was able to defeat the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game. Michigan will be without one of the best offensive linemen in the country Zak Zinter who suffered a broken leg in the game against Ohio State. He was dearly missed in the BIG 10 Championship as Iowa was able to completely stifle the Michigan running attack. The Wolverines still won 26-0 but that’s because Iowa has the offense of a 1960s team, against Bama if they can’t run the ball it could be a long day.
Quarterback J.J. McCarthy has been able to bail the offense out many times this season but to pull out the win against the Tide it’ll take his best effort. Giving Nick Saban extra time to prepare just makes me feel like we’ll get the best version of Bama that’s why I’m picking the Tide to reach the National Championship.
Alabama 30 Michigan 27
Monday, January 1st, 7:45PM CT
3 TEXAS (12-1) VS 2 WASHINGTON (13-0)
The first game will get most of the headlines but this may very well be the most exciting game of the day. Texas can finally say they’re back after years of trying to get back to a national powerhouse but falling short they get to make their CFP debut against a Washington team that has fought their way through a tough PAC-12 to get here.
Washington was a massive underdog in the PAC-12 title game to Oregon yet defeated the Ducks for the second time this season. Texas won their first BIG 12 Championship since 2009 by defeating Oklahoma State. Texas move to the SEC next year so what a way for them to exit the BIG 12 ending as Champions. Washington was played with fire a few times this season as they were able to win seven one-score games. Texas signaled this season might be different when they went into Tuscaloosa and defeated Alabama. They did slip up against Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry but it wasn’t enough to derail their Playoff hopes.
Texas has the offense to score with Washington who has arguably the best offense in the nation the question I have is will their defensive line be able to get to quarterback Michael Penix Jr. who has had a phenomenal season throwing to the three-headed monster of Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan, and Ja’Lynn Polk. Texas can stop the run with ease that’s honestly the strength of their defense but if they can’t get to Penix Jr. Washington should be able to pick them apart in what should be a shootout.
Quinn Ewers however does have his dynamic weapons in Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy. In the end, however, I’m picking both underdogs to get wins on Monday as I’m going to pick the Huskies to win a very high-scoring game and advance to play Bama in the National Championship.