College Football

NCAA College Football Playoffs: Everything You Need to Know

Following a shocking college football season, fans do not have to wait much longer before watching how the NCAA College Football Playoffs unfold. It has been a roller coaster of a season for many teams, and at the beginning of the season, it was unpredictable which teams would make it to the playoffs. To ring in the new year, fans will watch Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama compete head to head, hoping to advance and receive the National Championship title.

No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama:

On Monday, January 1, the University of Michigan will face off against the University of Alabama in hopes of advancing to the College Football Playoff National Championship game. This playoff game will occur at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, at 5:00 p.m. ET.

It did not come as a surprise that the University of Michigan secured the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoffs as the team had an undefeated season. The Wolverines impressively managed to secure an undefeated season despite the bad press surrounding their head coach and team. 

On October 19, 2023, Michigan Football had been accused of sign stealing and sending people to football games of future opponents. As the team was scrutinized, the head coach, Jim Harbaugh, received his second suspension of the 2023-24 college football season. Despite denying the claims against him and his team, the Big Ten handed Harbaugh a three-game suspension, causing him to sit out the final three games of the regular season. Amidst the team’s various hardships, they finished their season undefeated and secured the Big Ten Championship title. 

Some college football fans were shocked when the Crimson Tide were picked for the No. 4 playoff spot over Florida State. If Alabama had not been selected, it would be the first time an SEC team did not make the College Football Playoffs. 

Despite a 12-1 season, Alabama clinched the SEC Championship title from the Georgia Bulldogs following a 27-24 win. The Crimson Tide handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season, ending their 29-game winning streak. Even though Alabama won the SEC title with one loss, the Florida State Seminoles won the ACC Championship title with a 13-0 record. While Alabama receiving the No. 4 spot caused an uproar amongst college football fans, the College Football Playoffs will see the SEC continue their streak of always sending at least one team to the playoffs. 

The Wolverines are currently favorites to win the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. Michigan is the favorite on the money line as the Wolverines are presently -130 while Alabama is +110. On the point spread, Alabama is +2 with Michigan at -2. While Michigan is favored to advance to the National Championship Game, seeing how the Rose Bowl game plays out will still be interesting. 

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas:

On Monday, January 1, the University of Washington will compete against the University of Texas to determine who advances to the National Championship Game. This matchup will occur at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana, at 8:45 p.m. ET. This is the Texas Longhorns’ final season competing in the Big 12, and what better way to bid farewell to the conference the team has spent the past 28 seasons with than by making it to the College Football Playoffs?

Following a 12-1 season, Texas Football managed to clinch the Big 12 Championship title when they competed against Oklahoma State. This was the Longhorns’ first conference title since 2009, and there is no better way for the team to end their time with the Big 12 before leaving for the SEC. 

In this 2023-24 college football season, Texas Football handed the Crimson Tide their sole loss. This game caused the College Football Playoff Selection Committee to heavily consider the Texas team as a playoff contender, and it evidently worked in the team’s favor. 

For the second time in program history, the Washington Huskies will be making a College Football Playoff appearance. The last time Washington made an appearance was in 2016, after defeating Colorado in the Pac-12 conference title game. This year, the Huskies secured the No. 2 spot in the College Football Playoffs following their 34-31 win over former No. 5 Oregon for the Pac-12 Conference title. The Ducks had entered the Pac-12 Championship game as a 10-point favorite, but the undefeated Huskies managed to clinch the win despite Oregon’s 21 consecutive point drive.

The University of Texas is currently the favorite to win the Sugar Bowl game and advance to the College Football National Championship game. The Longhorns enter the New Year’s game as moneyline favorites -192 while Washington is +158. On the point spread, Texas is favored by 4.5 points, while the Huskies are +4.5. If Texas wins the Sugar Bowl, they will advance to the National Championship Game, where they have not appeared since 2010, when the team faced off against Alabama.

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