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A Preview of the College Football Playoff 
A Preview of the College Football Playoff 

A Preview of the College Football Playoff 

As the college football season reaches its crescendo, fans and players across the nation are eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated College Football Playoff. The stage is set for two epic showdowns between the top four teams this season.  

The first game on New Year’s Day will be the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California between No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 1 team in the nation, the Michigan Wolverines.  

The Rose Bowl has some of the richest history in all of college football, and this game is no different. The Crimson Tide, led by head coach Nick Saban, look to secure their 19th national title after most recently winning in 2020. The Wolverines, led by head coach Jim Harbaugh, are aiming for their 12th and first since 1997.  

Alabama beat the reigning national champions, the Georgia Bulldogs, in a close contest in the SEC championship game to end its 29-game winning streak and secure a spot in the CFP. There were a lot of questions in the college football community whether Alabama deserved a spot over the undefeated Florida Seminoles, but the committee determined their spot was deserved.  

The Wolverines finished an undefeated season, winning the Big Ten championship over the Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 26-0. The offense is led by quarterback J.J. McCarthy and star running back Blake Corum who had the second most rushing yards in the Big Ten this season. 

This Rose Bowl is destined to be one of the better games in recent years as many narratives and headlines have been surrounding the two teams in question. Michigan had a sign-stealing scandal earlier this year that led to Harbaughs 3-game suspension and Alabama looks to prove the college football world wrong after player turnover and being dominated by SEC rival Georgia in recent years. 

The second game on New Year’s Day will be in New Orleans between the Texas Longhorns and the Washington Huskies in the Sugar Bowl. The two teams met almost exactly a year ago in the Alamo Bowl where the Huskies edged the Longhorns 27-20. The Longhorns are making their first appearance in the CFP since 2009, where they lost to Alabama. The Huskies are also making their return to the CFP, who also lost to Alabama in 2016 in the semifinals.  

Both teams are coming off tremendous seasons, winning each of their respective conference championships. The Longhorns beat Oklahoma State 49-21 in the Big 12 Championship and the Huskies beat Oregon 34-31 to win the last ever Pac 12 Championship. Realignment of conferences will move Texas to the SEC and Washington to the Big Ten next year. 

The game will feature two of the nation’s top quarterbacks, Quinn Ewers of Texas and Michael Penix Jr of Washington. Penix was a Heisman trophy finalist and led the nation in passing yards this season.  

This is the last year the CFB is limited to just four teams, as the committee announced the expanded 12 team playoff will begin in the 2024-2025 season, a change many teams and fans have been longing for.  

The journey to the championship is near, all four teams have their eyes set on the grand prize, hoisting the trophy at the end of the season to outlast the rest. The National Championship takes place in Houston at NRG Stadium on Monday, January 8th, where the winners of each bowl game on New Year’s Day will face off.