One-One. The moment we have all been waiting for. 2024 will be off with a bang after Alabama-Michigan and Washington-Texas. These teams have had weeks to prep and are ready to get the 2024 College Football Playoff underway. Here are my 2024 College Football Semifinal picks and previews!
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2024 College Football Playoff Preview
Alabama vs. Michigan (-2) (O/U 45)
As Keith Jackson said, “The Granddaddy of Them All” is set to kick off from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. This 5 pm kick-off matches up the SEC Champion Alabama Crimson Tide and the Big Ten Champion Michigan Wolverines.
The Alabama Path
During the middle of September, nobody thought Alabama would be in this position, but here we are. After the Crimson Tide defeated South Florida by a score of 17-3, the “tides” turned. Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees was not on the same page with his head coach and quarterback Jalen Milroe.
Milroe was benched in that South Florida game, which opened Rees’ eyes to the fact that Milroe was, in fact, the guy. From there, the offensive scheme changed for the Tide, and Milroe was, without a doubt, the best QB in the nation from there.
His ability to throw deep balls, along with running as fast as anyone in the country, is a lethal combination. Defensively, the group has more than come together. Caleb Downs has stepped up to be not only the best true freshman in the country but one of the best defensive players in the country.
The Michigan Path
Easy schedule, sure. But mission accomplished. The Wolverines handled A LOT of adversity and did what they needed to do to get to the College Football Playoff.
Truthfully, you can say they tested just once in this country, and that came against Ohio State in the final week of the season. With that being said, this year’s Ohio State team does not compare with any of the Ohio State teams of the last few seasons.
They are anchored by an extremely strong defense but will have a tall test on their hands with Milroe and Co.
The Wolverines do not have nearly as much offensive firepower to compete with Alabama’s big-play ability. Michigan will need to anchor down defensively and as strong as possible and win in a low-scoring game.
I do not see a world where Michigan can keep up with Alabama, who I believe is stronger on both sides of the ball. The depth Alabama has goes much deeper than Michigan, meaning they can beat the Wolverines in various ways.
Look for Alabama to use Kendrick Law out of the backfield as a secret weapon that Michigan is not prepped for.
As stated above, Michigan has not seen an offense with the big play capabilities as Alabama. I am expecting The Crimson Tide to get on the board early, which will take Michigan away from their slow-paced, defensive game plan. They will need to ramp up the pace, which leads me to believe this game will go over the total of 45.
The Pick: Alabama +2
Texas (-4.5) vs. Washington (O/U 63.5)
New Year’s Eve in New Orleans. You have to be happy to be a Longhorn or Husky fan this year. Texas held strong when they needed to after a few mid-season struggles. Washington went through an absolute GAUNTLET over the last six games of the season and proved to be one of the top four teams in the country.
The Texas Path
Texas turns eyeballs every year, but the win in Tuscaloosa really proved a point. Steve Sarkisian stamped his label and told the nation the Horns were here to stay. After some QB injuries and close calls, they rallied to put together a super-strong finish to the season.
The two-headed monster of QB Quinn Ewers and WR Xavier Worthy are certain to put points on the board, and that will be a must against this high-scoring Washington offense.
The Washington Path
Truthfully, I am surprised that Washington is not an extremely injured team after the extreme schedule they faced to close the season. Every single game they played was a playoff game, and they did not fumble the chance.
It’s not rocket science, Washington is going to come out with an up tempo offensive game plan and try to put as many points as possible on the board. Early in the season, they struggled defensively but have really ramped up things. They have actually gotten a few pieces back with the defense and looked more solid against Oregon.
I think the unit that will be the X-Factor will be the Texas defense. These two teams will go shot for shot, and a shootout should be in the cards. Look for Texas to come up with a few key 4th down stops late in the game against this aggressive Washington offense.
The public is on the over, which is no shocker. Both of these offenses have great firepower. I do believe one of these defenses is going to step up, and it will be the difference in the game. This leads me to believe that the game finishes close to the total but not quite over the number. I will ride with the under.
The Pick: Texas -4.5