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New Year's Day College Football Playoff Predictions | News Article by


On New Year’s Day, the top four teams in college football will battle to see which two will have the opportunity to play for the national championship in Houston on January 8.

The CFP Semifinal will kick off when the #1 Michigan Wolverines take on the #4 Alabama Crimson Tide in the Rose Bowl at 5 pm EST. Michigan is a 1.5-point favorite, and the total is 44.5.

Michigan has won 23 of its last 24 games but lost in the semifinals last year to TCU 51-45. Head coach Jim Harbaugh, who has been involved in some controversies this season, is 3-7 all-time in bowl games and 0-2 in the CFP.



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Alabama is led by head coach Nick Saban, who has led the program to six national championships since taking over in 2007. Saban is 9-4 all-time in the CFB.
Michigan has faced the 36th-rated strength of schedule and is led by their defense, which is fourth in the nation, limiting opponents to 4.1 yards per play. On offense, the Wolverines are 36th, collecting 6.0 yards per play.

The Alabama offense is 43rd, collecting 5.8 yards per play, and the defense is 17th, allowing 4.8 yards per play. According to the College Football Power Index, the Crimson Tide has faced the nation’s fifth most demanding schedule.

The Rose Bowl winner will face the Sugar Bowl winner, which will kick off at 8:45 pm EST between #3 Texas and #2 Washington. The Longhorns are a 4.5-point favorite, and the total is 63.5.

Texas is led by head coach Steve Sarkisian, who once held the same position at Washington from 2009-2013. Sarkisian is 2-3 all-time in bowl games as a head coach.Texas has faced the 11th strongest schedule in the country. The Longhorn’s offense is 13th, averaging 6.5 yards per play, and the defense is 25th, allowing 4.9.

Head coach Kalen DeBoer leads Washington into the playoffs. He is 2-0 all-time in bowl games and went 11-2 in his first season leading the Huskies last season.
Washington has the weakest defense statistically, ranking 59th, with their opponents picking up 5.4 yards per play. Still, the offense is fourth behind only LSU, Oregon, and Liberty, racking up 7.1 yards per play.


College football odds for bowl season

Thursday, Dec. 28

Fenway Bowl: Boston College vs. SMU (-10, 48)

Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Miami (+1, 41)

Pop-Tarts Bowl: North Carolina State vs. Kansas State (-2.5, 47.5)

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Arizona (-2.5, 61)

Friday, Dec. 29

Gator Bowl: Kentucky vs. Clemson (-5, 45)

Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Notre Dame (-6, 41.5)

Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa State (-9.5, 57.5)

Cotton Bowl: Ohio State vs. Missouri (+2.5, 49)

Saturday, Dec. 30

Peach Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Penn State (-4, 48.5)

Music City Bowl: Maryland vs. Auburn (-7, 46.5)

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Georgia (-17.5, 44.5)

Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming (-3.5, 44.5)

Monday, Jan. 1

ReliaQuest Bowl: Wisconsin vs. LSU (-10, 55)

Fiesta Bowl: Liberty vs. Oregon (-17, 67)

Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Tennessee (-8, 36)

Rose Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan (-1.5, 45)

Sugar Bowl: Washington vs. Texas (-4.5, 63.5)


Rose Bowl: Michigan has been extremely impressive this year, but I have to ride with Nick Saban’s battled-tested squad in this one. Saban is 7-3-1 against the spread as an underdog at Alabama, and Michigan has failed to cover in its last six bowl games.

Alabama 26 Michigan 20

Sugar Bowl: Texas looks like the better team, but I wouldn’t count out Washington. Expect more of an offensive shootout in this one, with Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. putting on a show. I’ll side with the dog in a game I can see going either way.

Washington 38 Texas 35




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| Title: New Year’s Day College Football Playoff Predictions
| Author: David Marotta
| Date: December 28th, 2023

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