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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Latest College Football News & Rumors / College Football Semifinals Preview & Predictions

College Football Semifinals Preview & Predictions

Publish Date: 01/01/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

#1 Michigan vs. #4 Alabama: The first game on Monday afternoon will be the most evenly-matched semifinal we’ve seen since the format changed. Pressure on the quarterback and sacks can be a key difference maker that said, the Crimson Tide defense has struggled to bring down opposing QB’s. Overall, Alabama has improved mightily since the early part of the season, and to a lesser extent, so has Michigan. The Wolverines had an easier schedule for a good chunk of the season, and it seemed they were purposely taking their foot off the gas pedal once foes submitted.

J.J. McCarthy is the more established signal caller and can make more of the throws needed to move the chains at this point. Last year’s dreadful performance versus TCU featured two pick-sixes by J.J., along with a turnover on downs, and the Wolverines fumbled on the doorsteps of the endzone. Don’t get me wrong, Jalen Monroe has made strides as a dual threat and throws one of the best deep balls in the country. Bama doesn’t have their normal workhorse at running back but Monroe makes up for the missed rushing yards as he dazzles on a scramble or in the open field.

 

Michigan will need to come up with a few explosive plays through the air to win this game. Defensively, Michigan must keep Jalen in the pocket and dare him to beat them with his arm, especially the intermediate passes. Michigan missing their All-American guard could be troublesome and something to keep an eye in the first quarter. Slow starts have been a trend for Alabama which they can’t do on Monday. We saw last year, against Ohio State and TCU, the Wolverines offense did break out new stuff they were holding back that created explosive plays. Is this finally the year Michigan and Harbaugh kick down the door?

 

This College Football podcaster believes UM winning will be mainly due to the not quite on the Bama standard offensive line and offence in general. This game will come down to more of meat and potatoes old school-style football, every yard is earned.

The Pick: Michigan -1.5 

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Michigan to cover
  • Over/Under: Alabama vs Michigan (44.5)
  • Spread: Michigan -1.5
  • Pick: Bet Michigan to cover
20% up to $1000
Go to DraftKings

 

 

#2 Washington vs. #3 Texas: Washington appeared to be operating on fumes as their undefeated record was put the test over and over again. Then in the PAC-12 title game that Husky team we saw early in the season came back with a roar defeating the Ducks to maintain a perfect record. Texas started the season with a bang beating Alabama in their own backyard. The Longhorns gave up a late score to their #1 rival Oklahoma a month later. Both of these programs are in the Top-10 of total offense in the FBS so we can expect this one will go over 63.5.

 

Texas’s defense can stop the run with their deep and talented front 7 but has struggled in the secondary. The top-scoring offense out of the last four remaining teams belongs to Washington, but the Huskies have the worst-scoring defense as well. The pressure on defense for Texas must hit home on a consistent basis with players like Byron Murphy who leads the Big-12 in that department. Up the middle pressure, with or without a blitz, is likely the only way to really bother Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. Texas missing RB Jonathan Brooks is tough. Still, the Longhorns do have other RBs, including a former 5-star recruit in CJ Baxter.

 

After that Sooners loss, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers missed time, resulting in a few close games, but the Longhorns did end the season with 3 straight convincing victories. Speaking of injuries, Washington will be full strength at QB, and all their wide receivers should be healthy, giving the Huskies the best set of skilled players of all remaining on offense. Whichever team has the ball last will win this game, whether a last-second score or victory formation.

 

The Pick: Washington +4

DraftKings
DraftKings
4.5/5
Prediction: Bet Washington to cover
  • Over/Under: Washington vs Texas (62.5)
  • Spread: Texas -4.5
  • Pick: Bet Washington to cover
20% up to $1000
Go to DraftKings

 

PODCAST LINK: http://tobtr.com/12300957

 

On a side note I fully understand how many folks thought FSU should’ve made the semis. On the other side these two games are coin flip outcomes. Hopefully we continue to get a deeper field of real contenders in the future which is a direct result of NIL and the transfer portal

 

Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast available at blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

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