The Wolverines and Huskies are both looking for their first national championship since the 1990s.
The 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship will be held in 2024. No. 1 Michigan will meet No. two Washington on the NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, January. 8. The game will be a test for potential Big Ten opponents as the Wolverines hope to capture their first national championship since 1997. The Huskies hope to secure their first title since 1991. It will also be the Pac-12’s first title since 2004 in the conference’s last season.
Michigan arrived thanks to an incredible overtime win of 27-20 beating No. four Alabama during the Rose Bowl semifinal. The Wolverines took out Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe at the 2-yard mark on fourth-and-goal to win the game after quarterback Blake Corum kicked off OT for Michigan by scoring an 18-yard touchdown run. This was the team’s first ever CFP victory following a 2-5 start in the previous two seasons. It also brought to the Wolverines with 14 victories in one campaign for the first time ever in the history of the school. The quarterback J.J. McCarthy led the Wolverines with four touchdowns in passing.
Washington made it to the national championship game after defeating No. 3 Texas with a stunning victory 37-31 at the Sugar Bowl. The Huskies ended the game with an 3.5-point underdog in the game against Texas, the Big 12 champions, but their offensive arsenal proved too explosive for the Longhorns. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw for scores of 430 yards and two touchdowns and the running forward Dillon Johnson added a pair of touchdowns on the ground. The victory capped off Washington’s meteoric climb under head coach Karen DeBoer, who is currently 25-2 since her arrival after a stint at Fresno State. This comes after the Huskies suffered 4-8 in 2021.
Let’s look at the position of each team before this year’s CFP National Championship before our CBS Sports college football experts give their first-look selections for the match.
No. 1. Michigan (14-0), Rose Bowl champion
Michigan has been attempting to knock on the door to greatness for three years, but they weren’t successful in an NCAA playoff game until Monday night’s victory over Alabama. The Wolverines are a force in their defense, which put their offensive savagery on display during the Rose Bowl by limiting Bama to the season’s lowest 288 yards. The Wolverines had to tackle Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe six timesfour of them in the opening half, and then were able to make the game-winning tackle during the final play of the game. This performance is a testament to the dominance shown throughout the season long by a team that was entering the CFP as no. 1 in the nation for defense overall.
The Wolverines possess some grit offensively also. Although they’ve never had to push on the brakes, McCarthy is one of the most reliable players in college football and Corum has exceeded 3,500 yards in the last three seasons. Corum is the top player in the nation with 25 touchdowns in rushing and is which is a Michigan season-long record. In the wake of a sign-stealing scandal, which brought the team into turmoil and resulted in a 3-game suspension for head coach Jim Harbaugh, Michigan simply continued to play its game with no greater than 24 points the game, and never trailing in the race to the top place on the CFP Rankings.
No. 2. Washington (14-0), Sugar Bowl champion
Washington is showing to be a team that will be remembered since they Huskies were victorious in five consecutive one-possession games, which included their narrow victory defeat to Texas during the semi-finals. All of it begins with Penix who was an eventual Heisman Finalist for the Heisman Trophy in his final season at a collegiate level. The left-handed gunner came to Washington together with DeBoer, having played together while Penix was at Indiana. The partnership was successful to players of the Hoosiers and has proved to be even more effective for Washington that boasts an impressive trio of receivers that includes Rome Odunze, Ja’lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan.
Although the Huskies have the number. number one pass-rushing offense has been their main weapon and they have made crucial stops on the field time and time throughout the year to earn the school’s first CFP appearance as well as their the first CFP win. Washington can also play the ball, as Johnson has surpassed 1,100 yards of on the ground this season following his transfer to Mississippi State. Mississippi State. But, his eligibility is uncertain to play in this year’s CFP National Championship after he was injured at the end of fourth quarter during the match against Texas and was removed away from the field following the game.