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GoJo and Golic College Football Playoff preview: Will it be Roll Tide for Alabama vs. Michigan?

Mike Golic Jr. and Mike Golic Sr. preview the College Football Playoff semifinal games on New Year’s Day.

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After all the controversy, we’ve finally come to the College Football Playoff semifinals and Mike Golic Jr. and Mike Golic Sr. have you covered with a preview of the action!

The College Football Playoff gets underway on January 1 as No. 1 Michigan takes on No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl and No. 2 Washington takes on No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

GoJo notes that the Rose Bowl matchup between the Wolverines and the Crimson Tide is the matchup with the most off-field juice to it. GoJo notes that Michigan enters this game in an interesting place from a football perspective as well, with JJ McCarthy being the best QB of the Jim Harbaugh era in Ann Arbor, a veteran group of offensive linemen and so much experience that returned that this looks like it’s going to be Michigan’s best shot at a title for a little bit. But, they face an Alabama team that controversially got in ahead of undefeated Florida State but enters the game as fully capable of winning a national championship. GoJo says Michigan has been favored in the entire leadup to this game, currently a 1.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, but wants to know if his dad thinks they can get this done.

Senior says it is tough for him to go against Alabama and Nick Saban. He notes that all year we talked about the Crimson Tide flying under the radar but he says you could kind of see the disappointment on the faces of the Michigan players when it was announced that Alabama was No. 4. Senior recalled a line from his brother Bob’s 1977 national championship team at Notre Dame — it’s not where you start but where you finish. And that’s what he thinks of when it comes to this Alabama team. He thinks the Tide and especially QB Jalen Milroe had the season to grow throughout. He agrees with GoJo that this is probably Michigan’s best chance at a title, but he thinks Alabama has progressed to the point where they’re playing their best ball right now and he’s going with Alabama.

GoJo agrees and says he would also pick Alabama. He notes that both teams have familiarity with this point of the season, in comparison to Texas and Washington both being less familiar with playing in the CFP. Both Michigan and Alabama know how to navigate this portion of the season and have quality veteran coaches, GoJo says. But, he does think the difference is Milroe and what he's become since the South Florida game, with five of his last six games seeing him complete at least 65 percent of his passes and become more of a run threat. GoJo notes that Maryland was able to move the ball against Michigan despite a potent front seven and then Ohio State was also able to move the ball against the Wolverines. GoJo thinks Alabama will be up for the task up front and he thinks Milroe will be the difference in game where he thinks Milroe will have to outduel McCarthy. As Senior points out, it’s hard to go against Nick Saban when he’s leading a good team at the end of the season.

In the Sugar Bowl, Texas is currently a 4-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook against a Washington team that GoJo notes is no stranger to feeling doubted this season. Washington found a way to down Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship in one of their best performances of the entire year despite being the underdog. GoJo says this could be the best collective offensive football game all season long on the college gridiron with two offenses with incredible QBs and NFL-level skill position players.

Senior points out that he picked Washington at the beginning of the year to make the final four, so he feels a kinship with the Huskies to keep going with them despite the Longhorns being favored. Given all the passing, Senior says this could be a four-hour event given clock stoppages and the game could come down to who has the ball last. He also says he would take the over in a heartbeat in this game. He admits the Washington defense makes him nervous, as the Huskies only have 19 sacks this season and just gave up 31 points to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship. They do have 16 interceptions, but so does Texas to go along with 32 sacks. But, Senior had Washington at the beginning of the year so he’s going with Michael Penix Jr. and co. to outscore Texas in a high-scoring affair.

GoJo says he also leans Washington as well because in the Pac-12 Championship game the Huskies defense showed they could step up in big moments and they’re going to have to once again in what should be an offensive slugfest. So he’ll take the Huskies on the strength of some timely defensive plays just like in the Pac-12 Championship.


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Watch GoJo and Golic every weekday on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Xumo Play, Google TV and from 8 to 10 a.m. ET. The show will also be available via audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Mike Golic Sr. on X at @golic and Mike Golic Jr. on X at @mikegolicjr.

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