Who Michigan Fans Should Root For On Championship Weekend

Michigan defensive back Will Johnson celebrates after intercepting a pass vs. Ohio State during the first quarter at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
Michigan defensive back Will Johnson celebrates after intercepting a pass vs. Ohio State during the first quarter at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. /
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We’re just days away from finding out who makes the college football playoffs. What’s crazy is that there is still little certainty about who will make it in. There are eight teams with a realistic chance, and none of them are locks. The scenarios are seemingly endless, and the chaos is certain. Here’s a Michigan football fan’s guide on what and who to root for on championship weekend.

Teams that Can Still Make it

  1. Georgia (12-0)
  2. Michigan (12-0)
  3. Washington (12-0)
  4. Florida State (12-0)
  5. Oregon (11-1)
  6. Ohio State (11-1)
  7. Texas (11-1)
  8. Alabama (11-1)

These are the top eight teams and the only ones that have a realistic chance of making it into the playoff. No two-loss team has ever made the playoffs which rules out everyone ranked below these eight (with the exception of Liberty but I’m sorry, there’s no way the no. 24 ranked team in the country somehow sneaks in no matter how big of Flames fans the selection committee are).

Who Would Give Michigan football Trouble?

If you’re a die-hard Michigan football fan you may be encouraged to say no one on this list could beat us. I’m with you. But let’s be honest, there are matchups that you would feel a lot better about than others.

I’ll start with Georgia. I think the Bulldogs are arguably the toughest team on this list. They’re maybe the most physical team. They also have a ton of weapons on offense. Carson Beck, despite looking like he’s gone to a rave every single night for the last eight years of his life, has emerged as a very good starting quarterback this season. Ladd McConkey and Brock Bowers are two really good offensive weapons.

Georgia is one of the few teams in the country that can match up with Michigan football physically and would give them major problems. With that said, I don’t think this is the same Georgia team that won the last two national championships. They’ve lost a ton of talent and while they can be physical at the line of scrimmage, they aren’t consistently. The last two years they ranked second and fourth in opponent yards per carry at 2.6 and 3.0 respectively. This year they rank 48th while allowing 3.9 yards per carry. I think this is the year Michigan football could beat them, but there are easier routes.

The next team I want to highlight is Texas. This may seem like a surprise to some considering that Texas being back has been the joke of the college football world for over a decade. But this year, they might just be legit. This Texas team reminds me a lot of Michigan in 2021. They had a lot of highly talented recruits along the line of scrimmage that got a lot of experience the year prior, and are now starting to blossom.

I think that Texas is one of the more physical teams in the country and no one is giving them credit for it. I mentioned Georgia being ranked 48th in opponent rushing yards per carry, well Texas is 5th at 2.9 opponent yards per carry. This would be a tough matchup for Michigan football to run the ball. I think that Texas doesn’t have the experience to win a playoff game this season and Michigan can find other ways to have success, but it would be a sneakily tough matchup for the Wolverines.

Lastly, I want to highlight Oregon. Outside of Texas (and Michigan) they’re the best rush defense in the country. Despite having the second softest mascot on this list (at least they’re not named after a nut) the Ducks are a tough and physical team. More than that, they’re a very complete team that is peaking late in the season. Bo Nix has become a Heisman-worthy quarterback. They can also run the ball well and defensively they’re very balanced, defending both the run and the pass well. Oregon might be the toughest matchup on this list and there’s a reason they’re 9.5-point favorites against a team they lost to earlier in the year.