Will Michigan beat Alabama? Here are our Rose Bowl predictions.

Free Press sports writers share their predictions for the College Football Playoff semifinal between Michigan football and Alabama in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 1, 2024:

Tony Garcia

Michigan implemented a "Beat Georgia" drill last offseason as an ode to the two-time defending national champion that Alabama toppled in the SEC title game. The Wolverines are the No. 1 overall seed — the first Big Ten team to earn that — but have to prove they can win on the national stage. U-M is 1-5 in bowl games and 0-2 in the CFP under Jim Harbaugh. Meanwhile, Nick Saban is, well, Nick Saban. Quarterback Jalen Milroe is a level of athlete Michigan has yet to see, and while it might not be a vintage Alabama team, there's plenty of talent with defenders such as Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell. Still, Michigan has trained all year for this. Blake Corum breaks U-M's career TD record, J.J. McCarthy only throws one pick and rushes in a TD on a quarterback-read, the defense forces two turnovers and a last-second field goal will be replayed by U-M fans for decades to come. The pick: U-M 26, Alabama 23.

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Carlos Monarrez

Other than facing Georgia, this is the worst possible outcome for the Wolverines. The Crimson Tide enter the Rose Bowl hot, having just knocked off the then-No. 1 Bulldogs, ending their 29-game winning streak in the SEC title game. This game is honestly a toss-up, when you consider how good the Wolverines have been. But Alabama is more battle-tested in the tougher SEC and Milroe has been impressive since he was benched after a loss to Texas in September. The Tide also has more premier talent, with likely first-round draft picks in Turner, Kool-Aid McKinstry and JC Latham on its stacked roster. The pick: Alabama 27, U-M 24.

Rainer Sabin

Nick Saban and Alabama are 6-1 in the College Football Playoff semifinal round. Michigan and Jim Harbaugh are 1-6 in bowl games. History suggests that the Crimson Tide should win on New Year’s Day. But the past doesn’t necessarily dictate the present, and this Michigan team knows it can’t squander the program’s best opportunity to win a national title in the last quarter-century. The Wolverines will pull out all the stops to get past the mighty Tide and move onto Houston. The pick: U-M 24, Alabama 23.

Jeff Seidel

Before the season, I predicted Michigan would win the national championship, and there’s no reason to change that now. This team has overcome adversity and all kinds of controversy. Give Jim Harbaugh credit for creating a program that could handle it. My big pause in this game, other than Alabama’s obvious talent? Harbaugh’s bowl record, losing six straight at Michigan. But I gotta believe he’s learned from it and will make changes in how they prepare for this epic battle against Alabama. The pick: U-M 28, Alabama 24.

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Shawn Windsor

The Wolverines show they belong on this stage, and that’s a kind of win. But Saban with almost a month to prepare is the difference, along with Milroe. The pick: Alabama 27, U-M 23.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Will Michigan beat Alabama? Our Rose Bowl predictions.