Nittany Lions Wire staff predictions for the College Football Playoff national championship game

The Big Ten has to love the matchup taking place in Monday night’s College Football Playoff national championship game. Big Ten champion Michigan is going head-to-head with one of the conference’s incoming members later this year, the Washington Huskies. Both teams are the last undefeated teams remaining this season and both won their respective conference championships. After getting past the SEC champion Alabama and Big 12 champion Texas in the semifinal rounds, Michigan and Washington are set for a terrific matchup in search of each school’s first national championship since the 1990s.

Our staff at Nittany Lions Wire will obviously be keeping an eye on the national championship game knowing that Penn State is looking to climb to this level of play. Penn State will also be facing Washington in the regular season next fall with a home game against the Huskies on the schedule. Penn State will not be facing Michigan in the regular season.

Here are our staff predictions for the national championship game.

Charlie: Two teams with completely contrasting styles. Washington loves to hit the explosive pass downfield while Michigan loves to run the ball down its oppositions throat. Which team comes out on top? The team that can stop or more likely slow down the other teams strength. If Washington can somehow hamper Michigan’s run game they’ll have a great chance at taking home the title. Michigan will need to limit Michael Penix Jr and his downfield prowess. An explosive play or two from JJ McCarthy and the Wolverines offense would go a long way in deciding the outcome. In the end, Penix and the Huskies one more play than the Wolverines and take home the title. Washington 28, Michigan 24

Kevin: There is no question that Michigan has the upper hand with its defense, but there is something about the way Washington moves the football that makes me think the Wolverines are about to face their toughest challenge of the year. Michael Penix Jr. is the real deal at quarterback and I would take him leading my offense over JJ McCarthy in a setting like this. But I have to admit, the Wolverines wear teams down and let the running game take over down the stretch. I don’t see why that won’t happen again here. I think the Wolverines take it in a game that goes deep into the fourth quarter and the Michigan running game and defense make the plays when it counts the most down the stretch. I’m rooting for Washington, but picking the Wolverines. Michigan 30, Washington 27

Brad: This game is what college football is all about. The clash in styles between the two teams who want to either throw all over their opponent or smash right through theirs. I’m going to take the more physical team in Michigan to control the line of scrimmage and ultimately win their first College Football Playoff. Michigan 31, Washington 27

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire