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The stage is set; Washington and Michigan to square off for national title

Jan. 2—After many years of blowouts in the College Football Playoff, college football fans were treated to two of the best playoff games in the ten years of the CFP's existence. An overtime win for Michigan over Alabama to give the Wolverines their first chance at a national title since 1997 and a dramatic finish to a Washington Texas game that saw the underdog Huskies break the highly touted Longhorns.

Two phenomenal games that lead to what is sure to be an incredible battle between Michigan and Washington.

There are a lot of storylines headed into this championship game on January 8. Will the Pac-12 have a national champion in its final years of existence? Will Jim Harbaugh finally capture a national title and does he stay with Michigan after the season? Will Washington's Dillon Johnson be healthy for the title game? Will a Michigan championship be tainted by Harbaugh's suspensions and scandals? Can Michigan's defense stop this high powered Washington offense led by Michael Penix, the poster boy for overcoming adversity?

This is truly the most interesting matchup that college football could ask for. First, however, to address the elephant in the room. Did the CFP committee truly make a mistake by leaving out Florida State. Well, yes and no. Yes, Florida State finished the season as undefeated conference champions and deserved to be there based on resume and not on the status of the quarterback. However, if we take a moment and are truly honest with ourselves, Georgia stomped FSU by 60, the largest margin of victory in the history of bowl games, which dates back to 1902. Just imagine the obliteration if the Noles were to take on Michigan or Washington. And yes, Florida State would have still had many of their players and wouldn't have lost 29 scholarship athletes. But, Michigan and Washington would have still made easy work of Florida State.

Instead, college football fans got two of the most epic playoff games they could have asked for. Overtime, a last second one-on-one fade play, two games that went down to the wire keeping every working adult up until 1:00 a.m. no matter how early they had to get up.

Now, in Houston on January 8 at 8:30 p.m. Michigan and Washington will face off to crown a non-SEC national champion for the first time since 2018. Michael Penix's high powered offense and the Washington Huskies vs Jim Harbaugh, who just out-coached Nick Saban, and the Michigan Wolverines. Who will take home that golden trophy as the new college football champions?

My Pick: Washington wins 35-31