2023 CFP Championship Preview

2023 CFP Championship Preview

The stage has been set. We have Michigan versus Washington for all the marbles. It certainly wouldn’t have been everyone’s prediction before the season, but these two teams have put together undefeated seasons up to now and will get to battle on the biggest stage in college athletics on Monday night. Here is our preview of the 2023 CFP Championship.

The Matchup

The scales are certainly tipped towards Michigan. It’s going to be a defensive battle and the Wolverines are much better on that side of the ball. We saw Alabama struggle to move the ball against them and Washington could face a similar issue. Michigan has the second-best defense in the country compared to Washington’s which ranks 92nd in yards allowed. When it comes to points, The Wolverines allow 10 points a game while the Huskies allow 24. The difference is massive and could be put on full display in this game. Both offenses are very balanced and similar, but Michigan will come away with more stops.

The Big Storyline

Michigan: You may have seen this team and Jim Harbaugh in the news cycle just a little bit this football season. The Wolverines were accused of a sign stealing scandal where an assistant had to leave the program because he was flying to future opponents’ games and stealing their signs that are relayed to the play caller on the field. Jim Harbaugh was forced to serve two different suspensions and there could be a nasty little asterisk next to this championship if they do win. Ultimately, I believe this is the final game that Harbaugh coaches at Michigan, jetting for the NFL before he is slapped with more punishments.

Washington: This is it for the Pac 12. The last college football game of an old era. Sure, Washington State and Oregon State are still technically kicking, but that isn’t the true Pac 12. This is a chance for the Conference of Champions to go out exactly as they are named. Yes, there is still basketball, baseball, softball, and other seasons still to be played out, but we know that college football rules them all. Washington delivered one of the final blows to the conference by defecting to the Big Ten, but they stood with the Pac as long as they could. It would be fitting for a storied conference to go out on top.

Who to Watch

For Washington, it is QB Michael Penix Jr. and RB Dillon Johnson. Penix is the Heisman runner up and delivered a historic performance in the semifinal game, throwing for a boatload of yards and getting this offense rolling. Johnson was hurt on their final offensive play on a run which the Huskies were criticized for. It appears he is fine and will be good to go for the Natty.

For Michigan, all eyes are on QB J.J. McCarthy. He is young, and he still makes mistakes, but he has impressed nonetheless and he needs one of his best performances of the season in this game. He doesn’t have to be a hero; he just needs to manage this game and deliver a win.

I am going with Michigan here. The defensive numbers are too much to overlook. I fear that Washington will have too hard of a time coming up with points in this game.  Prediction: Wolverines, 28-14.