Who will be the College Football National Champion?

The College Football Playoff (CFP) for the 2023-24 season has announced its semifinalists: Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama. These teams are set to compete in two of the New Year’s Six bowl games, with the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl serving as the national semifinals.

When and Where is the NCAAF Final?

Rose Bowl Stadium

Scheduled for Monday, January 1st, 2024, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, will feature No. 1 Michigan against No. 4 Alabama, while the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA, will see No. 2 Washington take on No. 3 Texas. The victors will advance to the national championship game, which is set for Monday, January 8th, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX.

The Rose Bowl is slated to start at 5:00 pm ET, followed by the Sugar Bowl at 8:45 pm ET. The national championship will conclude the playoff season on January 8th at 7:30 pm ET

Playoffs Not free of controversy 

This year’s CFP selection faced controversy, notably leaving out undefeated ACC champion Florida State due to the injury of their star quarterback. However, the CFP format is on the cusp of change, with a shift to a 12-team playoff scheduled to start in 2024. This expansion promises to bring new dynamics and excitement to college football’s playoff scene.

Let’s Look at Each Semifinalist and Their NCAAF Lines to be the New Champion: 

ncaaf final

Michigan Wolverines +180

The Michigan Wolverines enter the playoffs with an unblemished record of 13-0, showcasing their dominance with a convincing victory over Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. This perfect record underscores their status as a top-tier team in college football this season.

At the helm of the Wolverines’ offense is quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who has been a pivotal figure with over 2,400 passing yards and an impressively low count of just three interceptions. His leadership and precision have been instrumental in guiding the team’s offensive play.

The ground attack of Michigan is powered by running back Blake Corum, who has been nothing short of phenomenal. With 1,028 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns to his name, Corum stands as a central figure in the team’s offensive strategy. Complementing Corum is Donovan Edwards, who with 382 yards, serves as a solid secondary option in the running game. The Wolverines also boast strong receiving talent with Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson, along with tight end Colson Loveland, who has made 40 catches for 572 yards.

Michigan’s offensive line, a two-time Joe Moore Award winner, faces a significant challenge with the loss of guard Zak Zinter, who was a standout performer before his injury. Their ability to adapt and overcome this loss against Alabama’s elite defensive front will be crucial.

Defensively, Michigan is a powerhouse, ranking 2nd nationally and giving up an average of just 87 rushing yards with 152 passing yards per game. Linebacker Junior Colson, with 79 tackles, leads a defense that has restricted 10 of its 13 opponents to under 300 total yards of offense. This impressive defensive record highlights the Wolverines’ ability to suffocate opposing teams’ offenses.

Alabama Crimson Tide +200

The Crimson Tide enters the Rose Bowl on a high note, having snapped the Georgia Bulldogs’ 29-game winning streak. With a playoff semifinal record of 6-1 under Saban, Alabama’s experience and talent, including potential first-round draft picks like Turner, Kool-Aid McKinstry, and JC Latham, make them a daunting opponent.

They are led by the talented quarterback Jalen Milroe. Milroe, after taking over the starting role early in the season, has been nothing short of spectacular, throwing for over 2,700 yards and 23 touchdowns. His leadership and skill have been pivotal in Alabama’s success this season.

The ground game for Alabama is just as impressive, with running back Jase McClellan leading the charge. McClellan has amassed over 800 rushing yards and scored six touchdowns, showcasing his prowess as a key player. Despite a foot injury that kept him out of the SEC Championship, the latest update indicates that he is probable to play in the Rose Bowl, a significant boost for the team.

In the receiving department, wide receiver Jermaine Burton has emerged as Milroe’s top target, securing eight touchdowns from his 35 catches. Isaiah Bond, a sophomore, has also stepped up, especially in crucial moments like hauling in Milroe’s Hail Mary pass against Auburn, and contributing significantly in the latter part of the season with back-to-back games of 70-plus yards.

Defensively, Alabama is a powerhouse, allowing 18.4 points per game. The defense is spearheaded by safety Caleb Downs, leading the team with 99 tackles and two interceptions. Edge rusher Dallas Turner adds to the defensive might with nine sacks. The Crimson Tide’s defense has been a critical factor in their ability to compete with any team, as evidenced by close wins over formidable opponents like Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and LSU.

Alabama’s strengths lie not only in their explosive offense but also in their stifling defense. The team has excelled in generating pressure on the opposition, with 29 sacks over the year and 13 interceptions.

Texas Longhorns +260

The Texas Longhorns, boasting a 12-1 record, enter the College Football Playoff after a commanding 49-21 victory over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship. Under the leadership of sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers, who has thrown for 3,161 yards, 21 touchdowns, and six interceptions, the team has shown a balanced and effective offensive strategy. 

Ewers has successfully connected with key players like Xavier Worthy (969 receiving yards, 9 TDs), Adonai Mitchell (1,580 yds, 10 TDs), and tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders (607 yds, 2 TDs). In the run game, CJ Baxter has risen to the occasion with 595 yards, compensating for the loss of Jonathan Brooks to injury.

Defensively, the Longhorns have been robust, limiting opponents to just 17.5 points per game and showing particular strength against the run, with an average of only 80.8 rushing yards allowed per game. Key defensive players include linebacker Jaylan Ford, with a team-leading 91 tackles, and safety Jerrin Thompson with three interceptions. Texas has also shown prowess against the spread this year with a record of 7-5-1, although the under has hit in eight of their 13 games.

Washington Huskies +650

The Washington Huskies enter the semifinals undefeated at 13-0, following a narrow 34-31 win over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has been a standout performer, leading the nation in passing yards with 4,218 and throwing for 33 touchdowns against nine interceptions. 

His arsenal includes wide receivers Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, both with over 1,000 receiving yards and 10+ touchdowns, along with Dillon Johnson, who has emerged as a significant threat in the running game with 1,113 yards and 14 TDs.

While the Huskies’ offense has been dynamic, their defense has shown vulnerabilities, conceding an average of 23.6 points per game. Linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio has been a key defensive player with 83 tackles and four sacks. The team’s pass rush, averaging only 1.46 sacks per game, could face challenges against a skilled quarterback like Ewers. Washington has a solid record against the spread at 8-5 and, similar to Texas, has seen the under hit in eight of their games.


college football final

In Nick Saban we trust. Jalen Milroe, the quarterback spearheading Alabama’s offense, has been tested over and over again this season. His ability to navigate high-pressure situations and deliver consistent performances makes Alabama a strong contender. There is no better talent suited for this than Milroe, and once they beat Michigan in the semifinal, they will have their path cleared. 

Also, McClellan’s probable return for the Rose Bowl adds a significant edge to their ground game, enhancing Alabama’s chances of controlling the game’s tempo and keeping their opponents on the back foot. Add that to their proven record and experience this year beating 

formidable teams like Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and LSU, makes them the favorite to become the next College Football National Champions. NCAAF Odds support this with them having the second best of all the playoffs