For the first time since 2014, a team from the ACC or the SEC won't win the College Football Playoff National Championship.
It's refreshing. It's also given us a fascinating matchup between Michigan football and Washington. Jim Harbaugh is a lightning rod and so is this entire Michigan team after the sign-gate scandal.
But anyone saying that a national title would be tainted for Michigan is just trying to get clicks. It makes absolutely no sense. Michigan played a bunch of nobody's this season before the report came out. Therefore, there's no way to expect it could have given Michigan football any sort of advantage against Penn State, Maryland, Ohio State, Iowa, and Alabama.
Michigan has won four games against ranked teams, including three in the top 10. Two of those games were away from home too. So let's not kid ourselves. Michigan deserves to be here and any talk of an asterisk is just silly.
Washington is no joke either. Kalen DeBoer is also as elite as they come in terms of college football head coaches. He's coached at different levels and won 90 percent of his games. DeBoer and Harbaugh are winners and this is going to be a battle on Monday night.
Here are three bold predictions.
Michigan plays bully ball
Many people have focused on the Washington offense against the Michigan football defense. However, the Huskies are going to have to stop the Wolverines too and they are allowing 4.4 yards per rushing attempt. Washington allows more than 400 yards of total offense per game. They want this to be a shootout, but Michigan is going to try and grind the Huskies to dust.
This Michigan running game hasn't been as good as it was in 2021 or 2022, but when it has really mattered -- against Penn State, Ohio State, and Alabama -- the Wolverines have run for at least 130 yards in each game. Blake Corum has scored a rushing touchdown in each and had a run of at least 17 yards in all of those games.
That's getting it done. The offensive line is healthy and so is Corum. He looked as good as he ever has in the Rose Bowl and I expect him to be the MVP on Monday night after he runs for over 100 yards and scores multiple touchdowns. The Wolverines will run for over 200 total.