The #1 seed has never defeated the #2 seed in the CFP National Championship... until now

The Michigan Wolverines are bringing home the National Championship trophy, along with an additional bit of history.

Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) runs for a touchdown
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) runs for a touchdown / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Since its debut in 2014, the top two seeds have only faced each other four times in the College Football Playoffs championship game. 

Before tonight’s matchup, Alabama and Clemson laid claim to the other three matchups of the top two teams. 

In 2015, #2 Alabama defeated #1 Clemson. In return, #2 Clemson beat #1 Alabam in both 2016 and 2018. The meeting in 2018 was a complete drubbing by the Tigers as they defeated the Crimson Tide by 28 points.

A decade after the CFP’s conception, the team ranked first had yet to walk away with the victory until Jim Harbaugh’s #1 Michigan Wolverines defeated the #2 Washington Huskies.

And man did they do it in styleMichigan defeated Washington 34-13 to win the national title.

In the final championship of the four-team playoff system, Michigan was able to start hot. The Wolverines marched down the field and scored their first touchdown in just 4 minutes and 46 seconds.

They held the Huskies’ first drive to a field goal but Washington was able to eat up more than six minutes of the first quarter.

Capitalizing on the time they had in the opening quarter, Michigan scored once again. This time, it took the offense just over a minute and a half to get into the endzone. Donovan Edwards ran the ball in for both Wolverine touchdowns in the first half.

Michigan seemed to be in complete control of the ball through the first 29 minutes of the game.

However, Washington’s quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was able to get into his usual rhythm and pushed his team down the field to score a touchdown before the clock hit zeroes.

Going into halftime, Michigan was only up by seven points but had gained 290 total yards to Washington’s 160.

Scoring slowed as the two defenses seemed to wake up in the second half. By the end of the third quarter, each team had only added a field goal to their scores, leaving the scoreboard at 20-13 for the start of the final quarter.

The Wolverines seemed to find their grove when J.J. McCarthy completed a 41-yard pass to Colston Lovestand to the Washington 30-yard-line.

Blake Corum put the exclamation mark on the drive with a 12-yard rushing touchdown to help his team rediscover the endzone. 

Michigan was up 27-13 with 7:09 left on the clock and Washington simply could not find an offensive answer.

Despite Penix having a huge completion to Rome Odunze for 44 yards, the Huskies couldn’t get into the endzone. On a 4th down attempt, Penix was hit hard by the defensive line and took a second to get up.

Two flags on the play set up a redo for the Husky offense and Penix threw his second pick of the half, returned to the opposite 8-yard-line by Mike Sainristil.

Michigan punched in another touchdown with 3:37 on the clock to make it 34-13, closing the book on Washington’s championship story.

Corum went on to be named the offensive MVP of the game. Defensive back Will Johnson, who had 4 total tackles and in interception, was named defensive MVP.

Michigan enters elite company as one of just seven teams to finish its season at 14-0 or better. The Wolverine's win over the Huskies capped their season at 15-0. Michigan saw victories over Alabama in the semifinals and over their in-conference rival Ohio State in regular season play.

This was Michigan’s 12th program national championship, the first since 1997. It adds the cherry on top to the season in which they broke the 1000-win mark for the school.