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The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

The student news site of Iowa City High School

The Little Hawk

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Kate Meis
Kate Meis
News Editor

College Football Playoff Predictions

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Little Hawk sports columnists Jack Rogers and Rito Perez

After the final week of the college football regular season, six teams were all legitimate options to put into the four-team playoff. First off there were two almost automatic choices in Michigan and Washington who both went undefeated winning their conference championships with some great wins with Michigan beating Ohio State and Penn State and Washington beating Oregon twice throughout the season. The other two spots were very tricky. Texas was a one-loss conference champion with their only loss to Oklahoma and their big win coming over Alabama during the season. Alabama was also a one-loss conference champion that beat number one-seeded Georgia in the conference championship and their one loss came from Texas early on in the season. Georgia whose only loss came in the conference championship against Alabama by one score. Finally, Florida State was an undefeated conference champion. In the end, the committee decided to take Michigan as the one seed, Washington as the two seed, Texas as the three seed, and Alabama as the four seed leaving out Florida State as the five seed and Georgia as the six seed. 

Jack:

Honestly, I think the committee made the right decision with the teams they put in the College Football Playoff. The only thing I am on the fence about is Michigan. They are a very fraudulent team that has not shown a lot this year. Although they were an undefeated conference champion they did not play very high competition all year with their best win coming against Ohio State who had a very poor quarterback for Ohio State standards who just recently entered the transfer portal. They also lost one of their best offensive linemen Zac Zinter in their final regular season game. They were in a similar situation that Florida State was and I think the four best teams possible are Washington, Texas, Alabama, and Georgia, but it is really hard not to put Michigan in after a dominant win in their conference championship. I know leaving Florida State out of the playoffs is a really big decision but I think it’s the right decision. Florida State looked good all season but only putting up 55 passing yards against a mediocre Louisville team shows that if they were put in the playoffs they were blowout material. Moving forward into predictions, I think Alabama will beat Michigan 38-27. As I said earlier Michigan has played weak competition all season and this will be their first real test and I do not think they are up to the standard. Alabama has also become a completely different team over the course of the season improving every week. In the Washington-Texas game, Washington’s slightly better defense is going to be the difference. Although Texas has one of the best offenses in the country I think Washington’s is just as good and they have the ability to hang on in the end. I definitely expect a pretty high-scoring game so I’m going to go with 52-45 Washington. In my final game of Washington vs Alabama, I think it is Washington’s year to win it. Michael Penix has had a near Heisman-winning season and he is also complemented by probably the best wide receiver room in the country. All of this will just be too much for Alabama to handle and I have seen too many poor throws by Jalen Milroe to think that he is quite legit yet. I think this will still be another pretty high-scoring game at 43-40 Washington in the end.

Rito: 

I think putting FSU in or not was probably one of, if not the hardest decisions in the CFP era. However, I think Florida State definitely should have made it, regardless if they lost Jordan Travis or not. While they didn’t look like the team they once were without him, it’s not like they lost many games. They went undefeated in a formidable Power Five conference and were the champions of the ACC. But, regardless, a New Year’s Six bowl game is nothing to scoff at. However, I do understand why they wouldn’t add them, Alabama is definitely a better opponent, so I can’t say too much. With that being said, I do have Alabama winning in an upset seed-wise and advancing to the National Championship. It should be a very close game between two incredibly fierce opponents, but Alabama just beat the back-to-back national champions Georgia, so I have no doubt despite their seed they’re going to beat Michigan. My final prediction for Michigan vs. Alabama is 34-31, Alabama. Washington against Texas should also be a high-scoring thriller. Both teams have high-powered offenses and solid defenses. They also both like to keep games close with inferior opponents. Texas went into overtime with an unranked Kansas State and barely won. However, Texas did beat Alabama at the beginning of this season, and while Bama wasn’t playing as well as they are now, that is nothing to look down upon. Washington also keeps games close that have no business being close. They narrowly beat Oregon in the PAC-12 championship game, and just one week earlier beat an unranked Washington State by three. And while both teams have done that, Washington won by less than ten points five times against unranked opponents. That is why I am picking Texas to beat Washington in the Sugar Bowl 27-20. That leaves us with a regular season rematch for the national championship, Texas vs. Alabama. Both teams have shown they’re worthy for the championship, and have improved as the season went on. Texas’ only loss was against Oklahoma, and Alabamas was to the Longhorns themselves. Jalen Milroe (Alabama’s QB) has greatly improved since that week two matchup, however. He finished the season as a Heisman candidate and made a great name for himself like past Alabama quarterbacks. With that being said, I don’t think that is enough to beat Texas. Quinn Ewers was no Heisman candidate like Milroe, but I think Texas’ supporting cast is much better than Alabama’s at the moment. So for my national champion for 2023, the Texas Longhorns will beat Alabama 47-41 to take their first championship in the CFP era.

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About the Contributors
Jack Rogers, Sports Co-Editor
Jack Rogers, 14, Go Little Hawks!
Rito Perez, Reporter
Esther Puderbaugh, Website Executive, A&E Editor, and Social Media Co-Editor
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