June 16, 2024

Alabama and Michigan squaring off in highly-anticipated Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl, Michigan Wolverines Football, Alabama Crimson Tide Football

(Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

Grandaddy will kickoff this afternoon with blueblood programs Alabama and Michigan, and the entire College Football world will be watching.

So many storylines have been tied to this matchup because of the rock star coaches. After all, Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh are two of the most successful coaches in today’s game. Harbaugh has led Michigan (13-0) to three-straight Big Ten Titles and Playoff berth. Meanwhile Saban has won the SEC crown two of the last three seasons.

Saban is no stranger to the Playoffs either, considering the Crimson Tide has the most appearances of any FBS team. Alabama raised several eyebrows across the nation when the Committee selected the program over an undefeated Florida State team. As frustrating as the process was, Saban felt his team deserved the bid, and will look to make a statement in Pasadena.

Harbaugh has the Wolverines as the top seed, and they’re on a mission to prove all of the doubters wrong. It’s no mystery that Harbaugh has struggled in bowl games, especially against SEC teams. However, he’s trying to change that narrative against a coach who’s considered by many to be the greatest of all time. At the end of the day it’s still Michigan versus everybody as the program seeks postseason glory.

The Wolverines haven’t won a National Title since 1997, and this might be their best chance to bring home the hardware. Alabama has won 11-straight games since losing to Texas in week two. Saban has his team playing as well as anyone in the nation right now. No to mention he’s nearly unstoppable with a month to prepare.

Michigan isn’t afraid of the spotlight though, and are anxious to change the narrative of its’ bowl season woes. Both teams have high-caliber quarterbacks. J.J. McCarthy was named the Big Ten’s Quarterback of the Year this season. Jalen Milroe is arguably the country’s most dynamic dual-threat gunslinger, and he’s as clutch as they come.

Both defenses are elite, but Michigan leads the FBS in total yards allowed. Alabama is no slouch though, and will look to give McCarthy fits in the pocket. Blake Corum is an All-American running back, who has a nose for the endzone, and he hardly ever fumbles. That’s why fans should expect Michigan to control the clock with a dose of Corum and Donovan Edwards, in effort to keep Alabama’s explosive offense on the sidelines.

Milroe has great chemistry with wideout Isaiah Bond, and the two have come up huge this season in clutch situations. The Wolverines have a strong secondary though, led by defensive back Mike Sainristil. So it’s going to be strength on strength.

Fans believe Saban will retire if he can win another National Championship. That’s going to be easier said than done with high-caliber teams in the Playoffs.

The winner of this game will likely be the favorite to win it all. There’s nothing like some Big Ten and SEC action in the bowl season, and this game should live up to the hype. Which is why kickoff can’t get here fast enough.