When betting opened for the Rose Bowl, Alabama Football was as much as a 3.5-point underdog. By Wednesday night, according to FanDuel, the Wolverines were still the favorite, but the spread was down to 1.5 points.
Based on a story published by Athlon Sports the early betting has been heavily on the side of the Alabama Crimson Tide. No one should be surprised. The Wolverines are a good football team, but the No. 1 ranking is misleading. If Georgia had been chosen for the CFB Playoff field, as the Dawgs should have been, Michigan would have been the final four’s fourth-best team. That presumes Georgia in the field would have bumped out Washington, and not Michigan.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss the several reasons why Alabama will beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Few of the reasons apply to what Michigan is or isn’t. Fairly stated, Michigan is good enough to compete with the Crimson Tide. If luck and Crimson Tide mistakes become aligned, the Wolverines could win. Why that is unlikely to happen, is because Alabama Football has progressed, at the right time, to college football’s best team. Only two other teams are at a similar level. One is Georgia and the other is Texas.
During the ESPN presentation of the final Playoff rankings, Selection Committee chair, Boo Corrigan said the ‘football experts’ on the committee were asked to evaluate the top teams in the context of,
"from a coaching standpoint, you know, who do you want to play, who do you not want to play"
Other than maybe Texas, no team should be able to honestly state they want to play the Crimson Tide.
Alabama Football Bandwagon
Some in the college football world need time to catch up. Those are the pundits that point to Alabama’s games against Texas and South Florida. The two games should be ignored. Alabama now is a different team than it was in September. The only credible swipe against the Crimson Tide is throughout the season (and as recently as the Iron Bowl) Alabama has too often played down to its opposition.
That situation should also be ignored. The Crimson Tide will not ‘play down’ to a Playoff opponent.
One Rose Bowl prediction has already leaped past the previous noise. USA Today has provided a look at ESPN subscriber content that gives a Rose Bowl prediction of Alabama 31 – Michigan 23. For the record, ESPN Analytics has not updated from an earlier projection giving the Wolverines a win probability of 55.9%.