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  • Writer's pictureBrendan Moore

SSN College Football Playoff Picks

*Image via SLC Online News

The biggest day of the college football season is less then 24 hours away. There are two huge National Semifinal games on the docket this New Year's Eve: #1 Alabama vs #4 Cincinnati & #2 Michigan vs #3 Georgia. Four of SSN's best football minds have crunched numbers and locked in their picks for these two playoff games. Here is what they think about the two playoff matchups.


Alabama vs. Cincinnati

Generally speaking, there is always one College Football Playoff game per year that is a blow out, and most people will pencil big bad Bama facing a group of 5 Cincinnati as that game this year. I think this game will be closer than most people think because of one thing: experience. Cincinnati has 30 seniors on its roster and its entire two deep is at least 21 years old. There is a gap in talent, but it may not be as large as people think. Cincinnati has two NFL level corners, a junior quarterback who should be drafted in the 1st or 2nd round, and 4 to 6 other guys who should get looks by NFL rosters. Look for this game to be similar to a veteran March Madness team like Villanova or Michigan State playing a team full of one-and-done's like Duke or Kentucky. Alabama will win, but Cincy covers.

Michigan vs Georgia

This sounds crazy but hear me out. Georgia has been rated the number one team all year because of an amazing defense and sufficient offense. They laid an egg, however, in the SEC championship game which showed some significant holes in the Bulldogs roster. The quarterback situation is not settled, that secondary can be beat if the pass rush doesn’t get home and Georgia’s resume isn’t as strong as people first thought. Premier matchups against Clemson and Florida appeared to be season-defining wins at the time but both Clemson and Florida proved to not be as good as we thought going into the year. Michigan on the other hand played a far more taxing schedule and almost went undefeated. Look for this game to be over in the middle of the third. Michigan will win by a wide margin.


Alabama vs Cincinnati

This game will be a shootout, so take the over. Cincinnati will be more competitive than people think. They won’t get blown out. Desmond Ridder, Jerome Ford, Alec Pierce and Josh Whyle will make some big time plays to keep them in it. Will Anderson makes a few big tackles to stall Cincy. The Bearcats have a great defense, but Bama’s offense cannot be stopped. Jameson Williams will be a big difference. I think he has a few TD catches on deep balls. Bama wins by 10, 41-31.

Michigan vs Georgia

Georgia will have a much better time in this game then they did against Bama. They don’t have to face Jameson Williams or Bryce Young. However, they have to go up against Michigan’s offensive line & pass rush. The Georgia defensive line vs the Michigan offensive line will be fun to watch. I think the defenses dominate here. It will be low scoring and physical. Georgia has the better all-around defense, but I think Michigan’s offense is significantly better. Hassan Haskins is a beast who can protect McNamara. Corum is a speedster. Michigan needs to get the run game going if they want success. I just don’t think Georgia has the offensive weapons to score a lot of points. Michigan wins in a close one, 24-17.


Alabama vs Cincinnati

Cincy has only played one real good team in Notre Dame and it’s very hard for anyone to prepare for Bama, especially under Nick Saban. I don’t think Cincinnati stands a chance. Bama wins by 20 points, 40-20.

Michigan vs Georgia

This should be a very good game and I think it will be close. Michigan will be very motivated especially since this is their first ever playoff appearance. The Wolverines pull it off 24-21 in a defensive battle.


Alabama vs Cincinnati

Bama is going to be Bama. I just don’t think Cincy can do much against a motivated Alabama team. Even without John Metchie, it’s next man up and I believe this one will be over by halftime. Alabama wins big over the Bearcats.

Michigan vs Georgia

Michigan will do just enough dinking and dunking down the field. They will use a similar formula that Bama showed in the SEC title game. These two teams have great defenses, but I see Michigan doing just enough to win a game that’ll look eerily similar to Georgia’s opener against Clemson.


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