College Football Playoff (Cotton Bowl)
(3) Michigan State at (2) Alabama
Michigan State– They’ve been one of the best teams in college football over the years. All they’ve done is win two of the last three Big Ten championships and they’ve averaged 11 wins over the last six seasons. Let’s look at the run that they’ve been on to get here. They beat Oregon in a shoot-out in East Lansing early on in the season, they stunned their rival Michigan on one of the craziest plays I’ve ever seen to conclude a football game, the biggest moment which I really feel got them here was their stunner in Columbus when they took down the Buckeyes of Ohio State and we can’t forget their comeback victory in the Big Ten title game against Iowa. They play hard and Mark Dantonio has become one of the five best coaches in the country. They’re on the big stage, now let’s see what they do with it at JerryWorld tomorrow night against a tough Alabama team.
Alabama– It’s no shocker at all that they’re here. Many once thought that this would be a different year for Nick Saban and company. They are college football’s New England Patriots. Just like we do with them, we can just pencil the Roll Tide to finish in the top two or three every single season. After another loss to Ole Miss this year, a lot of questions were being asked. They never lost focus. I look at their game against LSU as one of their big moments. They shut down Fournette and Derrick Henry had a big game, well that was one of many big games for the Heisman Trophy winner. Nine 100 yard games and four 200 yard games for Henry to be exact. They will enter this game against a talented Michigan State team with a chip on their shoulder after being upset last year in the semifinal to the eventual champion, Ohio State.
Prediction: Both these teams are very similar to each other. They like to run the football, control the line of scrimmage and play physical defense. Sparty has a very athletic front seven. They can get to the lanes before the running back can and they tackle in space so well. The biggest matchup will be Michigan State’s defensive front against Alabama’s offensive line. This game will also feature two quarterbacks very different from one another: Alabama’s Jake Coker and Michigan State’s Connor Cook. Sparty has to put this game in the hands of Coker because if Henry gets going, they’ll have a tough time stopping him. For Michigan State it’s simple: Connor Cook takes care of the ball, they will have success. I like Michigan State in this one. Sparty 24 Tide 20