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Michigan, Washington CFP wins become instant classics; Every NFL playoff-clinching scenario

Michigan, Washington CFP wins become instant classics; Every NFL playoff-clinching scenario


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THE MICHIGAN WOLVERINES AND THE WASHINGTON HUSKIES

Two wild, unforgettable, instant-classic semifinals. One enticing title game coming up between two teams both looking for their first championship this millennium that will be conference rivals in a few months. College football, you’ve truly outdone yourself.

No. 1 Michigan and No. 2 Washington are heading to the College Football Playoff national championship after hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

Let’s start at the Rose Bowl, where it was deja vu all over again for the Wolverines. The types of self-inflicted wounds and mistakes they hadn’t made since last year’s CFP semifinal — and truly have no explanation for — were mounting.

Then came Michigan’s very best in full force. Blake Corum. J.J. McCarthy. That dominant defense. The Wolverines beat No. 4 Alabama, 27-20, in overtime, in a game that featured just about everything that makes college football great.

  • After Jase McClellan‘s third-quarter touchdown run, Michigan trailed in the second half for the first time all season. Later, Will Reichard‘s 52-yard field goal put the Tide up, 20-13, with 4:41 left. 
  • The Wolverines, to that point, had 17 plays for 44 yards and no points in the second half. It looked like Alabama was going to do what it does: Find a way to win.
  • But with their backs against the wall, Michigan’s stars came to the rescue. McCarthy hit big passes to Corum and Roman Wilson, had a 16-yard keeper and capped the…

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