Arguably the most-intriguing matchup of the college football postseason, outside of the College Football Playoff games, is the Alabama vs. Michigan contest in the Citrus Bowl.
The Crimson Tide and the Wolverines are both disappointed with how their seasons turned out, but they’ll have a chance to end it on a high note with a win on New Year’s Day.
Alabama dominated its opponent the last time it missed a New Year’s Six bowl game, thrashing Michigan State, 48-7, in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.
Will the same thing happen this year?
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg has made his score predictions for every bowl game. Here’s what he has in the Alabama-Michigan game:
This is one of the tougher quick-picks, as we don’t know which top-level Alabama players will sit out and prepare for the NFL draft. The Tide crushed Michigan State 49-7 in their last Citrus Bowl (then Capital One Bowl) appearance, but they also have endured motivation lapses when left out of the national title race. Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis sees his former Crimson Tide wide receivers, and Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson faces Alabama for the first time since 2017. I think Alabama shows up ticked off, and Jim Harbaugh’s bowl blues continue.
Prediction: Alabama 44, Michigan 31
Alabama enters this one as a touchdown favorite. That feels a little low, but as Rittenberg points out, it’s possible several Crimson Tide players will sit out of the game with the NFL Draft in mind.
The Crimson Tide and the Wolverines are set to kick off at 1 p.m. E.T. on Jan. 1.
The game will be on ABC.