It was a season of disappointment for both Alabama and Michigan in 2019. Their respective national title dreams died at different points of the season, but ultimately died nonetheless.
So we can expect both teams to do everything possible to end this disappointing season on a high note. They’ll get that opportunity in the Citrus Bowl on January 1.
Heading into the Citrus Bowl, the early betting line has been released. According to David Payne Purdum, CircaSports has set Alabama as a 7-point favorite.
Alabama’s favoritism should come as little surprise. Their only two losses have come against two of the best teams in the nation – LSU and Auburn – by a combined eight points.
Notable bowl lines via @CircaSports:
Michigan vs. Alabama -7
Virginia vs. Florida -14
Texas vs. Utah -7.5
Minnesota vs. Auburn -7.5
Wisconsin -3. vs. Oregon
Baylor vs. Georgia -8
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) December 9, 2019
In fairness, the same can be said of Michigan, which lost games to Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State – none of whom are slouches. But the Wisconsin and Ohio State losses both came by over 21 points.
There’s also the matter of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh’s recent struggles in bowl games. Whether it’s players not suiting up for NFL prep or something else entirely, facts are facts: Harbaugh’s Wolverines have lost three straight bowl games.
It will be interesting to see how Alabama responds to the low stakes nature of the Citrus Bowl.
The last time the Crimson Tide weren’t in contention for a national title was 2013. They lost the Sugar Bowl to Oklahoma by 14 points.
The 2020 Citrus Bowl could be a battle of two juggernauts trying to take their frustrations out on each other… or a battle to see which team is the least unmotivated to play.