USA Today Predicts CFP Final 4: Alabama, Wisconsin, Clemson, Washington

Submitted by SkyPanther on June 19th, 2018 at 12:00 AM

USA Today says Alabama and Wisconsin will be in the Final 4, and play in the Cotton Bowl. Clemson and Washington will be the other 2 in the Final 4, and play in the Orange Bowl.

They also predict something else that probably won't happen: Michigan St will play in a January 1 Bowl Game.

They have Michigan playing Auburn in a January 1 Bowl game.







June 19th, 2018 at 12:13 AM ^

If Michigan can beat the Domers then they will have a good shot at being undefeated when they play Wisconsin on October 13th.

I predict we beat Wisconsin at home. We win a revenge against Michigan State on the road. We blow out Penn State who no longer has Saquon Barkley or Joe Moorhead. The following two games against our rival Rutgers and Indiana should be easy victories.

We won't lose to Ohio State this year. Michigan is going to win that game by two touchdowns as our quarterback and offensive line will be much improved over last year.

Our defense will be #1 in the country and rival that of the 1997 Michigan defense.



June 19th, 2018 at 12:20 AM ^

Notre Dame didn't lose a game at home last year. In fact, they blew out every opponent with the exception of Navy. This is going to be a tough match up for us.

Other obvious marquee games:

Michigan vs. Wisconsin

Michigan at Michigan State

Michigan vs Penn State

Michigan at Ohio State


June 19th, 2018 at 12:22 AM ^

Do you expect this defense to be better than 2016? Our starting d-line that year was Wormley-Glasgow-Hurst (technically Godin but Hurst had the starter reps)-Taco. Also had Gary and Winovich rotating in. Linebackers were good as well. Back 5 of Lewis-Stribling-Thomas-Hill-Peppers. 

I think our first 4 D-Line might be better than ‘16 but nowhere near as deep. Linebackers will be much better than 16. In the secondary I don’t think our safeties are as good, but corners are as a unit better; and Hudson is equal to Peppers. If this years D is as good as ‘16 then it is a success.

Offense should be better. Better QB. Better RBs. No Butt, but a better TE unit and the WR’s I expect to be spectacular.


June 19th, 2018 at 1:13 AM ^

Yes, I do. Gary and Winovich have the potential to be first round draft choices and both are committed to making the defense the best in the nation. I do not expect our safeties to play as poorly this year and they will have relief from the constant assault opposing quarterbacks will be under.

You could tell after Gary's reaction in our lost to State how competitive he is. The defense which returns all but one starter kept us in many games we had no business keeping close. They are older, more experienced, and hungry to prove themselves.

I truly believe our offense will be more than serviceable this year and potentially better than the 2015 group. People forget that our offense was able to score pretty well in 2015 and 2016. 2017 was an aberration. I think if we would have had Jake Rudock back in 2016 we would have won the National Championship. The narrative of Harbaugh can't win the big one a farce and this year I think he will lead the team to win all of them. 

I think our success this year will be all we need to get recruiting on track as well. The narrative was similar in 1997 and by 1998 Michigan had the #1 recruiting class in the nation.


June 19th, 2018 at 1:33 AM ^

If I had to rank my concerns by position going into this season I would say first is obviously Left Tackle. That was the biggest concern (next to QB) in 2016 and Newsome was our best lineman up until his injury. Let’s hope for that this year. Next, is WR. The talent is there, but the production isn’t yet. A good QB however should lower that concern quite rapidly.

On defense I am mildly concerned about our 1 and 3 and safeties. Dwumfour and Solomon hopefully can be solid; which they have shown in flashes. Marshall and Mone are veterans who have shown to be decent. Safeties need to be better in coverage. Kinnel I think just had a bad few games but he can be at a Wilson/Dymonte level I feel. Metellus, I just don’t know yet. If he can be like Delano and be a lights out tackler, we will be alright.

This is the first year in a while I think many are underselling our talent. I expect us to go to Columbus with the B1G East title on the line.

Der Alte

June 19th, 2018 at 10:27 AM ^

Injuries don't seem to make a lotta difference with that team. They'll just slot in some other three-star recruit from Waukesha or somewhere and do just fine. I dunno --- must be all the cheese and beer these kids grow up on. No one --- except maybe Darth Dantonio --- get as much out of unheralded recruits as do the Badgers. But without reading the article, I suspect WI's as-usual cupcake schedule has a lot to do with them allegedly facing Alabama in the BCS semi-final.

Personally, I don't believe a word of it. Wisconsin still has to get past an at-home M on October 13th, and I'm betting on the Blue.

carolina blue

June 19th, 2018 at 7:36 AM ^

 I was talking with a Sparty friend last week, and he’s a pretty levelheaded guy, And he is not very optimistic about this season.  With their schedule, he expects to be around 9-3 or 8-4, with the possibility of being as poor as 6-6.  It was interesting to get his take on the last few years. The conversation evolved into how their football team is over performing, and their basketball team is under performing at important moments. We exchanged our feeling that our programs are the opposite of what we are used to  because we have the same problem but with basketball and football flipped. He hates Harbaugh because he’s a diva that doesn’t actually have a track record of any success but oh well, and is jealous of Beilein, said he was REALLY hoping he would take the pistons Job.

Anyway, all that is to say that portion the Sparty fan base that understands anything about anything is not expecting much this season. (Also, he wants to see the university senior staff die in a fire for how they’re handling the fallout from the Nassar awful thing and the subsequent accusations. So, I give him a bit of credit for that.)


Arb lover

June 19th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

Living in spartan nation with a lot of faculty/athletic coaches in my neighborhood, I can tell you that most dedicated spartans up here feel like since they return almost all of their production and they did so "well" last year, and play OSU and UM at home, that this is going to be their year. 

They feel UM is constantly overrated and that they are constantly underrated, so regardless of any Patterson hype or pre-season rankings, once the season starts things will only get better for them. 


June 19th, 2018 at 1:54 PM ^

The handful of sparty friends I have, and I try to limit it, also despise Harbaugh. Just can't stand him and follow the narrative that he's overrated, not a good coach, had 1 good year at Stanford and that was all Andrew Luck blah blah blah. Mention what he did at USD or in the NFL with the Niners and they shrug it off like it didn't happen. Remind them we were 1 play away from the CFP in 2016 and they still give no credit. But they all love Beilein and would take him over the angry elf any day!


June 19th, 2018 at 8:33 AM ^

Wisconsin will probably win the Big Ten West again, then get beat by Michigan or Ohio State in Indianapolis, but it is easier to pick the Big Ten West victor.  In the East, Michigan, Ohio State, and Michigan State all have a possiblity to win.


June 19th, 2018 at 8:43 AM ^

Wisconsin is a major wildcard. Their defense was good last year, and their offense was efficient. Last year was a prototypical Wisconsin football team. 

Wisconsin's defense ranked number 6 in the nation against FBS opponents in total defense. They are returning 36% of their starting defense. This is a big deal because they are not as talented as say Ohio State and Michigan depth as far as depth and need time for the younger guys to develop. 

They are returning 90% of their offense and their Starting QB. If Hornibrook can eliminate the bad turnovers they have a chance, I just don't see them winning more than nine, or ten games. 



June 19th, 2018 at 9:27 AM ^

I think Washington and the PAC - 12 have a lot to prove, before I would be predicting them in the CFP.  That conference has been down for a couple of years now and not sure Washington is ready to make that kind of leap just yet.


June 19th, 2018 at 10:37 AM ^

It seems unlikely that MSU or PSU can take down the Buckeyes this year, as both teams will have a lot of question marks. Maybe with the game at Happy Valley, strange things can happebn.  If our line can block thanks to a new line coach and S&C program, we've got the best shot to do so in the East in my opinion, but our schedule makes it less likely we'd be in contention for the CFP even with a win against OSU unless we've somehow run the table. Even with a loss to us (should it happen, optimistic I know) it would seem OSU would emerge from the B1G over Wisconsin. Especially with how hard Nebraska will be hitting this year. /s

The Fan in Fargo

June 19th, 2018 at 12:40 PM ^

Alabama and Clemson probably because of cake ass schedules. Wisconsin though? No fucking way. They're standing on the tracks is the fact of the matter and the train is coming through. Choo-choo baby!!


June 19th, 2018 at 5:48 PM ^

I know it's common sense that Alabama will be in the final 4.  Saban can buy any athlete he wants.  But that doesn't make me any less burned out on them.  If they lose a game in November, they're still in.  If they don't win the SEC, they're in.  Last year, the SEC as a conference was probably the weakest it's been in my entire life and the championship game ended up being between two SEC teams....which Alabama won, of course.  I'm so f***ing tired of Bama.  

I kind of feel like we're at the point where college football is just filler until Alabama wins it all yet again.