Welp, I got what I wanted. Michigan will be heading to Orlando to play Alabama in the Citrus Bowl on New Years Day 2020 for the chance to start the new decade with a bang.
Now, I know a lot of Michigan fans are not too happy and honestly a little scared about playing Alabama in a bowl game this year. And I get it.
Michigan hasn’t won a bowl game since Jim Harbaugh’s first season (ironically enough, the 2016 Citrus Bowl vs Florida) and after getting pumped to end the regular season this year, the last thing the program needs is back-to-back blowouts to end the season for the second straight year.
I agree it would be much safer to play, let’s say USC in the Holiday Bowl or even Auburn in the Citrus Bowl. But, going super cliché with it, if you want to be the best, you have to play and beat the best.
I like the idea of Michigan getting the chance to (somewhat) save their season by knocking off the best non-playoff team in the country who also happens to be Nick Saban’s Alabama.
But will it happen? I wouldn’t put money on Michigan here but at a neutral site, in a year where things just haven’t gone right in Tuscaloosa, and in a game that could be missing several future NFL draft picks, I don’t think it’s some impossible task.
Add in the Harbaugh-Saban media frenzy over the next three weeks and it being the 20-year reunion of the instant classic 2000 Orange Bowl between Tom Brady and Shaun Alexander should make this matchup entertaining enough.
This will be Don Brown and the defense’s chance to redeem itself. It’ll be Josh Gattis’ chance to show Nick Saban that he could handle lone offensive coordinator responsibilities. It’ll be Jim Harbaugh’s chance to beat an elite team and give himself a nice feather in its cap on the 2021 recruiting trail.
The program will get a chance to change the narrative more than it could’ve against any other team heading into the offseason and new decade.
Or they’ll fall on their face again and the questions will continue to surround the program.
We’ll see what happens and what they’re made of. This is a true competitor’s and true college football fan’s dream match up. So you know Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban are going to be up for the fight.
Photo Credit: NFL.com
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