Creekside Sports: The Perfect National Championship Game to Start 2024

College football enjoyed one of its most exciting days ever on New Year’s Day. And there’s still one more game to go: the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship happening tonight, January 8th on ESPN.

The game will be played from Houston, Texas at 7:30 p.m., pitting No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 2 Washington. The Wolverines and Huskies are both 14-0 with a chance to finish off a perfect season and claim the crown.

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (left) and Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (right) | via AP/Reuters

But for many, one question still remains: how’d we get here?

A regular season filled with little chaos as the top teams rolled into the postseason led us to the four-team Playoff (and plenty of chaos about who was left out … Florida State and Georgia). Then the semifinal games gave us all the excitement we could ever ask for building the anticipation for the championship game tonight.

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First, in a matchup of two of college football’s all-time heavyweights (at the Rose Bowl no less), Michigan rallied to tie Alabama late and then pulled out a 27-20 win in overtime on a fourth-and-goal stop.

Then the offense picked up in the second semifinal as Michael Penix Jr. and Washington outlasted Quinn Ewers and Texas 37-31 on another fourth-down stop, this time from the Huskies’ 13-yard line.

Video courtesy

So now it’s Michigan vs. Washington for a national title. The powerful, physical Wolverines vs. Penix and the high-powered Huskies. All the controversy surrounding Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s two suspensions this year vs. the quick turnaround Kalen DeBoer has pulled off in restoring the once-proud Washington program.

It’s the type of a matchup that should lead to an all-time great national title game. And with all the wackiness to come in 2024 from conference realignment and an expanded Playoff, it’s everything we could have hoped for to end the 2023 season.

Listen to Daniel Shirley and Steve Norris at 10 a.m. each day on Creekside Sports on 100.9 The Creek. And stream all the daily episodes here: