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Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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University of Michigan football fans rejoice with the 2023-2024 college football season coming to a close

A sold out crowd of 110,000 cheers on a 30-24 win against Ohio State.

 “It’s hard to describe,” art teacher Gregory Stevens said. “I’m 42 years old and it feels like I accomplished something. Seeing them win their last National Championship in ’97, and then it’s been a roller coaster with some really bad years and a lot of disappointments since then, so it feels like I did it!”

The tenth year and conclusion of the four-team college football playoff involved the most controversial decision of its tenure. 

The College Football Playoff consists of what a committee agrees is the four best teams in the country after the regular season is played out. This College Football Playoff Committee consists of thirteen athletic directors from schools all over the country, including the chair of the committee, NC State Athletic director Boo Corrigan. 

The committee has a very specific criteria to help decide which four teams best fit. This criteria includes win-loss records, results of head to head matchups against common opponents, strength of schedule, being a conference champion and unavailability of key players or a coach. 

As the season progresses, the final four to six teams selected get harder and harder to narrow down. With five conferences and only four spots, there will always be at least one conference champion left out. 

Conference Championship weekend ended and there were six teams in contention for the final four spots, which consisted of either undefeated or one-loss teams. These teams were Michigan (13-0), Washington (13-0), Florida State (13-0), Texas (12-1), Alabama (12-1) and Georgia (12-1). All were conference champions except the #1 team in the penultimate rankings, Georgia, who had just lost their conference championship game to Alabama after a perfect regular season. 

After much deliberation, it was decided that Florida State would be left out of the college football playoff. Besides the few media personalities, like ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, who have supported the committee’s decision, the large majority of college football fans and players think it’s a disgrace that Florida State was left out.

This left the selection as Michigan at the one seed, Washington as the two seed, Texas in the three seed and Alabama as the four seed. 

The final four teams played on New Year’s day in the Rose Bowl (#1 Michigan vs #4 Alabama) and the Sugar Bowl (#2 Washington vs #3 Texas), and the winners would meet in the National Championship on January 8th. 

Michigan beat Alabama 27-20 behind running back Blake Corum’s 118 all-purpose yards, including an overtime game-winning touchdown and a 221 yard three touchdown performance from Rose Bowl game MVP, JJ McCarthy, as they advanced to the national championship.

Washington beat Texas in a 37-31 shootout behind Sugar Bowl offensive MVP Michael Penix’s 430 yards and two touchdowns, as they also advanced to the national championship to start the new year.

With Washington’s last national championship coming in 1981 and Michigan’s last being in 1997, the stakes couldn’t be higher for this clash of two undefeated teams.

As Michigan has all year, they came out swinging in the first half getting out to a quick 14-3 lead. They then held a one-possession lead throughout the third quarter and finally pulled away to win the 2023 National Championship 34-13. Blake Corum and Will Johnson’s MVP performances fueled the Wolverines, making every Michigan fan’s dream come true, including several teachers at Norrix who have been rooting for Michigan their entire life. 

It’s especially a full circle moment for fans like English teacher Jeffrey Pickell.

“I’ve been a hardcore Michigan fan my whole life and as an Alum, my friends and I went all through college watching all the losses after the National Championship year and all the lows from the Rich Rod and Brady Hoke years and Harbaugh almost getting fired during the COVID  year, making this a complete turnaround,” Pickell said.

“Coming off 3 years in a row with a win against Ohio State and then beating the SEC in the first round getting us over that hump,” Pickell continued, “then finally beating the PAC 12 in the National Championship like it should be… and who better to cap off the four-team College Football Playoff than the winningest team in college football history winning the National Championship? It truly means so much.”

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  • I

    israelApr 3, 2024 at 1:12 pm

    I liked this article because it describes the happiness and how it was a good time for the fans.

  • T

    TamarApr 3, 2024 at 7:54 am

    Great work, I enjoyed the story from Mr.Stevens. This article makes me think about how we have a little diversity in team supporters at our school.

  • M

    Mr. VeloFeb 15, 2024 at 6:19 pm

    Great story, Alex! Especially like your use of the word ‘penultimate’! I like how you weaved this year’s drama of the teams that were included in the College Football Playoff. UofM bested them all to bring home the championship!