Today’s the day.
Every college football team in the nation set the goal at the beginning of the season to make it to the College Football Playoff, but only four remain. Alabama is one of them and will take on Michigan State tonight in the Cotton Bowl at 8 p.m. ET in Arlington, Texas.
The anticipation has been growing and Crimson Tide fans are hoping to ring in the New Year with a victory. ESPN’s College GameDay set up shop in Miami Thursday and all analysts were in agreement that Alabama would advance to the Playoff final. Check out their thoughts below:
Joey Galloway: Alabama
“Connor Cook’s going to make some plays. Coker’s going to make a few plays. Alabama’s going to make enough plays, get enough stops to win.”
Butch Davis: Alabama
“I think Alabama’s going to win the football game. They are unbelievably talented on defense. They are going to crush the running game, put a lot of pressure on Connor Cook. Special teams-wise, every game they come up with a way to block a kick, return a punt for a touchdown. And then Derrick Henry’s going to control the game running the ball. That’s going to give them big play shot opportunities in play-action pass.”
Kirk Herbstreit: No pick
“I think it’s going to be quarterback play. Whether it’s Connor Cook on early downs trying to find an opportunity to make plays through the air. Or look out for Jake Coker, play-action early downs throwing to Calvin Ridley downfield. I think quarterbacks will ultimately decide this game in Arlington.”
Desmond Howard: Alabama
“I think that Nick Saban’s defense is going to figure a way to make Connor Cook turn the ball over, and that’s going to decide who wins this game. I’m going with Alabama in a close one.”
Lee Corso: Alabama
“Closer than the experts think. Ten points is too much. Alabama … close … one point.”
David Pollack: Alabama
“The punt return game, Cyrus Jones, I think might make a big enough difference in this ball game. I think it’s the turnovers for Michigan State. They give a few up for Alabama, Alabama wins.”