College Football has officially reached an end of an era...with an expanded 12 team playoff picture next year, things are only looking up! Hoorah!
Bowl season came and went with a bang but let's relive some of the greatest moments, including a Michigan dub on the biggest stage.
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The 2023-24 college football bowl season marked a pivotal moment in the sport's history, signaling the conclusion of an era. Significant transformations, such as conference realignment and the expansion of the College Football Playoff to 12 teams, are on the horizon before the 2024 season begins. The Myrtle Beach Bowl brought the hype on Dec. 16, with Ohio comfortably crushing Georgia Southern. The season concluded with Michigan securing a victory over Washington, clinching the Wolverines' first national championship since 1997 and outright title since 1948.
CFP National Championship
In the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship held in Houston, top-ranked Michigan showcased dominance over second-ranked Washington, particularly on the ground during the first quarter. Although facing containment for half of the game, the Wolverines closed the fourth quarter just as impressively as they started, securing a resounding 34-13 victory. Michigan etched its name in history by amassing a remarkable 303 rushing yards while overpowering the Huskies on both offensive and defensive lines.
This feat not only surpassed Washington's overall yardage for the game (301) but also marked a historic milestone in the BCS/CFP era (since 1998). The 303 rushing yards set a record as the most by a national title-winning team in the modern era of college football.
In the championship-clinching performance for Michigan, running back Blake Corum played a pivotal role, leading the blue with an impressive 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 21 touches. Surprisingly, Donovan Edwards, who had minimal contributions throughout the season due to injuries, emerged as a standout, scoring two first-quarter touchdowns and accumulating 104 yards on just six carries.
Top Bowl Games
The Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl both witnessed record-setting margins of victory, with the most lopsided outcome occurring in the latter as No. 6 Georgia dominated No. 5 Florida State with a staggering 63-3 triumph. This 60-point margin now stands as the largest in bowl game history, breaking Georgia's own record set in the previous year's College Football Playoff National Championship against TCU. The Bulldogs showcased their excellence throughout the 2023 season, leaving an indelible mark in both the bowl and Orange Bowl record books.
Rose Bowl: No. 1 Michigan 27, No. 4 Alabama 20 (OT)
Meanwhile, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl delivered thrilling matchups that went down to the wire. In the Rose Bowl, No. 1 Michigan staged a remarkable comeback, overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit to eventually triumph 27-20 over No. 4 Alabama in overtime. The Wolverines' defense played a crucial role, stopping Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe on fourth-and-goal.
In the Sugar Bowl, No. 2 Washington held off a dramatic comeback attempt by No. 3 Texas, securing a 37-31 victory and advancing to the College Football Playoff National Championship for the first time in program history. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. delivered an outstanding performance, throwing for 430 yards and two touchdowns, ultimately outdueling Texas' Quinn Ewers in a historic matchup.
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon 45, Liberty 6
The Fiesta Bowl featured Oregon's quarterback Bo Nix making program history in his final collegiate outing, breaking records held by former Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota for single-season passing yards and touchdown passes during a commanding 45-6 win over Liberty.
Orange Bowl: No. 6 Georgia 63, No. 5 Florida State 3
Despite being predicted as a lopsided affair due to numerous starters missing the game for Florida State, Georgia's excellence shone through in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs, with a remarkable display of efficiency, secured a resounding victory even when substituting in backups. Georgia's exceptional recruiting over the past four years showcased the depth of their talent, as even the backups operated at the same high level as the game's starters, many of whom had the Bulldogs ranked as the No. 1 team in the country heading into conference championship weekend.
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