College Football Game Previews: Playoffs

Alabama vs. Michigan; Saturday, Jan. 1, 5:00 PM ET ESPN

The Prospects:


  • RT J.C. Latham, No. 65
  • LB Dallas Turner, No. 15
  • CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, No. 1
  • CB Terrion Arnold, No. 3
  • LB Chris Braswell, No. 41
  • DT Justin Edoigbe, No. 92
  • WR Jermaine Burton, No. 3
  • WR Ja’Corey Brooks, No. 7
  • C Seth McLaughlin, No. 56
  • RB Josh Williams, No. 27
  • QB Jalen Milroe, No. 4
  • RB Jase McClellan, No. 2
  • S Malachi Moore, No. 13


  • QB J.J. McCarthy, No. 9
  • RB Blake Corum, No. 2
  • DT Kris Jenkins, No. 94
  • DE Jaylen Harrell, No. 32
  • DE Josaiah Stewart, No. 5
  • WR Roman Wilson, No. 14
  • WR Cornelius Johnson, No. 6

The Matchups: McCarthy is a potential first-round quarterback for the 2024 NFL Draft, and this will end up being one of the games that defines his career at Michigan. Other 2024 quarterback prospects, like Quinn Ewers and Jayden Daniels had success taking on Alabama. McCarthy needs to show that he can play at a high level while taking on a talented defense. Crimson Tide edge rusher Dallas Turner is future a top-20 pick, while cornerbacks Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry have late first-round to early second-round potential in the 2024 NFL Draft. McKinstry was injured in the SEC Championship, so his status for this game is in question. It will be fascinating to see how these future pros match up against each other. If McCarthy can carve up Alabama, that could give a big boost to his chances of going high in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

There will be some great matchups as well in the trenches as well. Michigan tackle Kris Jenkins and Alabama right tackle J.C. Latham could both go in the first round next April during the 2024 NFL Draft. They may not line up against each other much, but both are worth watching to gauge how they play versus a tough opponent.

Texas vs. Washington; Monday, Jan. 1, 8:45 PM ET ESPN

The Prospects:


  • WR Xavier Worthy, No. 1
  • QB Quinn Ewers, No. 3
  • WR Adonai Mitchell, No. 5
  • WR Jordan Whittington, No. 13
  • TE Ja’Tavion Sanders, No. 0
  • RB Keilan Robinson, No. 7
  • DT Byron Murphy II, No. 90
  • DT T’Vondre Sweat, No. 93
  • DT Alfred Collins, No. 95


  • QB Michael Penix Jr., No. 9
  • RB Dillon Johnson, No. 7
  • DE Bralen Trice, No. 8
  • OLB Zion Tupuolo-Fetui, No. 4
  • WR Rome Odunze, No. 1
  • WR Ja’Lynn Polk, No. 2
  • WR Jalen McMillan, No. 11
  • OT Troy Fautanu, No. 55
  • TE Devin Culp, No. 83

The Matchups: This is an excellent game in terms of wide receiver talent because Odunze, Worthy and Mitchell could all go in the first round next April during the 2024 NFL Draft. Polk is a nice mid-round value prospect for the next level as well. Penix has been playing injured late in the year, but he still needs a good performance in the playoff to rise for the 2024 NFL Draft. Ewers is most likely going back to school, but he has early-round potential for the pros.

There will be some good matchups along the lines as well. Murphy could be a first-round pick next April, while Sweat has second-day potential. Collins is draft-able as well. Fautanu could be a first- or second-round pick next April during the 2024 NFL Draft. Trice has not recorded huge sack numbers this year, but he has finished the regular season strongly and has created a lot of pressure more generally. Trice could use a strong performance in the playoffs to help his draft grade.