Georgia vs. Michigan Preview

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Georgia vs. Michigan Preview

College football bluebloods square off in the Orange Bowl, as second-ranked Michigan battles Georgia in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

Both teams come in with sparkling 12-1 records. Michigan’s lone loss was a 37-33 instant classic against Michigan State. Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, in the seventh season at the helm of his alma mater, rallied his team to a dominant closing stretch. Michigan, boasting the most ever victories of any college football team, are champions of the Big Ten, smoking hot. Buoyed by an epic 42-27 Big House victory in the snow over Ohio State, the Maize and Blue routed Iowa 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship Game, earning their first CFP appearance.





Kirby Smart is in his sixth season as the head coach at his alma mater. Georgia posted a perfect 12-0 regular season before falling to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Since the College Football Playoff began in 2014, the Bulldogs are the first team to earn a berth after losing their conference championship game. Georgia held the No. 1 national ranking for a majority of the campaign. Following a highly anticipated 10-3 season opening victory over Clemson, the Bulldogs won 11 straight games by at least 17 points, including a 34-7 victory over Florida and 45-0 topping of Tech.

This will be Georgia’s fourth ever Orange Bowl appearance. The Bulldogs beat TCU 40-26 on New Year’s Day 1942, fell to Texas 41-28 in the 1949 Orange Bowl, and then on January 1, 1960, the Bulldogs beat Missouri.

For Michigan, this will also be its fourth trip to Miami. Harbaugh’s Wolverines lost a 33-32 classic to Florida State on December 30, 2016. That game’s Most Valuable Player was Dalvin Cook, older brother of current senior Georgia standout running back James Cook.





This will be the third all time meeting between these two traditionrich programs. Both games took place in Ann Arbor, with Michigan winning 26-0 in 1957 and the Bulldogs prevailing 15-7 in 1965.

The roots of these two head coaches run deep at their schools.

Harbaugh was an All-Big Ten quarterback for Michigan in the 1980s.

Smart was an All-Southeastern Conference safety for Georgia in the 1990s.

Michigan is rising. The victory over the Buckeyes was just their third dating back to 2001, and the Wolverines went on to break a four year Ohio State stranglehold on the Big Ten championship.

Georgia is once again amongst the elite of college football. Under Smart’s watch, the Bulldogs will finish in the top ten for a school record fifth straight season.

Both teams have had incredible 2021 campaigns. For the winner, the year closes with but one step remaining for the dream season.





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