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The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

Student Run News Site of Venice High School

The Oarsman

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Michigan Wolverines Crowned As New National Champions; Who Will Be Next?

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On January 8, the Michigan Wolverines and the Washington Huskies played for the national championship in one of the most entertaining climaxes in the history of the sport. The Wolverines and Huskies steamrolled each of their opponents in dominant fashion, earning them the number 1 and 2 seeds. Future 2024 NFL first round draft picks, Michael Penix Jr and Blake Corum put their teams on their backs and helped drive their teams to the finish line. Unfortunately for Penix, the Wolverines turned on the burners against the Huskies and left them in the dust.

This was the best national championship we would have been given, especially because of the extremely close games in the first round of the playoffs between all the teams. Alabama and Michigan went into overtime, and the Washington-Texas game came down to a thrilling 4th down throw. 

These teams deserve to be put in the spotlight, and the committee also got the rankings perfectly (the Crimson Tide ranked at number 4, the Longhorns ranked at 3, the Huskies ranked at 2, and the team that won it all ranked at 1, the Wolverines). 

This next college football playoff will consist of 12 teams as opposed to four teams which it’s been for the past nine years, allowing more teams with a less impressive resume to be in the playoffs. The championship game will take place on January 20, 2025 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

The question is now, who is going to be in it? My current top four are the Georgia Bulldogs, Texas Longhorns, Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks. 

  1. The Georgia Bulldogs are currently building their massive dynasty, the former back to back national champions still smell blood in the SEC, especially since the legendary Nick Saban has thrown in the towel at Alabama. Their time to truly shine is now, and it will be a long time before they truly slow down. Their recent additions of K.J. Bolden, Ellis Robinson IV and Justin Williams will help the dawgs thrive this season on the defensive side of the ball. Georgia’s offense isn’t shining as bright unfortunately. Their losses of Ladd McConkey and Brock Bowers will leave some large shoes to fill for up and coming wide receivers and tight ends. Only time will tell if the offensive talent can catch up with the defense.
  2. The Longhorns are back, despite losing to Washington in the Sugar Bowl head coach Steve Sarkisian and quarterback Quinn Ewers know how to get the chains moving down the field. The key losses for the Longhorns are going to sting, losing players such as Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy to the NFL draft, but Sarkisian is filling the shoes fast with highly talented and ranked players, both in the class of 2024 and the transfer portal. Johntay Cook II, Isaiah Bond, Ryan Wingo and Collin Simmons are coming into Austin ready to cement their legacies on the 40 Acres.
  3. This is Ohio State’s chance, after an embarrassing end to their season last year, with losses to Missouri and future national champions, Michigan, Ohio State’s chances of being back in the conversation looked slightly bleak. But from what it looks like, Ryan Day is more determined than ever, with his pickups with the number one player in the class of 2024, Jeremiah Smith and the number one player in the transfer portal, Caleb Downs, with also five star alabama quarterback transfer, Julian Sayin, it’s going to be hard to deny that Ohio State is going to not only a contender this year, but a powerful force to be reckoned with for the next few years. Losing Marvin Harrison Jr will only seem like a slap on the wrist given how much their roster has grown with talented players. Once again, time will tell if Ryan Day can handle the big games and lead the team to where they need to be to have a chance.
  4. The Oregon Ducks are a sneaky team. They have talent, leadership, the morale and the sportsmanship, but it’s unclear if they will have enough of any of it to be any good in their new conference this season. If this was the PAC-12 then sure, they’d win their conference and be guaranteed to be in the 12 team playoff. But playing teams like Michigan and Ohio State will only put them at a disadvantage. Dan Lanning has been doing very well in the transfer portal however, he’s brought in Evan Stewert, the wide receiver from Texas A&M and former five star quarterback Dante Moore. WIll the Ducks play well in their new conference? Most definitely. Will they win the Big 10? Very Unlikely. They’re a very good team, but even if they don’t make the playoffs, they are guaranteed to have a great year.

Junior Tate Evarts believes that Georgia has the greatest shot above all due to their great program being so consistent, “I would say Georgia given that they are already a good program and they have a little bit of a rebuilding year,” Evarts said.

Evarts also believes that Oregon has a good shot at making the national championship as well, “I think Oregon is also being overlooked despite losing their quarterback, Bo Nix to the NFL draft.”

Evarts isn’t the only person who thinks Georgia has the best shot, Senior Nicholas Blasi also believes that Georgia is a top contender for next year’s national championship. “I would say Georgia has been so dominant for the past few years and their recruiting class.” With the transfer portal closing and the class of 2024 athletes nearly all signed to their schools, only time will tell which schools will be in or out of this year’s 12-team playoff bracket.

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