May 24, 2024

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The dialog resulting in the Faculty Soccer Playoff semifinals on New Yr’s Day largely centered on who wouldn’t be enjoying. 

Undefeated ACC champion Florida State was omitted of the CFP as a result of star quarterback Jordan Travis lacking the remainder of the season after a severe leg harm late within the season. 

Florida State gamers pose after defeating Louisville within the Atlantic Coast Convention championship, Dec. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (AP Photograph/Erik Verduzco)

The fad coming from Tallahassee was palpable, as was the anger of many throughout the school soccer world. 

“Win and also you’re in” is the standard pondering in sports activities, so an undefeated Energy 5 convention champion lacking out on an opportunity for a nationwide championship was unthinkable. 

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And but, two issues might be true without delay. 

Florida State sitting at dwelling with out a loss was a nasty look, and the Faculty Soccer Playoff committee gave followers two thrilling matchups. 

Michigan rallied late within the fourth quarter earlier than stopping Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe on fourth-and-goal in additional time to proceed on their “us in opposition to the world” march, and the Washington Huskies barely prevented an all-time collapse to maintain the existence of the Pac-12 alive for another week. 

Let’s take a look at what was discovered on Monday as the ultimate version of the four-team CFP reaches its finish. 

Michael Penix Jr. appears to be like just like the one who was snubbed

The 2023 Heisman Trophy went to LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels after the senior had a spectacular statistical season. 

Daniels single-handedly carried the Tigers, throwing for 40 touchdowns and including 1,134 yards and 10 scores on the bottom. Regardless of his heroics, LSU misplaced three video games by early November, and was out of the SEC West and CFP race. 

WASHINGTON FENDS OFF TEXAS IN THRILLING HALF, ADVANCES TO CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. celebrates with teammates and followers after beating the Texas Longhorns within the Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2024. (Matthew Hinton-USA Right this moment Sports activities)

If Florida State was snubbed by the CFP committee as a result of going undefeated, wouldn’t it make sense that Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was additionally snubbed by the Heisman Trophy voters when he was chosen because the runner-up?

Penix led Washington to an undefeated season and the Pac-12 title, going over 4,000 passing yards for the second consecutive 12 months. 

Whereas the wins weren’t at all times fairly – Washington’s final 10 video games have been determined by 10 factors or fewer – the Huskies discovered a strategy to keep out of the loss column. 

On Monday night time, Penix and the Huskies continued on their successful path, needing a last-second play by cornerback Elijah Jackson to defeat Texas 37-31. Penix was spectacular for Washington, choosing aside the Texas protection by the air and utilizing his legs when wanted. 

The sixth-year senior attacked the Texas protection down the sector, finishing six passes of at the least 20 yards. He completed the night time 29 of 38 for 430 yards and two touchdowns, including 31 yards on the bottom. 

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Michael Penix Jr. passes against Texas

Michael Penix Jr. of the Washington Huskies throws a go in opposition to the Texas Longhorns throughout the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2024, in New Orleans. (Chris Graythen/Getty Photographs)

He appeared each a part of the Heisman and now will play for the nationwide championship as his NFL inventory continues to rise. 

Penix additionally has a narrative that’s made for probably the most prestigious particular person award in sports activities. 

In his first 4 seasons at Indiana, Penix suffered three season-ending accidents, together with main accidents to each knees. He transferred to Washington in 2022 and determined to return for his sixth season of school soccer, the place he now has the chance to go away Seattle as a legend. 

“It was the powerful occasions. I really feel like every thing I’ve been by constructed me for this,” Penix stated after beating Texas. 

Penix has a legit gripe with the Heisman committee, however a nationwide championship will shortly make him neglect the snub. 

Offensive line points doomed Alabama 

Michigan might have defeated Alabama to advance to the CFP nationwide championship, however the Crimson Tide know they let one get away.  

The offensive line points that plagued Alabama throughout the early a part of the 2023 season reared its ugly head on New Yr’s Day. 

Quarterback Jalen Milroe was sacked 44 occasions this season, probably the most by this system within the final 35 years, based on ESPN. 

Jalen Milroe walks off the field

Alabama offensive lineman Tyler Booker, left, and quarterback Jalen Milroe stroll off the sector after shedding to Michigan within the Rose Bowl on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in Pasadena, California. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Instances by way of Getty Photographs)

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The Michigan protection overwhelmed Alabama’s offensive line within the first half, sacking Milroe 5 occasions. The Wolverines completed the day with six sacks and 10 tackles for loss. 

“It was a mixture of a number of issues,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban stated of the offensive line’s woes, together with missed alternatives redirecting safety as a result of the clock was working down, based on ESPN. “I assumed we did a greater job within the second half, however we didn’t give Jalen a possibility to make some performs, nor our receivers to make some performs down the sector, which was an enormous a part of this sport.”

Within the second half, Alabama made changes, permitting Milroe extra time within the pocket, however miscues by the offensive line endured. 

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Jalen Milroe is sacked

Michigan Wolverines linebacker Michael Barrett sacks Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe throughout the Rose Bowl, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Instances by way of Getty Photographs)

On the primary drive of the half, Alabama acquired right down to the Michigan 47-yard line earlier than two unhealthy snaps backed the Crimson Tide up earlier than having to punt. In additional time, a low snap on fourth-and-goal appeared to throw off Alabama’s remaining play when Milroe was stuffed on the line of scrimmage. 

“We shot ourselves within the foot,” Saban stated.

Alabama has now gone three straight years with out a nationwide championship, a primary beneath Saban. 

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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