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April 19, 2018    
December 30, 2015

Playoff Part II

Alabama has been here before and they left New Orleans on the short end of a 42-35 score. Perhaps they didnít have their heads in the game, perhaps they thought with OSU using a third string QB the game was a formality. Maybe Ohio State was just better Ė it really doesnít matter, they lost and they have now lost two bowls in a row, which is not good.

Tomorrow sometime around 8 p.m. eastern standard time (probably more like 8:30 or 8:45) Alabama and Michigan State will kick off the second game of the first round of playoff games. For reasons that no one can quite understand they have chosen New Yearís Eve for these games.

† This game, the Cotton Bowl, features Big Ten champion Michigan State against SEC champion Alabama. MSU will be the snubbed and disrespected underdog and will try to ride that psychological boost to victory. Alabama is an angry team that has failed to win a post-season game in the last two years. They too will try and gain some sort of momentum from that circumstance.

† Neither of those things will matter after about fifteen minutes. Michigan State is going to do what it does Ė line up and try and run the ball and throw play action passes, which is very much what Alabama is going to try and do as well. This is a match up that would seem to favor the Crimson Tide, which is pretty good and lining up and running the ball and stopping other teams from doing the same.

† Iíve heard various takes on all of the above. Michigan State has a pretty good defense. They arenít as deep as Alabama but their starters are good. They have a better quarterback than Alabama and that is supposed to be the thing that could put them over the top.

† Jake Coker can use the disrespect card here as nobody thinks he can win this game if he has to do it. Thatís never a good thing to say about a player, especially one who has the talent to do it. Coker has had a good season. He nearly found a way to win the Ole Miss game. He threw a bunch of interceptions early in the season but has settled down and had a strong second half.

† I think Coker might be the key here. He might have to make plays because Michigan State is going to sell out to stop Derrick Henry. They probably will for a while. In the end the combination of Derrick Henry and timely passing by Jake Coker will make all the difference.

† My guess: Alabama 24 MSU 17.

† Roll Tide



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