Paul Finebaum makes shocking early prediction for College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff has only seen two No. 4 seeds upset a No. 1 seed. Paul Finebaum thinks a third is coming.
SEC network host Paul Finebaum
SEC network host Paul Finebaum / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide have been involved in every No. 4 seed upset of the No. 1 team in the College Football Playoff. In the very first iteration of the CFP, Alabama was upset by Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. In 2017-18, Nick Saban's team flipped the script and took down Clemson.

Alabama is No. 4 again this year and hoping to repeat the feat. Paul Finebaum thinks they can get it done.

“I definitely like Alabama in the game against Michigan," Finebaum said on McElroy and Cubelic in The Morning. "It’s only because I’ve seen what they’re capable of. I’m still kind of curious about Michigan. I know what they’ve done in the Ohio State game. But beyond that and maybe the Penn State game, I don’t have a good feeling about them."

Paul Finebaum picks Alabama over Michigan in College Football Playoff

Michigan is a one-point favorite over Alabama in the Rose Bowl. So even oddsmakers aren't totally sure about the matchup, even though the Wolverines are an undefeated No. 1 seed and the Crimson Tide got in controversially over Florida State.

It's a nod to Saban and his proven track record to pick Alabama. It took awhile for the Tide to find their footing in 2023, suffering an early loss to Texas along the way, but Jalen Milroe and company proved their worth in the SEC Championship Game.

Michigan has had a tumultuous season because of the scandal embroiling their coaching staff. But on the football field, they've been impervious, taking down Penn State and Ohio State in impressive Big Ten wins.

Still, the Big Ten hasn't won the CFP since the Buckeyes did it in 2014-15. Last year, the Wolverines were shocked by a TCU team that got shellacked by Georgia in the title game.

So you can't necessarily blame Finebaum for putting his trust in Alabama and Saban.

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