Cotton Bowl First Look: Alabama vs. Michigan State

    A first look at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl as Alabama and Nick Saban take on Mark Dantonio's Michigan State

    December 6, 2015

    The 2016 Goodyear Cotton Bowl is going to be the main event with Michigan State and Alabama the most interesting matchup of the college season.

    Goodyear Cotton Bowl Broadcast Info

    Date: Thursday, December 31
    Time: 8:00 pm ET
    Network: ESPN
    Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA 

    Alabama Is Going To Be Rested.

    And here’s the problem for the rest of the playoff field – Alabama is going to be fresh. The Crimson Tide brutalized their way to the SEC championship and into the CFP, running Derrick Henry close to 100 times over the last two games against Auburn and Florida, but that’s not going to be a problem. If it was late September, yeah, wearing down would be a major issue. Now the elite coaching staff will get time to reassess and tinker, and now No. 2 will get several weeks to get ready to be a workhorse.

    Of course the whole idea will be to stop Henry, but that doesn’t matter – Alabama might now be even more effective. Now the passing game should be able to come up with another wrinkle or two. Yeah, Alabama closed out the season red hot, but after getting an in-season break, it showed what it could do by taking away LSU’s season. Now Alabama should be even more Alabama – at least that’s the team’s hope.

    Michigan State Is Finally At The Adult Table

    The Spartans have been really, really close to being in the national title hunt. They would’ve made a four-team playoff in 2013, and while winning the Rose Bowl was nice, there was always a sense that the program was ready for even more. Now it got the job done beating Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa to close things out, and now it proved that over the last three years it knows how to come up with big wins in the toughest of moments.

    Now it’s all there for the taking. Now the Spartans have true control of their own destiny by taking the same path Ohio State took last year. Beat Alabama, get to the national title game, finish the job. The Spartans have been really, really close, and this year they’re good enough to get it done.

    For complete College Football Playoff coverage, visit our CFP home.


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