The first of the New Year’s Six bowl games this season, the 83rd Orange Bowl, will also be the only game of the Six played on New Year’s Eve-Eve, or December 30. Luckily for the Orange Bowl, it just might happen to have the best matchup of all the non-College Football Playoff games. On paper, as well as from a marketing standpoint, it is hard to beat a matchup between the University of Michigan and Florida State. The Seminoles will have, unsurprisingly, the home field advantage this time around. While Tallahassee may not be super close to Miami, is sure is a hell of a lot closer than Ann Arbor is.
However, home field is where the Seminoles’ advantages over the Wolverines end. While one can point to the Seminoles offense and simply state that it is “better” than the Michigan offense, that really is not what matters. What matters is how the FSU offense matches up against Michigan’s defense, which is statistically the second best defense in the nation behind Alabama, but most people would agree that the Wolverines’ defense is probably the top dog. The key for the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl this year will be finding a way to beat the Michigan defense.
While the game’s focus will be on the matchup between the FSU offense and the Michigan Defense, the final score will probably come down to the other side of the ball. It seems pretty obvious that Michigan, with its goliath of a defense, will be able to greatly hinder the FSU offense and keep the Seminoles score low. The real question is can the Seminoles defense do the same? If Michigan gets more than 20 points, I think it is extremely likely that it comes out on top. While the Seminoles will break at least a few plays open, I just find it unlikely that it will be enough.
Analytics aside, my opinion is this game is going to be a very one-sided affair. Comparing the two teams, I just fail to see a way that Florida State can break through the juggernaut Wolverine defense enough to win the game. We all talk about the Michigan defense, but so many forget the preposterous numbers that the Wolverines offense has put up at times this season. The Orange Bowl’s final score probably won’t be as one-sided as the game will look, but Michigan should easily win this matchup by about two or three scores.
Final Score: Michigan Wolverines 28, Florida State Seminoles 10
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