((WATCH>FINAL)) Michigan vs Washington College Football Championship Live Broadcast Free TV Channel 8 January 2024
How to watch Washington vs. Michigan: Free live stream, time, TV, channel for College Football National Championship (1/8/2024). The No.2 Washington Huskies face the No.1 Michigan Wolverines in the College Football National Championship on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024 (1/8/2024) at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
All eyes are on the Michigan Wolverines and Washington Huskies this Monday night in college football’s championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: CFP National Championship
Who: Washington vs. Michigan
When: Monday, Jan. 8, 2024
Where: NRG Stadium
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Michigan vs. Washington is just about the perfect way to end the 2023 college football season, a matchup of unbeatens that hits all the major themes and storylines of the past five months from conference realignment to the transfer portal — with Jim Harbaugh as the main character.
Harbaugh’s top-ranked Wolverines (14-0) face Michael Penix Jr. and the second-ranked Huskies (14-0) on Monday night at NRG Stadium in the last national title game before the College Football Playoff expands from four teams to 12.
Michigan’s regular season started and ended with Harbaugh serving three-game suspensions related to NCAA infractions cases. The latter was handed down by the Big Ten in November as punishment for an in-person scouting and sign-stealing scheme the conference determined broke its sportsmanship policy.
The scandal dominated headlines just as Michigan was entering the meat of its Big Ten schedule. The accusations against Harbaugh’s program led many to question the legitimacy of the Wolverines’ renaissance over the past three seasons. This is Michigan’s third straight playoff appearance, but first time advancing after beating Alabama in overtime in the Rose Bowl.
Being doubted only galvanized a team loaded with experience that came into the season unafraid to point to winning Michigan’s first national championship since 1997 as the goal.
Finally healthy after four injury-ravaged seasons in the Big Ten, Penix has become a star in the Pacific Northwest. The runner-up for the Heisman Trophy had some voters questioning their decision last week when he threw for 430 yards in a Sugar Bowl victory against Texas.
Penix decided to run it back for 2023 in December 2022 and a bunch of talented teammates followed, such as All-America receiver Rome Odunze, and defensive end Bralen Trice and offensive tackle Troy Fautanu, both third-team All-Americans.
It helps these days that college players can make some extra money off their fame and be compensated for name, image and likeness. NIL collectives for both schools concentrated efforts on retaining their established players.
The four-team playoff will go out like it came in, with a Big Ten vs. Pac-12 championship as Washington plays the final Pac-12 football game for the conference as it is currently structured.
During the three weeks leading into the 2023 season, the Pac-12 was plundered by its Power Five competitors. Ironically, the conference then went on to have its most entertaining and competitive season in years, with the Huskies snapping a six-year Pac-12 playoff drought.
The Huskies will try to win the Pac-12′s first national title in football since Southern California in 2004, a parting gift of sorts for the league it helped found in 1915. Washington’s last national championship came in 1991.
The Huskies will join the new coast-to-coast Big Ten this summer, and in nine months will welcome Michigan to Seattle for a conference game.
Whether Harbaugh will still be the Michigan coach by then remains to be seen. The presumption and speculation has been that for the third straight year, he will draw interest from NFL teams. Harbaugh spent four years with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to a Super Bowl against his brother John’s Baltimore Ravens, before returning to his alma mater in 2015.
It took a while, but the 60-year-old Harbaugh has delivered on the high expectations he brought to Ann Arbor. And despite the tumult off the field, Michigan would like to keep him around.
The uncertainty about Harbaugh, especially with even more NCAA-related penalties possibly looming for him and Michigan, has given this Wolverines’ season a last-dance vibe.
The combination of a strong College Football Playoff field and the semifinals being on New Year’s Day sparked a surge in betting, but not to the level hoped for by sportsbooks.
The national championship between Michigan and Washington for the national championship will be Monday in Houston.
Both teams got there by surviving scintillating semifinals. The Wolverines used a defensive stand to beat Alabama 27-20 in overtime and the Huskies watched a two-possession lead disappear before finally denying Texas late for a 37-31 victory.
Joey Feazel, who heads college football betting for Caesars Sportsbook, said betting was up for the semifinals largely because more states have legalized sports wagering. But he said the average bets were up.
The uncertainty over whether Huskies running back Dillon Johnson, who has been battling a foot injury, plays is of little consequence to the betting line. Coach Kalen DeBoer said he expected Johnson to play.