JJ McCarthy comments on significance of B1G's first CFP win vs. SEC since 2014 season
JJ McCarthy and Michigan just achieved something the B1G had not accomplished since the 2014 season.
That, of course, is a B1G team beating the SEC in the College Football Playoff. The last time that happened came in the inaugural 4-team Playoff when Ohio State beat Alabama during the Buckeyes’ run to the national title.
Since then, it has been tough sledding for B1G teams facing the SEC in the Playoff. But, thanks to McCarthy’s late-game heroics, the Wolverines are past the Tide and will play for a national title next week.
Asked about the significance of this year’s win, McCarthy said means “everything” for the season Michigan had in 2023 and the number of years that have elapsed since the program’s last win at the Rose Bowl.
“It just means everything. Just think about how far we’ve come, all the hardships that we went through as a team and as a brotherhood. Just being able to do it on this stage,” said McCarthy. “It’s been 26 years since Michigan won in this building, and the second most appearance out of any college in the entire country playing in this game.
“It’s just amazing the way it happened, but ultimately it’s everything that Coach said. We can’t do it without the unity that we have, everything that we went through this entire year made us unbreakable, and in the biggest moments we were going to show up.”
The last time a Big Ten team beat an SEC team in the CFP?
It was 2014 Ohio State, also vs. Alabama, in the inaugural year of the playoff.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 2, 2024