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Bob Stoops

Alabama-Florida State kicks off this season’s games to watch

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College football’s four-team playoff has altered some of the drama of the regular season. On one hand, some of the biggest games aren’t necessarily must-wins, since one loss may not end a team’s playoff hopes. Clemson lost in November last year and still went on to win the national title. Ohio State made the playoff despite failing to win its conference.

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Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon tearfully apologizes for punching woman

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Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon made a tearful public apology Friday, more than two years after punching a woman and breaking bones in her face. As Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops looked on, Mixon spoke at a news conference Friday afternoon, more than two years after he assaulted Amelia Molitor and broke her jaw and cheekbone. Mixon said he wanted to address the issue earlier, but his legal team advised him not to. “I’m here to apologize to Miss Molitor,” he…

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Former Seminole DeAndre Johnson making most of second chance

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Joe Mixon and DeAndre Johnson are two very talented football players. They also have something else in common. Both have punched women with their fists and both have suffered consequences. The severity of those consequences is where the two players traveled different paths. Mixon is preparing to play in a major bowl game with the Oklahoma Sooners. Johnson, a former prized recruit at Florida State, just finished the season at an obscure community college. Seventh-ranked Oklahoma and Mixon are preparing…

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Clemson hopes to hang onto ball against Sooners in semifinal

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The top-ranked Clemson Tigers are undefeated, and they’ve even beaten the law of averages. That adage about winning the turnover battle to win the game? It doesn’t apply where the Tigers are concerned. They’re a minus-two in turnover differential heading into Thursday night’s Orange Bowl national semifinal game against No. 4 Oklahoma. No national championship team in at least 20 seasons has had a negative turnover differential, according to STATS. But Clemson (13-0) has had more turnovers than the opposition…

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Oklahoma, Clemson took different paths to playoff

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From a protest in the spring to travel woes in the fall, Oklahoma coped with plenty of distractions on its way to the Orange Bowl. Clemson might ask for a few pointers. The top-ranked Tigers (13-0) were dealing with the suspension of three players for violating unspecified team rules as they prepared to face the No. 4 Sooners (11-1) in the national semifinal game. While none were starters, it was still an unwanted annoyance on the eve of Thursday’s contest…

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In college football playoffs, it’s Nick Saban and Pips again

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The trophy is his. All he has to do is pick it up and take it home. For Nick Saban, that always seems to be Saban, the head coach at Alabama — the Bear de jour, so to speak — is two wins away. Just two. All he has to do is beat Michigan State tonight, then beat the winner of the Oklahoma–Clemson game. Any other result will feel like an upset. Again. Such are expectations. It’s Saban and the Pips. Every…

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Sometimes, the best coach is the coach you’ve got

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Sometimes, the best coach is the one you’ve already got. Take Oklahoma. The Sooners wisely stuck with Bob Stoops, even when many in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world questioned whether he was the guy to lead them back to the promised land. Well, look where the Sooners are now. Two victories away from a national championship. It’s a lesson other schools would do well to heed. Hey, Nebraska, any regrets about firing Frank Solich? Hey, Tennessee, think y’all were a little too…

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