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Clemson pounds Ohio State, prepares for Alabama in Tampa

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It wasn’t just the victory, although that was impressive enough. It wasn’t just the step, though that made a deep imprint, too. No, for Clemson University, Saturday night’s win was the kind of performance that changes perceptions. Clemson clobbered Ohio State in Saturday night’s Fiesta Bowl, winning 31-0 to advance to its second straight national championship game. Once again, Clemson will play against Alabama, which won a five-point game a year ago. Yes, Alabama is likely to be favored. But after…

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Fiesta Bowl: Dabo Swinney looks to put a rare L on Urban Meyer’s record

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Urban Meyer was giving the abridged version of the core values he has instilled in Ohio State football, the pillars upon which he has built the Buckeyes. There is 4 to 6, A to B, in reference to the effort expected on each play. Power of the unit focuses on each position group. Competitive excellence, which sort of speaks for itself. “You mean the game-day underwear, that’s not the key ingredient?” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney chimed in, getting a smile…

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Peach Bowl: Alabama dynasty vs. playoff outsider Washington

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Alabama is very familiar with this role. Washington? It’s been a while. The Peach Bowl features one of college football’s greatest dynasties against the definite outsider in this season’s College Football Playoff. The top-ranked Crimson Tide (13-0) is going for its second straight national title and fifth in the last nine seasons under coach Nick Saban. At this point, it’s national championship or bust for Alabama. A loss in Saturday’s semifinal game would make this season a failure. “It’s the…

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Miami seeks to end long bowl losing streak in Russell Athletic Bowl

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The Russell Athletic Bowl, one of three to be played in Orlando, features two well-known football programs. The five-time national champion Miami Hurricanes of the ACC, will face the West Virginia Mountaineers of the Big 12, ranked 14th in the number of all-time victories in major college football. The 2016 Hurricanes can be entertaining, but do not resemble the speedy – and brash – teams that won five titles between 1983 and 2001. Miami fans will swear to this day…

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Committee picks ‘Bama, three others for playoff tournament

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Their job was to pick the four best teams in college football. That’s it. Their job was not to decide conference championship games. It was not to draw up a new, expanded bracket. It was not to reward small schools with big seasons. It was not to decide the niftiest fight song. Their job was to pick the best four teams in the nation based on their resumes. Just that. It wasn’t to reward Penn State for winning the Big…

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Penn State makes case for playoffs; Florida bowls nearly set

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With Penn State’s thrilling 38-31 come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship Game on Saturday, the controversy over who gets the fourth spot in the College Football Playoffs (CFP) has already begun. While the four teams will be announced on Sunday, the debate will linger through the new year, no matter what happens. Most are expecting the Nittany Lions (11-2) to head to the Rose Bowl to face Colorado with Wisconsin playing in the Cotton Bowl against Western…

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Clemson holds off Virginia Tech to repeat as ACC champions

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Once again, Deshaun Watson. Once again, the ACC title. Once again, Clemson. Watson led the Tigers to their second straight ACC title Saturday night, and their second straight trip to the college football playoffs. The Tigers, 12-1, had to survive a furious comeback by Virginia Tech to win, 42-35. Watson threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 85 yards and two more scores to lead Clemson. At one point in the third quarter, the Tigers led 35-14,…

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