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Tide-Tigers II: The matchups that will decide the national title

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Every defensive meeting at Clemson this week might as well have started with coordinator Brent Venables passing around a photo of Alabama‘s O.J. Howard with the caption “Know where 88 is at all times.” For the second straight season, the Tigers and Crimson Tide will meet for the College Football Playoff championship. Howard is the talented tight end who came into last season’s title game with 33 catches for 394 yards and no touchdowns. He then went off for 208…

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Mitch Perry Report for 1.6.16 – Big time college athletics parks in Tampa this weekend

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Big time college sports makes its way to Tampa this weekend with the college football championship slated for 8 p.m. Monday evening at Raymond James Stadium. Both teams will be arriving at Tampa International Airport this afternoon, with Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney slated to headline a press conference tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. at the Tampa Convention Center. Don’t expect any sparking quotes from Coach Saban, who is in rarefied air as one of the greatest coaches in college football…

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Clemson’s Deshaun Watson prepares for strong Alabama defense

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Deshaun Watson has looked forward to his Tampa trip, oh, for about a year now. Watson, the Clemson quarterback, was among those who weren’t satisfied when the Tigers lost a 45-40 game to Alabama a year ago. Immediately, he suggested he would see everyone in Tampa. “Just belief,” he said Wednesday in a teleconference. “That’s just the type of person I am. That’s it. I have high standards for me and my teammates, and this is where we wanted to…

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Alabama’s Nick Saban tiring of questions about Lane Kiffin

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Alabama coach Nick Saban hasn’t been able to shed Lane Kiffin as easily as he might have thought. In a teleconference call Tuesday, Saban was peppered with questions about the timing of the departure of Kiffin, who Saban dumped as his offensive coordinator this week before Monday night’s national championship game. The odd-timing of the decision and Kiffin’s stated goal of working in the press box both were discussed. “We made a statement about this yesterday,” Saban said, “and really…

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Alabama 7-point favorite over Clemson in college football championship game

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Alabama is a seven-point favorite against Clemson in a College Football Playoff championship game rematch, according to gambling odds website Pregame.com. The defending national champion and top-ranked Crimson Tide beat No. 4 Washington 24-7 in the Peach Bowl semifinal game Saturday. The third-ranked Tigers won in similar fashion later in the night, beating No. 2 Ohio State 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl. Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 last year in the College Football Playoff final, winning a fourth national championship in a…

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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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