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‘College Football’ Articles

Tonight, the College Football season ends the way it has the past 3 of 4 years, #1 Alabama playing #2 Clemson

 

The site, Levi Stadium home of the 49ers 2014 photo By Jim Bahn, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Some college football fans and media wonder why the same teams are always in the Playoffs and why can’t there be a limit to times in a row being in the 2-game system.

I don’t know if rules for that would be fair or not, but it is abundantly clear that Alabama and Clemson have been the top two teams every year and have played three out of the past four title games.

Both teams come in at 14-0 for the season.

The Crimson Tide won 45-40 in 2016, and 26-23 in overtime in 2017. The Tigers pulled the upset in 2017, 35-31.

Tonight, they meet again as the number 1 and 2 teams respectively.

#1 Alabama has been the dominant team since Nick Saban took over at the Tuscaloosa school. They are poised to win their third national title in four years and sixth since 2009. That is a decade of constant dominance in college football.

QB Tua Tagovailoa in action (courtesy Rolltide.com)

The Tide running attack sometimes gets overlooked due to their all-star wide receiving corps. They use three running backs, led by The Harris’ Damien and Najee. They usually can find holes in any defense even Clemson’s.

QB Tua Tagovailoa can pick apart the best o defenses and if the Tigers can’t pressure him, it will be a long night and a rout. Backup Jalen Hurts may see time behind center as well.

The Tide’s receiving corps of Henry Ruggs III, Derek Kief, Jerry Jeudy and Davonta Smith are all fast, athletic, elusive and physical.

Alabama’s defense is tough, being 16th in the country in yards allowed per carry. But their pass defense can be vulnerable at times.

#2 Clemson, under 11th-year head coach Dabo Swinney (115-30), are making their fourth straight playoff appearance, third championship game in four years. The team just gets better and better every year and is all alone as the benchmark school in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Their defense is one of the nation’s best and is fast, talented and athletic. It begins with their front four, no doubt the best in the country. They have allowed opponents only 2.4 yards per carry and 93 yards per game. Their secondary can struggle at times. That is probably the only weak part of the team overall.

That fact that Clemson is back in this game is a story in itself.

During the early schedule of games in September, Swinney showed he is willing to gamble especially with his offense. He replaced the athletic Kelly Bryant with true freshman, Trevor Lawrence. Fans and media questioned him but what can you say about a coach who repeatedly has his team in the college playoffs and national championship game plus, 54 wins in four years. Impressive!

He made the move to jump-start at offense that sputtered at times under the erratic Bryant. He wanted Lawrence, who at 6’6, 215 pounds, has the size and skills that the NFL wants and watching closely. After he took over, the Tigers offense rolled as he was a consistent, steady performer providing a school record for touchdowns with 24  and and just 4 interceptions. They became formidable. Lawrence also got help in the backfield from RB Travis Etienne.

Trevor Lawrence (courtesy Clemson Sports Information)

Etienne has piled up 1,463 yards, 8.31 per carry and 21 touchdowns.
Tonight’s game is a tossup! No clear edge as the team’s are evenly matched. Probably will come down to a mistake or a field goal at the end.

Championship game

Cities around the country bid to host each year’s championship game. The playoff group’s leaders make a selection from those proposals, in a similar fashion to other large sporting events, such as the Super Bowl or NCAA Final Four. Officials say the championship game will be held in a different city each year, and that bids must propose host stadiums with a capacity of at least 65,000 spectators.[58] Under the system, cities cannot host both a semifinal game and the title game in the same year.

 

Season Champion Runner-up Score Venue
2014–15 4 Ohio State (13-1) 2 Oregon (13–1) 42–20 AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
2015–16 2 Alabama (13–1) 1 Clemson (14–0) 45–40 University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
2016–17 2 Clemson (13–1) 1 Alabama (14–0) 35–31 Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
2017–18 4 Alabama (12–1) 3 Georgia (13–1) 26–23 OT Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
2018–19 1 Alabama (14–0) vs 2 Clemson (14–0) TBD Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
2019–20 Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
2020–21 Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
2021–22 Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
2022–23 Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, California
2023–24 NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

 

Appearances

For the list of College Football Playoff New Year’s Six Bowl Appearances, see College Football Playoff New Year’s Six.
For the list of College Football Playoff National Champions, see College Football Playoff National Championship.

College Football Playoff appearances by team

Teams that have won the College Football Playoff

Appearances Team W L Pct Games
5 Alabama 6 2 .750 Lost 2015 Sugar Bowl


Won 2015 Cotton Bowl (Dec. 2015)
Won 2016 CFP National Championship


Won 2016 Peach Bowl
Lost 2017 CFP National Championship


Won 2018 Sugar Bowl
Won 2018 CFP National Championship


Won 2018 Orange Bowl (Dec. 2018)

4 Clemson 4 2 .667 Won 2015 Orange Bowl
Lost 2016 CFP National Championship


Won 2016 Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 2016)
Won 2017 CFP National Championship


Lost 2018 Sugar Bowl


Won 2018 Cotton Bowl (Dec. 2018)

3 Oklahoma 0 3 .000 Lost 2015 Orange Bowl


Lost 2018 Rose Bowl


Lost 2018 Orange Bowl (Dec. 2018)

2 Ohio State 2 1 .667 Won 2015 Sugar Bowl
Won 2015 CFP National Championship


Lost 2016 Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 2016)

1 Georgia 1 1 .500 Won 2018 Rose Bowl
Lost 2018 CFP National Championship
1 Oregon 1 1 .500 Won 2015 Rose Bowl
Lost 2015 CFP National Championship
1 Florida State 0 1 .000 Lost 2015 Rose Bowl
1 Michigan State 0 1 .000 Lost 2015 Cotton Bowl (Dec. 2015)
1 Notre Dame 0 1 .000 Lost 2018 Cotton Bowl (Dec. 2018)
1 Washington 0 1 .000 Lost 2016 Peach Bowl

College Football Playoff appearances by conference

Conference Appearances W L Pct Championships # of teams Teams(s)
SEC 6 7 3 .700 2 2 Alabama (5)
Georgia (1)
ACC 5 4 3 .571 1 2 Clemson (4)
Florida State (1)
Big Ten 3 2 2 .500 1 2 Ohio State (2)
Michigan State (1)
Big 12 3 0 3 .000 0 1 Oklahoma (3)
Pac-12 2 1 2 .333 0 2 Oregon (1)
Washington (1)
FBS Independents 1 0 1 .000 0 1 Notre Dame (1)

The 2018 Championship Game featured SEC teams Alabama and Georgia. The SEC has a record of 6–2 (.750) in games against other conferences.

 

ALL GRAPHICS WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Tonight’s Sugar Bowl pits #6 Georgia against #14 Texas

 

Mercedes-Benz Superdome 2011 photo Nwill21 - Own work via wikipedia commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final game on New Year’s Day 2019, is a good one between Georgia and Texas. Game time is 8:45 pm on ESPN. The game will take place at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Jake Fromm at 2018 CFP media day photo By Thomson200 - Own work, CC0, https commons.wikimedia.org

The Bulldogs (11-2), who’s only losses were to LSU and Alabama. They felt that they were good enough to be in the College Football Playoffs for the second year in a row. But they could not close the deal after leading the Crimson Tide the entire game until Jalen Hurts came in and won the game single-handedly.

Georgia under head coach Kirby Smart, average 12th nationally, averaging 251 yards a game between RB’s D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield.

Bulldogs QB Jake Fromm is a good one. Despite being slowed with a sore shoulder for much of the season, he connected on 68.4 percent of his passes, with 27 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions.

Smart has the Bulldogs program rolling. In three seasons, they have won two SEC East titles, one conference title and a national championship game appearance.

Urban Meyer protege, Tom Herman, has made significant strides in just his second season in Austin. The Longhorns split with arch-rival Oklahoma this year, made it to the Big 12 championship game and made it to a major bowl. Texas fans are known to be impatient, but what Herman has done in just two years, isn’t easy to do in any conference.

Texas (9-4) has a nice running game combo of Tre Watson and Keaontay Ingram. Herman has groomed a solid QB in Sam Ehlinger who threw for 3,123 yards with 25 TD’s, 5 picks and a completion percentage of 64.3.

These two teams have only met 4 times in history, Texas leads 3-1. The schools did announce recently that they will be playing in the future with home-and-home series in 2028 and 2029.

Will be a tough game for Texas that has not faced a defense in the Big 12 like the one Georgia will present.

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Bowl has Buckeyes taking on Washington in Urban Meyer’s final game as head coach

 

Rose Bowl 2017 photo By Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Urban Meyer is 82-9 at Ohio State (megasportsnews.com photo)

The Rose Bowl today at 5 pm will feature a couple of big-play teams in #5 Ohio State from the Big Ten against #9 Washington, members of the Pacific 12. ESPN is televising the game.

It will be the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer.

The 54-year-old Meyer, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, and a fan of the team growing up when the legendary Woody Hayes was coaching there, has always wanted to coach in the Rose Bowl. He will get his wish today.

Meyer has had a very successful career coaching OSU. He has an 82-9 record, 7-0 vs. Michigan, 1 national title, 3 Big Ten titles, 5 Eastern Division championships and 2 Leaders Division championships. He is popular with players, fans and media. So when he announced his retirement in early December, it was a shock but everyone understood. He is retiring due to health concerns involving headaches.   After this game, Meyer will become an assistant athletic director to his friend and boss, Gene Smith. Meyer, who has also coached at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, is 11-3 in bowl games. He and the Buckeyes have won three of the last four bowl games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fact that Ohio State (12-1), is in this game is a testament of good coaching, players hard work and being talented.

In a strange season, the Buckeyes have overcome a controversy involving former assistant coach Zach Smith with alleged domestic violence. The 3-game suspension of Meyer for how he handled that situation. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day becoming acting head coach during those three games where he was 3-0. Letting less talented teams hang around in games where it should have been blowouts. A once-proud defense giving up big play after big play. A 49-20 demolishing at the hands of Purdue on the road. Going 9-1 under Meyer after he came back. Surviving Maryland in overtime. Embarrassing Michigan 62-39 in the annual season finale to win the East Division. Beating Northwestern 45-24 to win the Big Ten title. So you see, this team has overcome several obstacles to beat a Top 5 team and even get to a prestigious bowl this year.

Along the way, Ohio State found a QB to replace the popular J.T. Barrett who had graduated. Dwayne Haskins did show in many 2017 games that he was capable, but that was in mop-up duty most of the time. He did win the game at Michigan when Barrett got hurt. An NFL prospect, Haskins has set several Big Ten and OSU passing records this year. Throwing for more than 396 yards or more six times in eight games. Just missed 500-yard passing game against Northwestern by 1-yard.  He has several weapons on offense for Washington to stop: RB’s J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber; WR’s Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Binjimen Victor, Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, C.J. Saunders and a late-in-the-season blossoming player in Chris Olave. All have speed, are elusive and can get open. Washington will have their hands full.

#9 Washington under Chris Peterson can never be counted out. They are 10-3 and always play well on the national stage.

The Huskies have playmakers too. Sr. QB Jake Browning has had an up-and-down career if you talk to media and

Myles Gaskin (courtesy gohuskies.com)

fans who follow the team. This season he threw for 2,879 yards with 10 interceptions. Only one passing game over 300 yards.

RB Myles Gaskins is the first Pacific 12 back to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. Has 55 rushing touchdowns in his career.

The Huskies has a solid placekicker in Peyton Henry, who is 15-of-21.

Washington has a solid defensive unit. They are ranked 16th nationally against the run and have a defensive backfield as good as anybody’s in college football.

Chris Peterson with Washington is 1-3 in bowl games.

 

Fiesta Bowl matchup 12-0 Central Florida up against #11 LSU

State Farm Stadium in Arizona 2006 photo By Taken by en Flickr user MCSixth, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Ohio State transfer QB Joe Burrow got a chance to play and showed he is good. 2018 by Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer via wikipedia commons

For the second straight year, the Central Florida Knights are undefeated going into the bowl season.

Today, #7 UCF will take on another SEC opponent in #11 LSU.

The Knights, who lost head coach Scott Frost to Nebraska after last season, was taken over by Josh Heupel and never lost a beat. Central Florida has a had a beef with the College Football Playoff committee for not including them into the final four the past two years with undefeated records. But you can see it both ways. Yes, the Knights are undefeated. But their opponents: UConn, South Carolina State, Florida Atlantic, SMU, East Carolina, Navy are not of the caliber of the Power Five Conference schools. Plus, the American Athletic Conference is a good conference, but is not really noticed by the people in charge of the voting. It is looked upon as an offensive, no defense league.

The fact that UCF (12-0) and the AAF champion, was able to remain undefeated is a story in itself. Their regular QB McKenzie Milton, went down with an injury for the year and backup Darriel Mack Jr. has stepped in and played adequately. In that AAF championship game, Mack rallied the Knights from a 24-7 hole to win 56-41 over Memphis.

LSU at 9-3, are led on offense by Ohio State transfer QB Joe Burrow. Who came in after finishing Spring Football with the Buckeyes and won the Tigers job. His stats of 12 touchdowns and 57 percent passing won’t wow you but he showed he can play at a major level in tough games. But the Tigers offense has struggled in other areas and can be ripe for an upset. UCF has a top-notch defense.

The Tigers have played UCF’s type of offense before in SEC games: Florida, Mississippi State, Alabama and Texas A&M. That style of offense gives the bulky LSU defensive front fits.

#15 Kentucky Wildcats in a New Year’s Bowl playing #12 Penn State in the Citrus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penn State is used to playing regularly on New Year’s Day. But the Kentucky Wildcats, one of college football’s surprise teams during the 2018 season are not used to it. The well-known basketball school from Lexington, Kentucky, will be playing on January 1 for the first time in two decades after surging to a 9-3 record with several key wins in the tough and rugged SEC.

These two teams will be competing in the Citrus Bowl this afternoon at 1 pm on ABC-TV at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. One of the stadiums that gets used often during the bowl season. It is also used for the Cure Bowl and Camping World Bowl.

#15 Wildcats (9-3), have several of the SEC’s dominating players with LB Josh Allen, who leads their swarming defense, which is ranked eighth in the country. On offense, they have Westerville, Ohio native Benny Snell, Jr., one of the nation’s top running backs. He is a graduate of Westerville Central High School. Kentucky’s QB is sophomore Terry Wilson, who is athletic and exiting but has only 11 TD’s and an alarming 8 interceptions. Not a good ratio.

Westerville, Ohio native Benny Snell Jr. leads Kentucky's offense

#12 Penn State, the Big Ten Conference representative, is 9-3, had some disappointing losses during the season to fellow East Division rivals Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. But this team is dangerous and tough to stop.

They are led offensively by QB Trace McSorley, who is elusive, exciting, athletic and a good passer. He teams in the backfield with RB Miles Sanders and they have combined for 1,946 yards this season.

The Nittany Lions also can counter with a top-notch defensive unit. Their pass rush is one of the best in the country, ranking second in sacks per game at (3.58).

Penn State QB Trace McSorley running ball 2017 photo By Chris Spon - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

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