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- The best of the best in college football take the field Saturday for the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. #2 Clemson takes on #3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, followed by top-ranked Alabama against #4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
- As champions of the defensively-challenged Big 12, the Sooners are a two-touchdown underdog, and face the longest odds of the four. Yet, their offense ranked first in yards gained per play, challenging the old adage that defense wins championships.
- Coach Brian Kelly has led the Fighting Irish to his second undefeated regular season in South Bend since 2012. In contrast to Oklahoma, Notre Dame’s hopes for their first national championship in 30 years rest with their defense.
- The Tigers will be without star defensive lineman, and projected first-round NFL Draft pick, Dexter Lawrence, who failed an NCAA drug test. In the meantime, Clemson will appeal, and investigate how a substance not approved for human consumption wound up in one of their best players.
- The most heavily-scrutinized ankle in college football belongs to Crimson Tide quarterback, and Heisman Trophy finalist, Tua Tagovailoa. Following surgery to a sprain suffered in the SEC Championhsip Game, Tagovailoa says the ankle is 80-85 percent. His status remains closely monitored.