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Final Four: Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma

The regular season is done and the college football final four is set:

Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma.

The No 1 Clemson Tigers will take on the No 4 Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl, and No 2 Alabama will face No 3 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. The Clemson-Okalhoma match-up is a rematch of last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl where the Tigers trounced the Sooners 40-6 in what looked like a pre-curser to this season.

Clemson outscored opponents 500-263 this season, and though the Tigers were tested at times they never trailed in a fourth quarter. The Tigers wrapped up their spot with a 45-37 win over North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game on Saturday night, the team’s 16th consecutive win going back to last season.

As far as the Sooners, this is their 19th trip to the Orange Bowl, more than any other team. Their season seemed doomed by an early season loss to Texas, however they put together a streak of seven straight wins and dominated opponents by a combined score of 364-136.

Alabama will be looking to make up for last year’s early exit against the Ohio State Buckeyes. It will also put Alabama legend Nick Saban against former assistant Mark Dantonio. Dantonio was brought to Michigan State by Saban, and he remained in East Lansing as Saban pursued an opportunity at LSU. The Crimson Tide had little difficulty taking out No 18 Florida with a 29-15 victory.

Michigan State, after trouncing Michigan in it’s final regular season game. Quarterback Connor Cook led the Spartans (12-1) to a comeback win over No 4 Iowa on a 22-play drive that set up freshman L.J. Scott’s 1-yard run on third down. Scott’s second effort and stretch gave Michigan State the win with 27 seconds left. Michigan’s impressive win resume allowed them to leap over No 4 Oklahoma in the standings to face No 3 Alabama.

 

 

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