Semifinalists preparing for today’s games
ATLANTA (AP) — 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 this afternoon’s semifinal game would make this season a failure.
“It’s the Bama way,” linebacker Reuben Foster said.
Washington (12-1) comes into the Peach Bowl with an entirely different perspective.
The Huskies wandered in the wilderness for much of the past two decades, playing in only one major bowl since Don James retired after the 1992 season.
Chris Petersen took over as coach in 2014, and it all has finally come together this season as the Huskies overcame their lone loss, at home against Southern Cal, to claim the final playoff berth.
Ohio State vs. Clemson
In Scottsdale, Arizona, 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. Competitive excellence, which sort of speaks for itself.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Meyer shared the stage Friday morning for the final news conference before the second-ranked Buckeyes (11-1, No. 3 CFP) and Tigers (12-1, No. 2 CFP) face off tonight in the Fiesta Bowl.
Meyer, 52, has a resume few who have ever coached college football can match.
At the beginning of this week, Swinney compared Meyer to Notre Dame legend Knute Rockne and joked about how he needed to quickly read Meyer’s book to gain some insight.
Swinney, 47, is on the short list of current coaches who can claim Meyer-levels of success, bringing back Clemson since 2008. Since 2011, Swinney is 68-14 (.829), including a 2014 win vs. OSU in the Orange Bowl.