Clemson in 4th playoff draws Notre Dame in Cotton Bowl

Lincoln Riley

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley celebrates his team’s victory in the Big 12 Championship

They've been in every single College Football Playoff final since the event was created in 2014, and won two, in 2015 and 2017. With a win, Texas will secure its first 10-win season since 2009, while Georgia has already wrapped up its sixth double-digit win season in the last eight years. The same thing happened this year.

It's deja vu all over again for White and the Knights. The Bulldogs lost to Alabama in the SEC championship game Saturday and the Buckeyes won the Big Ten against Northwestern.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban tells ESPN that Tagovailoa has a high ankle sprain and will have it scoped.

Jesse Palmer: "Georgia looked like one of the four best teams... a more complete team than Oklahoma".

"Chris Fowler: "[It's] interesting that Georgia landed between two conference champions... The Heisman Trophy candidate was helped off the field and didn't return to the game.

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Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma are all returning to the playoff for the second straight year.

The next step to that goal comes December 29, when the third-ranked Irish (12-0) play second-ranked Clemson (13-0) in a CFP semifinal in the Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl is played at AT&T Stadium, which has a retractable roof.

Postseason offers the league at least seven more opportunities versus Power Five opponents: the aforementioned Clemson-Notre Dame, N.C. State-Texas A&M and Virginia-South Carolina matchups, plus Pitt-Stanford in the Sun Bowl, Miami-Wisconsin in the Pinstripe and Georgia Tech-Minnesota in the Quick Lane.

In the end, though, Clemson is going to have to come prepared with a good game plan to stop that Notre Dame offense.

Immediately after the matchup was announced, the Irish opened as 11.5-point underdogs to the Tigers.

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Big 12 champs Oklahoma found their way into the Playoff instead, moving from fifth to fourth and setting up a date with Alabama in the Orange Bowl. To claim that a two-loss Georgia team is incomparably better than either Oklahoma or Ohio State (12-1) makes no sense. The Sooners (12-1) defeated Texas to win the Big 12 title on Saturday.

The trip to the Fiesta Bowl isn't the first time UCF has taken a trip out to the desert.

On the other side of the semifinals bracket, take the Clemson Tigers as 11.5-point favorites on the Cotton Bowl odds over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The line got a little closer to 10.5, but that isn't exactly a vote of confidence for undefeated Notre Dame.

The Cavaliers have not played at the Belk Bowl since 2003, when it was the Continental Tire Bowl. 5 and 6, respectively, in the final rankings.

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