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Archive for the tag “Alabama Crimson Tide”

Derrick Henry Will Not Live Up To The Hype In The NFL

(photo courtesy of The Charlotte Observer)

(photo courtesy of The Charlotte Observer)

The running back position has been one that has been devalued over time. Instead of many teams picking running backs in the first round, teams are starting to get running backs in the second, third and fourth rounds and even getting good ones as undrafted free agents (Thomas Rawls from Seattle comes to mind there). But every year, there is a top running back that garners enough attention that a first round pick is mentioned next to their name. One of those running backs this year is Alabama running back Derrick Henry. The 6’3”, 242 pound Florida native was the engine behind Alabama’s offense and helped lead them to the National Title this season. And along the way, he scooped up the prestigious Heisman Trophy award in New York City. The size, speed and power of Henry is something that some think will translate well to the NFL. There is no denying that there will be some teams that will see him as being a feature back for them. But unfortunately, his success at the college level may not translate to the NFL. Despite the great measureables and numbers he put up at Alabama this season and over his career, the NFL game is not a place where we will see him succeed.

Plenty speak of Henry and his power when he runs along with his speed. But have many even really watched him play. There is no doubt that he can run, but Henry is a long-strider when he runs. He often is like a runaway train once he gets it going. But the problem at the next level will be getting his speed generated quicker. Many times, Henry will not have the type of time he had when running behind that line at the University of Alabama. And that means he will have to get through the holes quicker and faster. With his long strides, that may be an issues. And because of that, those long runs that we saw him have in college could be few and far between. The difference between him and a guy like Rams rookie sensation Todd Gurley is that Gurley has explosion as soon as he gets the ball. He does not need that much room or that many steps to get his speed going. Henry does need that and he will definitely need a solid like that can afford him that time.

Another issue will be Henry in the passing game. Derrick Henry can catch the ball and that is no issue. Many did not see him get to catch the ball much, but remember this play he made in the 2014 Sugar Bowl versus Oklahoma:

Notice he had time to catch the ball, square his shoulders and generate some speed. In the NFL, it is highly doubtful that a man of his size will standing as wide open as he was in this play. And if he does, then that defense deserves whatever comes their way. But the thing about Henry is he will probably not be a back that can be used on all three downs. His quickness to run the option routes out of the backfield is something that will not scare many teams. Running those options routes requires a shifty back with sudden movements. Henry is not that type of back quite honestly. Screen passes will be something that he will be helpful in doing for the team that drafts him. But he will not be the guy you can look at to make that explosive play outside of a screen pass at all.

Drafting Henry would not be that bad at all if he was drafted in the second or even third round. But because of where he will probably be taken, he may not be able to live up to where he is picked. Henry was excellent in college. But the thing he lacks that backs like Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon from Alabama had was that explosion through the hole along with the quick and shifty feet. And unfortunately, that is something that you cannot develop as much at this stage in the game. Quite honestly, Henry could end up being like another big back that came out of the SEC almost a decade ago. His name was Brandon Jacobs. It would be great to see Henry do well and I wish him nothing but the best. But looking at film of him, he will have some struggles at the next level. And with him being a first round pick more than likely, that could mean he won’t live up to the hype.

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Alabama Makes The Winning Plays To Take Home The National Title

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It all came down to one game. The Alabama Crimson Tide, led by Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, faced off against superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers. The two best teams in the country meeting up in the Title game. Could Clemson topple one of the most powerful programs of the last decade or would Alabama add to their legendary status in college football. Well, the game was an epic battle of two good teams. There were momentum swings and great plays. But in the end, the Crimson Tide made more things happen to win the game. And the Crimson Tide are back on top where they have been so often after beating Clemson 45-40. The game was something that many will remember because of the excitement that was around it. And it lived up to every bit of the billing. But Alabama won the game with some things you would normally not think about: special teams and the passing game.

The special teams was spectacular for Alabama all game long. Their effect on the game began at the end of the first half. Alabama had to punt to Clemson and the Tigers were driving to get a score before half. The Crimson Tide defense was able to stop them, but they took it to another level when the Tigers attempted a field goal. Facing a potential deficit at halftime with Clemson getting the ball after the half, Alabama surged up front and got a piece of the Clemson field goal attempt. The result was a missed field goal and a tie score at the half. But that was not it for the great special teams play for the Crimson Tide. Alabama tied the game at 24 on a field goal and were appearing to line up to kick the ball to Clemson. But little did we know that Alabama and Nick Saban had something up their sleeves. Kicker Adam Griffith popped up a short kick that Clemson was not prepared for and Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey caught it out of the air 12 yards down the field. That play was huge because it led to a two-play drive for a touchdown that put the Crimson Tide up 31-24. Clemson would come back and kick a field goal to get within four points, but then Alabama struck again on special teams. This time, Alabama’s Kenyon Drake received the ensuing kickoff and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown while extending Alabama’s lead in the game. Those three plays right there led to 14 points for Alabama and kept three points off the board for Clemson. And in looking at that 45-40 score to finish the game, the Crimson Tide needed every point they could get.

But the special teams play was not the only standout of this one. On the game’s second drive, the Crimson Tide scored on a 50 yard touchdown run. At that point, some were thinking the Crimson Tide would run right at the Tigers and wear them down. Henry would go on to have at least 158 yards rushing, but it was the passing game that made it happen for the Tide. Tight end OJ Howard was the guy who was tabbed to exploit the Clemson secondary. With cornerback Mackensie Alexander out, it seemed the Tide went after the cornerback’s replacement. Howard’s first score was on a miscue of the Tigers secondary where he was wide open. And his second touchdown was an incredibly easy one where they flooded the area where Alexander’s replacement was playing. The only person that could have tackled Howard was the lines on the field. Those two touchdowns were huge, but his biggest catch was not even a touchdown. On second and 12 late in the fourth quarter while holding a five-point lead (38-33), Alabama quarterback Jake Coker hit OJ Howard with a pass in the flat. And when he hit him with that pass, Howard made one guy miss and took off racing down the sideline for 63 yards. That play put Alabama in position to score again. Six plays later, Henry scored his third touchdown for Alabama in this one. Plenty can talk about the running game and their effect on this game, but if it were not for OJ Howard and Jake Coker and the plays they made, then Alabama could have been looking at losing this game.

Clemson gave the Crimson Tide the best shot they had. Deshaun Watson was special in this game. But in the end, it was just not enough as Alabama just made more game-winning plays than Clemson did in all phases of the game. And as a result, they are now celebrating another title for Saban and the Crimson Tide. With this title, expect the ghosts of Paul “Bear” Bryant to be awakened and for some to question whether or not Saban is the best Alabama coach of all-time.

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(photo credit: http://www.870theanswer.com)

16 Bold Predictions For 2016

(photo courtesy of Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)

(photo courtesy of Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports)

A new year is upon us and there will be many great sports events that will happen. Some will be expected like the Super Bowl, college football championship game and the college basketball national championship game. But there are also things that happen that catch us all off guard. It’s easy to predict things that will happen, but it is not as easy to predict the unpredictable events that can happen. But with that being said, let me take my shot at it. Without further ado, here are my 16 predictions for 2016

  1. The Alabama Crimson Tide will win the National title

Clemson is a worthy opponent for Alabama in the National Title game. They are solid in each facet of the game and can make some explosive plays. But versus Alabama, the game will be won or lost in the trenches. Alabama is a physical football team and they have dominated teams up front for majority of the season. Clemson is a physical bunch as well and they will not wilt when facing the Crimson Tide. But eventually the physical play and the explosiveness of the Alabama front seven will get to the Tigers.

  1. The Golden State Warriors will not win the NBA title this season

The Warriors are again having a great season. And of course they will be a factor in the West this year. But let’s not forget that there are some other teams that can get it going and potentially knock them off. Teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs are talented enough to give the Warriors fits. And this season, one of those teams jumps up and gets the job done, ending the Warriors’ season prematurely.

  1. Kentucky, North Carolina and Duke will not make the NCAA Final Four this year

All three teams are very deep and talented. But in this year’s college basketball, each team has some flaws going with them. Of course North Carolina is the most talented of them all and they are shooting the basketball well this year. But eventually the shooting will fall back to earth and they will have to win a game with defense. That will be where they fall. As far as Kentucky, they have been pushed around more in the post than usual. And even though they are talented, that shortcoming will leave them hamstrung in March. And as far as Duke, they may have their tough guy, forward Amile Jefferson, back before the season is over. But they still don’t have enough scoring from inside that will scare someone. And that will be something that eventually catches up to them.

  1. The Chicago Cubs will win the World Series

This past year, the Cubs went further than anyone thought they would. And heading into this season, the expectations are they will go even further. Some may wilt under those type of goals, but this team may just thrive under them. And with the additions they have made this offseason, the Cubs will finally make it back to the World Series and will win one, breaking the supposed curse that was placed upon them.

  1. The Carolina Panthers will win the Super Bowl

Quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are sitting on top of the football world right now, sporting the best record in the NFL at 14-1. But that is not the ultimate goal for them. The thing that they are striving to get is the Lombardi Trophy. And for the Panthers, plenty keep speaking on all the reasons this team cannot win the Lombardi Trophy. Well, Cam and the boys have been listening and they will use that as extra motivation to go to the first Super Bowl for Carolina since 2003. And instead of coming up short like they did against the Patriots the last time they were there, the Panthers will seize the day and win their first Lombardi Trophy.

  1. Steph Curry will win another MVP

Curry was in another world last year. He averaged 24 points per game and eight assists last season while locking up the MVP trophy. And just when it was thought he could not get any better, he shows up this season and is putting up better shooting, scoring and rebounding numbers across the board. He has gone from another world to another stratosphere and there is no doubting that he is the best player in the NBA right now. And with the record the Warriors are currently sporting, he will be the MVP again. As much as some want to give this award to LeBron, it just will not happen again.

  1. The Philadelphia 76ers will swing and miss in the Ben Simmons sweepstakes

The talk around Philly is they are in tank mode once again. And the object of their affection this year seems to be LSU forward Ben Simmons. The Australian forward can do everything on the floor and that combination of size and skill has every NFL scout hoping Christmas comes in June for them. It would seem the perfect storm would have Philly getting the first overall pick this year in the draft. But unfortunately, it will not be for them this year either. The 76ers will get the second or third pick, not the first. And with that, they can kiss goodbye to Ben Simmons ever wearing a Philadelphia uniform.

  1. The Jacksonville Jaguars will make the playoffs next season

Head coach Gus Bradley is building something in Jacksonville. He has a quarterback in place in Blake Bortles, a reliable tight end in Julius Thomas, two young receivers that are making it happen in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson and running back TJ Yeldon. Defensively, the Jags have taken a step forward this year and will more than likely add a pass rusher next season. That combination of things along with the state of the AFC South could have them either winning the division or making the playoffs as a wildcard.

  1. The Oakland Raiders will make the playoffs next season

The team showed growth this season. Derek Carr showed even more improvement this season. And with the weapons he has offensively, the offense should do nothing but get better next season. And defensively, they have a standout player in Khalil Mack. If they are able to add more defensive backfield help, this team will definitely be ready to make the playoffs next year. The Silver and Black will be back next year.

  1. DeMarcus Cousins will not be a member of the Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus is a very talented player. Unfortunately, he has not been able to wrangle his temper on the court. And with the surroundings in the city of Sacramento, it may not be the place for him to have success and mature as a player. So with that being said, Cousins will be out of Sacramento this offseason. Boston would be one place that has assets to trade for him. But there will be plenty that will be vying for his services. Only time will tell, but he will be playing in another city come next basketball season.

  1. Kevin Durant will re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder

Much has been said of where Durant will land next year. There have been rumors floated out there of him landing in everywhere from Golden State to Washington next year. But in the end, the prevailing thought is he will end up staying in Oklahoma City. The chemistry he and Westbrook have is something that he will not find anywhere else. And if they can get some consistent scoring from a third option, then this team will be able to make that magical run like they did when they met LeBron’s Miami team in the NBA Finals.

  1. Peyton Manning will not retire.

It was looking like he would be done at the end of the season last year. But instead of doing so, he decided to come back this season. Needless to say, this has not been the most memorable of seasons for him as a starter this year. And despite the thoughts that he will be retiring at the end of the season (and by looking at him right now, he should), he will more than likely try to play yet another season in the NFL. The question now is where he will play because it surely won’t be in Denver next year.

  1. Hue Jackson and Teryl Austin will get head coaching jobs this offseason in the NFL

Both have been excellent coordinators and Jackson never really got a shot when he was in Oakland. Jackson has been very solid as the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and Austin has been excellent as the defensive coordinator in Detroit. Both are definitely qualified and you are hearing their names mentioned over and over again in coaching searches. It will only be a matter of time before both become head coaches. And this offseason is the perfect time for both to become head coaches in the NFL.

  1. Luke Walton will be named the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers

Unexpectedly, Luke Walton has been the interim head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Some may have expected the Warriors to not do so well without their leader, but Walton has led the team very well in his absence. And he has done so well that he will garner some head coaching looks around the NBA. One place that will be looking for a head coach soon will be the Los Angeles Lakers. With his experience with the organization as a player and his familiarity with the team, he would be a perfect fit for them and their young team.

  1. The Kansas City Royals will not make the playoffs this upcoming season

I know this is something that Kansas City fans will not want to hear, but it could definitely happen. The Royals just won the title, so there is always that moment of relaxation knowing you have achieved your goal. And the Royals will be fighting that all season long as they try to repeat as champions. Unfortunately, they will not be able to overcome that as they miss the playoffs this upcoming season.

  1. Fans will continue to show no chill on social media

As time has gone on, keyboard courage has grown more and more amongst fans of sports. You can see on social media all the people that continue to call people out knowing they will never meet them in real life. Unfortunately, this is not going anywhere and there will be more of it to come. A thing I have proposed is that things would change if people had to attach their employer to the things that they say. I bet the fear of losing their job would change the things that people say.

The new year brings some new things and also some new happenings as well. It will be interesting to see if these sixteen things happen or if these thoughts going flying in the wind.

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The Heisman Trophy Belongs To Derrick Henry

(Photo courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The end of the college football regular season means two things. Along with bowl and playoff games, the award season is now upon us. There will be plenty of individual awards given out to players, but only one stands out. That award is the Heisman Trophy. Over the years, there has been only one player win that award twice (Ohio State’s Archie Griffin). The award does not have a particular position attached to it, although primarily running backs and quarterbacks have won it. And in this season, it seems like those two positions will be prominent this season. Alabama’s Derrick Henry, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey are the consensus top three for many across the nation. Al have had special seasons, but there can only be one winner. And that winner will be Derrick Henry of Alabama.

Henry came into this season knowing he was going to be the lead runner for the Crimson Tide. But what he did not know was who his quarterback was going to be. It was assumed by many that Jacob Coker would be the guy running the show, but that was not even certain to start the year. And quite frankly, he did not show that he was going to be the quarterback until Cooper Bateman was benched in favor of Coker during the loss to Ole Miss. Up to that point, the Alabama offense had been trying to get it together through the air while Henry handled business on the ground. During those first three games, including the Ole Miss game, Henry averaged 123 yards per game on the ground and had seven touchdowns. Over time, Coker became steady at quarterback and as he did, Henry just got better and better. Henry had seven 100 yard games after the Ole Miss game (including four games of 200+ yards rushing) playing against some conference foes. While he has continued to get stronger over the year, the Alabama offense has become more diverse because of it. Teams lined up to stop Henry and they were still not able to. All the while, Coker got easier coverages to go against and freshman receiver Calvin Ridley (71 receptions, 893 yards and 5 touchdowns) and sophomore receiver ArDarius Steward (54 receptions, 600 yards and 4 touchdowns) got one-on-one matchups and zone coverages that were favorable for them. And as for Henry, he went on to set a Southeastern Conference record for yards with 1,986 yards. To set that record in a league where guys like Fred Taylor(Florida), Herschel Walker(Georgia) and Bo Jackson(Auburn) and Jamaal Lewis (Tennessee) played is something that is a phenomenal feat. And with the playoffs coming, he has the chance to be the first 2,000 yard back ever in Southeastern Conference history. In a conference as tough as the SEC, this is an incredible accomplishment should he be able to do it.

The other candidates are not too shabby in their own right. For example, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson has been mentioned as a potential Heisman winner also. The dual-threat quarterback has been special this season while leading this Clemson team to an unprecedented 13-0 season so far. His 30 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions are very good stats. And in any other year he would be the winner, especially on an undefeated team. But when you look at the value of Henry or Watson, which one do you choose? It is a tough choice to pick between either, but look at the level of competition Henry did what he did against. Henry did it against some of the best defenses in the country in the Southeastern Conference. Sure, Alabama had a couple cupcakes on their schedule, but most of Henry’s yards came in the games that actually counted. Watson had some great numbers but along with the cupcakes outside of conference, Watson had some inside his conference as well. Teams like Boston College and Wake Forest were bad this year. The sophomore quarterback had 11 of his 30 touchdown passes against the likes of Wofford, Appalachian State, Boston College and Wake Forests. That is a total of 19 touchdown passes against competition that is considered formidable. Watson has had a great season, but this is just not his year to win the Heisman.

The other candidate that’s name gets mentioned is Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. The sophomore running back has been special for the Cardinal. He went from only having 300 yards rushing last season to 1847 yards this season (8 touchdowns), including three 200-yard games. But that is not all McCaffrey did for his team. He was also a threat in the passing game for the Cardinal. McCaffrey was not only the leading rusher but the leading receiver for the team. He amassed 540 yards rushing and he caught an additional four touchdown passes. McCaffrey also returned kicks and punts for the Cardinal and had an additional touchdown there. The imprint he made on this offense was incredible. And with the season he had, you would think he would be the frontrunner. But alas, McCaffrey is not in the football playoffs despite his lofty numbers. With losses to Northwestern and Oregon, the Cardinal are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. McCaffrey could not will his team to win in those games. And even though football is a team game, Heisman winners always have that signature moment in time. McCaffrey had one against Notre Dame at the end of the season. Henry had these moments over and over again all year long.

McCaffrey and Watson are both worthy of winning the award. And they are both special players that we will see playing on Sundays one day. But this year’s trophy belongs to Henry. He is the driving force behind that Alabama offense and he faced stiff competition to get the numbers and wins he did. And it’s because of that, he will be rewarded by joining the most prestigious club in college football history.

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A Closer Look At The Four College Football Playoff Contenders

(Photo courtesy of Sporting News)

(Photo courtesy of Sporting News)

It all came down to this weekend in college football. While Oklahoma was all but a lock to be in the college football playoffs, Clemson, Alabama and Iowa(who maintained a position in the Top 4 before tonight) had to win their conference championships in order to cement their place. Clemson started out strong and hung on to beat a talented North Carolina team 45-37. Alabama was in a struggle for a while until Derrick Henry took over and the Crimson Tide pulled away from Florida 29-15. As for Iowa, they were not as fortunate as Alabama and Clemson. They hung on as long as they could, but Michigan State was not to be denied. The Spartans scored a late touchdown to defeat the previously undefeated Hawkeyes 16-13. So with that being said, our Final Four in college football should be as follows: Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma. What are some positives and negatives that both have going into the four-team playoff?

(Photo courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Crimson Tide are making a repeat performance in the college football playoffs. Their physical brand of football along with their running game have worn people down all year. The good thing for Alabama is they have succeeded all year offensively being a run-first team despite everyone knowing they are looking to run the football. They can throw the football and are solid there, but their bread is buttered by their burly running back. Derrick Henry set a new Southeastern Conference rushing record Saturday when he ran his total to 1,986 yards in this season and he has been a wrecking ball all season. It will be tough for teams to stop him. Defensively the Crimson Tide have an advantage because they can constantly get pressure only using their front four. That allows Alabama to put more people in coverage and make windows smaller for quarterbacks to throw in. Also, Alabama is very stingy against the running game and that usually forces teams to be one-dimensional, playing right into their hands.

The positives are there for Alabama to make a run at the title. But there is also some negatives that appear. Everything that Alabama does is based off the reaction to the running game honestly. So if the running game is not going, can Alabama pass the ball with quarterback Jake Coker to win? He has stepped in a done a great job, but asking Coker to carry the offense is something he may not be ready for. On defense, the Crimson Tide are strong in the front seven. But the defense contains 11 people and that is where the secondary comes in. The Tide’s secondary can have some issues covering opponents when they decide to pass. Add an athletic quarterback for a defense with issues covering and this team could have some issues if they face Oklahoma or Clemson.

(photo courtesy of www.heismanwatch.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.heismanwatch.com)

Clemson Tigers

The Tigers have some incredible things going for them. First, offensively the Tigers can put up numbers rather quickly. Whether they are running the football or throwing it, they are equally effective either way. And with quarterback Deshaun Watson at the helm, the offense now has that added dimension of a quarterback running the football. Defensively, the Tigers have been solid all season long. They have playmakers at all three levels and they can put the clamps on teams defensively when they need to. Altogether, they are a very solid team on both sides of the ball.

It’s pretty hard to find some negatives for the Clemson football team, but there is one. It seems like they can relax just a little sometimes on either side of the ball. It almost caught up to them when they were playing against North Carolina in the ACC Championship. They have not done like in the past and had an inexplicable loss, but now the pressure has picked up even more. Each team they will face from here on out will be very good. The interesting thing to watch will be if their defense was as good or the competition was not so great. We should find that out when they play their first game. They are the favorite whether people want to acknowledge it or not. And the championship is theirs to lose.

(Photo courtesy of Kirby Lee)

(Photo courtesy of Kirby Lee)

Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State is one physical team offensively. They can line up and run the ball on anyone as they proved when they lined up and ran the ball at will on Ohio State without their starting quarterback, Connor Cook. This type of physical running attack will give fits to anyone they face because they are deep in their running back rotation and they have an underrated offensive line. And as far as the passing game, Cook has one of the best weapons no one is talking about in wide receiver Aaron Burbridge. The Michigan offense has balance and can give many teams problems. As far as the defense, the Spartans have been physical all season long. They went toe-to-toe with Ohio State and stopped one of the best running backs in America (Ezekiel Elliot). And throughout the year, they have been solid in each game.

The Spartans do have a balanced offense, but they also have a quarterback that is inconsistent. Cook is talented and many are looking at him as one of the top quarterbacks heading into the 2016 Draft. But his bouts with inconsistent throws can cost this team in the playoffs. Some see his 24 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, but folks look right past his 56.9 % completion rate. And for a guy that does not make up for his inconsistent throws with his feet, this completion percentage is not that great. Defensively, the Spartans do not have anyone that great a defensive backfield. It was shown a little bit this season and going into the playoffs, opponents could try and expose that flaw.

(Photo courtesy of Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

(Photo courtesy of Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners lost one to Texas earlier this year and many thought their chances were done. But needless to say, Oklahoma kept plugging away and now they are in the playoffs. The offense they have has been dynamic all season long. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has proven to be a tough customer. In addition to using his arm, he has proven to give teams fits with his legs as well. Combining his dual-threat ability with the two-headed running back monster of Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon can give any defense problems. Mayfield’s top target in the passing game, Sterling Shepard, has been excellent this season despite being the focus of defenses in that area. Defensively, the Sooners have got after quarterbacks all year long. Eric Striker is the undoubted leader of this defense. His intensity on the field is unmatched by many. And with cornerback Zach Sanchez and the secondary rounding into shape, the Sooners can be a worthy opponent for anyone in the Top Four.

Consequently, the Sooners can have some moments. Although they have only had one blip on the radar screen, that loss showed us that there is still some potential faults in this team. Offensively, one thing that comes to mind first is that if Shepard is taken out of the game, the Sooners tend to struggle in that area. Against a team that has some good cornerback play, that can be an issue. At times, the Sooners give up some pressure up front as well. Mayfield was able to cover up for it, but that is something that will be tougher to do at this level of play. Defensively, the Sooners can be ran on. The Texas Longhorns proved that. They will definitely have to shore that up if they have hopes of winning the title.

The matchups have been set. Oklahoma is the four seed and they are taking on the top seed Clemson. And Alabama, the second seed, it taking on three-seed Michigan State. Both matchups should be entertaining to see. It will also be interesting to see what team exploits the others weaknesses. All four teams have some time to work on some wrinkles for their playoff semifinal game so it will be good to see what they all come up with. The college playoffs are here folks. Now the real competition begins.

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