Paul Myerberg USA TODAY Published 8:52 AM EST Dec 29, 2018 The College Football Playoff gets started with two semifinal matchups on Dec. 29. The winners of both games will advance to the national championship game in Santa Clara, California, on Jan. 7. The second semifinal will take place Saturday evening in the Orange Bowl where No. 1 Alabama faces off with No. 4 Oklahoma. It's the fifth consecutive playoff appearance for the Crimson Tide and the third in four years for the Sooners. A look at which team has the edge in each aspect of the game and four keys to victory for both teams when they take the field at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. PASSING Alabama's offense hit new heights this season behind Tua Tagovailoa, but the sophomore is still less than 100 percent after suffering an ankle injury in the conference championship game win against Georgia. Meanwhile, Tagovailoa came in second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Oklahoma's Kyler … [Read more...] about Orange Bowl: Alabama and Oklahoma breakdown edges and keys to victory
Point clear alabama
George Schroeder USA TODAY Published 2:52 PM EST Nov 22, 2018 If you missed it live – and somehow did not see the montage, or the extended cut, or the greatest hits – it might be only because you have not been trying. Ohio State escaped Maryland last week, 52-51 when the Terrapins failed to convert a two-point try in overtime. The win felt like a loss, another oddly difficult struggle in a season filled with them. But the enduring visual was of Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines, in apparent agony. Bent over between plays, hands clasped to his head. It was painful just watching. And it’s why, as the Buckeyes’ annual date with Michigan looms, the nagging questions are not so much about what’s wrong with this team, which has not played to its seeming capabilities this season (yet still has College Football Playoff possibilities), but instead what ails its coach. First, and most important: Is Meyer OK? But next, and inevitably: Could he … [Read more...] about Ohio State coach Urban Meyer clearly is in pain this football season.
Eddie Timanus USA TODAY Published 1:32 PM EST Nov 4, 2018 The Amway Coaches Poll now has a well-defined top five. While that doesn’t guarantee the playoff committee’s rankings will look the same, it does provide a clear path to the contenders. Alabama, of course, remains solidly in the No. 1 position after blanking LSU in Baton Rouge. The Crimson Tide received all but one of the 64 No.-1 votes. Second-ranked Clemson retains the last first-place nod following its demolition of Louisville. Notre Dame kept its record unblemished by staving off a late rally at Northwestern and holds steady at No. 3. Michigan and Georgia, with impressive performances against Penn State and Kentucky, respectively, round out the top five. Stock up: West Virginia. The Mountaineers’ road win at Texas on a gutsy two-point conversion earned them a two-spot gain to No. 8, just a single poll point behind No. 7 Ohio State. Stock down: LSU. The Tigers hold on to a top-10 spot slipping from … [Read more...] about Amway Coaches Poll: Alabama stays strong No. 1, Michigan up to No. 4
George Schroeder USA TODAY Published 3:13 PM EDT Nov 2, 2018 TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – As he left the room, laughing, he called over his shoulder: “I’m going to take your job!” Tua Tagovailoa was only kidding, we think (and hope) – but after his brief stint conducting an interview instead of sitting for one, it was hard to say for sure. After finishing an interview last week, the Alabama quarterback began posing questions of his own to an in-house video crew. Within minutes he was behind the camera, shooting video of teammate Jonah Williams, Alabama’s standout left tackle. And then he was asking Williams questions. “He’s good,” said Williams, who seemed slightly bemused by the entire experience. “But I think sometimes it’s probably a little word vomit. He’s just throwing together buzz words, but his questions were honestly good, so you know – maybe after football?” File that away, because Tagovailoa has … [Read more...] about Alabama might be Nick Saban’s best team. LSU will provide first test
The El Paso Processing Center, informally known as the Camp, is a sprawling, walled compound of low-lying cinder-block buildings and trailers tucked between the landing strip at El Paso International airport and the Lone Star golf club, a public course that sits just across the street. The camp houses around 800 immigrants at any given time – some awaiting deportation, some awaiting their hearings or appeals. Some pass through for a day; others stay for years. Wassim Isaac, a 32-year-old Syrian with ginger hair and impeccable manners, had been at the Camp for over a year by the time we met, in December 2017 – his asylum denied, his appeal wending its way through the system. Isaac, who asked that I not use his real name, had been the owner of a pharmacy back in Syria, and described himself as a college-educated, law-abiding churchgoer. When he first arrived at the Camp, he asked himself how he had come to be incarcerated. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) designates … [Read more...] about ‘You descend into hell by coming here’: how Texas shut the door on refugees