Allstate Sugar Bowl

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    December 19, 2014

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    Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1
    Ohio State vs. Alabama

    – The entire season has been defined by the home loss to Virginia Tech. Outside of that gaffe, everything else was fantastic, and that includes the overtime win over a mediocre Penn State team, with the game turning into a gut-check for an emerging squad that needed to be pushed a bit. There weren’t really any problems with Minnesota or Michigan – even though the games were tight for a while, and the annihilation of Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship was the statement the team needed to come up with – but Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech. That’s what the naysayers point to, but by the end of the year, Ohio State showed and proved that it’s one of the four best teams in the country – even without J.T. Barrett.

    – Alabama closed strong blasting Missouri in dominant fashion to come into the playoff on an eight-game winning streak. While the offense exploded on the Auburn and Missouri Tigers, it sputtered and coughed in a tight battle with the LSU Tigers, needing a late rally and overtime to keep the dream alive. The O had problems in the third quarter against Mizzou, in the second half against Mississippi State, and throughout against LSU and Arkansas, but when it turned it on, it was devastating. Defensively, this isn’t the killer of past years, but that’s splitting hairs – the Tide is still second in the nation against the run.

    First Reaction: Urban vs. Nick. Big Ten vs. SEC. Superpower vs. Superpower. Evil Empire vs. Evil Empire (to some). Is it possible to ask for anything better to end Day One of the College Football Playoff era? Ohio State will show that it’s absolutely the real deal – for a half. Alabama’s offensive balance will prove to be too much to handle. The Buckeyes will look the part, but the Crimson Tide will show off too many weapons.
    First Prediction: Alabama 40 … Ohio State 27

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