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NYE/CFB Playoff Open Thread

The playoffs are finally here!

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Years Eve all! Only three bowl games today, but two of them are two of the biggest this bowl season.  Here's the lineup:

Peach Bowl

Florida State vs. Houston (+7) || 12:00pm ET || ESPN

FSU is down their starting QB for this game and are still favored by 7.  That's largely due to Dalvin Cook, who quietly had a season that rivaled that of Derrick Henry in terms of pure production.  Houston comes into this game off of an improbable first season under head coach Tom Herman, who despite being a hot commodity Houston was able to not only keep but lock up with an extension this off season (with lots more money of course).  The Seminoles have a very, very good secondary in terms of pure talent and should test the potent Houston offense.

Orange Bowl (CFB Semi-final)

Clemson vs. Oklahoma (-3.5) || 4:00pm ET || ESPN

Oklahoma is favored as the 4 seed here, which is odd.  Clemson ran the table this year, but will be missing a key WR as three players were sent home this week from the Orange Bowl for a violation of team rules.  This one could be a shootout as both teams feature great quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson for Clemson and former walk on Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma.

Cotton Bowl (CFB Semi-final)

Alabama vs. Michigan State (+10) || 8:00pm ET || ESPN

And the game we are all waiting for.  Michigan State are heavy underdogs in this game as they take on Nick Saban and Alabama.  Saban is 8-0 against his former assistants but this game could be a low scoring affair as two very similar teams take on each other.  We took a look at the game this week and, without question, Connor Cook will be the key to success if Michigan State is going to beat Alabama.  The second key is without a doubt being able to contain Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry.  If they can make Alabama play through the air they'll have a much better chance to win this game.

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