Alabama, Ohio State Are Peach, Fiesta Bowl Favorites

The "H" didn't stick, but the rest of the name did, aided by Budda's dislike for his given birth name. On the other side of the ball, Washington's defense leads the nation in takeaways and must force Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts into some mistakes with the ball. For as good as Washington is, Bama is simply better, and I expect the final score to reflect that.

It's not hard, being around Petersen and his teams for so many years to see plenty of similarities in the Huskies. At Washington, he was an instant star.

Okay, so the playoff has only been around for three years now, but the Crimson Tide are making their third appearance after one of the more dominating regular seasons in recent memory.

Conference championships can be won with sub-par recruiting. The mighty Alabama assemblage of 2012 that beat Georgia in the epic SEC championship game and obliterated Notre Dame 42-14? "If Alabama has a weakness, it's secondary depth following Eddie Jackson's season-ending injury against Texas A&M".

The defense has lost two of its leaders, safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, to season-ending injuries.

The fourth-ranked Huskies, meanwhile, almost missed out on the playoff all together to a two-loss Penn State team.

On January 1, 1926, undefeated Washington faced off against undefeated Alabama in the Rose Bowl.

The College Football Playoffs start on New Year's Eve, which is stupid. "We feel like it's a great opportunity".

And the Huskies have done it by employing legitimate National Football League talent at every level of that defense. It will come down to how we play in this game. But for us up here and for us that have been in our little circle in the team, we're not coming to possibly knock off No. 1. While the performance wasn't one of standout his games, the freshman's ability to control the ball allowed for Alabama to pull away in the game. That never - not once - knocked us off our course.

Four areas of focus for Eagles offense vs. Giants week 16
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will be calling the game from the booth, and Heather Cox will serve as the sideline reporter. On Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants and can end their chances at a division title with a win.

"We hate to lose more than we love to win", Alabama running back Damien Harris said.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide (13-0) are going for their second straight national title and fifth in the past nine seasons under coach Nick Saban.

Over the years, that has become the trademark for an Alabama team.

Just being here is a testament to Petersen's coaching prowess.

One of the great absences of the story of college football in the first decade of the 21st century was the inability of the sport to match USC against the SEC champion.

Now on his first turn at a program with some historical success, he's turned it from a floundering, middle-of-the-road Pac-12 program into a playoff contender. The 12-1 Huskies have emerged as one of the surprise stories of the year after opening their campaign at a distant +4000 on the national championship odds. Jim Lambright took over as head coach and while the Huskies went to bowl games in each of Lambright's four seasons after Washington's bowl game ban was lifted, it wasn't good enough in a place where the expectations were to compete for conference titles.

That could be even more true as Petersen continues to build in Seattle.

But the overlooked power of the Huskies is their running game. And Washington's current 2017 recruiting class ranking, per 247 Sports, is 18th.

Whoever wins the Fiesta Bowl, chances are very good they will find Alabama waiting for them in Tampa in the College Football Playoff championship game January 9. And, Petersen was at Boise State when he engineered one of the great upsets in college history when the Broncos out-tricked Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. On top of history is hype, the unremitting hype about this Crimson Tide being "the best team in college football history".


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