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Column: College playoff exceeds all expectations

The two semifinal games produced record TV ratings, packed stadiums, plenty of social media chatter and a bit of controversy. There's no reason to think Oregon and Ohio State won't give us another thrilling contest to finish off a memorable season when the national championship is decided Jan. 12 at Arlington, Texas.

South Carolina knocks off No. 9 Iowa State

Sindarius Thornwell scored five of his 13 points in the final two minutes and came up with a key turnover in the final seconds in South Carolina's 64-60 victory over No. 9 Iowa State on Saturday night.

Florida rides big plays to win over East Carolina

Florida quarterback Treon Harris threw an 86-yard scoring pass to mostly unheralded receiver Ahmad Fulwood, and Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted a pass in the end zone late to preserve Florida's 28-20 victory over East Carolina on Saturday in the Birmingham Bowl.

Sweet as Sugar: Buckeyes upset Alabama 42-35

Ohio State advances to play Oregon in the national championship game on Jan. 12.


Oregon crushes Florida State 59-20 in the Rose Bowl

The Ducks advance to the College Football Playoff's championship game.

Muschamp gets close look in Auburn's loss to Wisconsin

Melvin Gordon ran for an Outback Bowl-record 251 yards and three touchdowns, and Rafael Gaglianone kicked a 25-yard field goal in overtime to give the 18th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers a 34-31 victory over the No. 19 Auburn Tigers on Thursday.

No. 7 Michigan State surges past No. 4 Baylor in Cotton Bowl

Michigan State scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter on New Year's Day to beat playoff-snubbed and No. 4 Baylor 42-41 in the highest-scoring Cotton Bowl ever.

Playoff fans make travel gambles in picking postseason trips

Fans must weigh costs of travel — and the possibility that their team might not win on New Year's Day.

No. 6 TCU crushes No. 9 Ole Miss, 42-3 in Peach

Playing like a team motivated by the playoff snub, TCU rode three touchdown passes from Trevone Boykin and a dominant defense to a 42-3 rout of No. 9 Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl on Wednesday.

Boise State beats Arizona 38-30 in Fiesta Bowl

No Fiesta Bowl with Boise State would be complete without a Statue of Liberty play, so the Broncos did that, too.

Ducks, Seminoles ready for Rose Bowl like no other

The Seminoles bring in a 29-game winning streak and last year's Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, into its second straight trip to the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are led by this year's Heisman winner, Marcus Mariota, and are in search of their first national championship.

Urban Meyer's goal of SEC North gets tested in New Orleans

Ohio State has never beaten an SEC team in a bowl. At least not officially. The Buckeyes are 0-10, having vacated a victory over Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl because of NCAA violations.

Big 12 can back up claim as top basketball league

The Big 12 is on track to win at least 80 percent of its non-conference games for the first time in league history, and there was a two-week stretch earlier in December when its teams won 28 consecutive games.

NCAA contenders include the 'little guys'

Seven teams from non-power conferences were ranked in this week's Top 25, and that doesn't include the defending national champion Huskies. Even without UConn, several ranked teams — led by No. 6 Villanova — are regulars amid discussions about college basketball's best.

No. 13 Georgia runs over No. 20 Louisville, 37-14

Nick Chubb's big game boosted the Bulldogs .

Ducks' Helfrich is 'other guy' among star coaches

To some, he's just Chip Kelly's replacement. But the Oregon coach has successfully guided the Ducks to title contention.

Notre Dame beats No. 22 LSU 31-28 in Music City Bowl

Notre Dame got the ball with 5:41 left in the fourth quarter and never gave it back, driving 71 yards in 14 plays before kicker Kyle Brindza hit a 32-yard field goal for the win.

Jim Harbaugh vows 'excellence' at Michigan

The former Michigan player will take on the task of restoring a once-proud program to its glory days.

For Saban and Meyer, no room for satisfaction

Make no mistake: When Saban's top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide faces Meyer's No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night, two figures will tower over everyone else. It doesn't matter that neither will play a down in the semifinal playoff game.

Do improved schedules have SEC ready for No. 1 Kentucky?

The conference is ranked second in RPI this year — a big jump from last season.