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Photos: Alabama beats Clemson to win Sugar Bowl

It was a real slug fest on the way to a 24-6 win for Alabama.

Alabama beats Clemson in Sugar Bowl, will face Georgia in national championship

The much anticipated Alabama-Clemson rematch didn’t quite give us everything we hoped for as the offense was not nearly as exciting as the last two matchups. It was a real slug fest on the way to a 24-6 win for Alabama.

>> UGA wins Rose Bowl, heading to National Championship game

Both teams went three-and-out on their first offensive possessions, but Alabama put up three points on the board on their second possession. Clemson failed to get anything done on yet another possession after that field goal and the Tide ended up going down the field and scoring on a pretty much broken play:

>> PHOTOS: Alabama beats Clemson to win Sugar Bowl

Clemson got its initial first down of the game about a minute into the second quarter and seemed to get a little more comfortable on that drive. It ended with a field goal, though, to make it 10-3 with about 10 minutes left in the half. However, they lost star freshman running back Travis Etienne early in the game to concussion-like symptoms.

 >> PHOTOS: UGA wins Rose Bowl

Fortunately for Clemson, a missed field goal by Alabama kept the deficit to only seven points. Neither team got a foothold on offense, but the Crimson Tide just seemed to dominate and even held Clemson to 73 total yards in the first half. Alabama also more than doubled thatwith 182 of their own in the half.

Despite a fumble by Alabama to start the second half, Clemson was only able to get three points out of it to make it a 10-6 game as the offense still couldn’t get anything going. On the next possession, they seemed to be getting momentum as Kelly Bryant had gotten a few passes to go and was converting third downs, but had a costly turnover due to bad protection.

That led directly to a touchdown from Alabama and ironically enough, the receiver who caught it was the same guy who got the interception to get the Crimson Tide the ball in the first place. 

And when Clemson got the ball back, things really unraveled as Bryant threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Mack Wilson.

That 24-6 score would hold to the fourth quarter as the total yards advantage went up to 225-99 in favor of Alabama after three quarters of play. This game was easily the worst offensive output of the season, if not the last few seasons, for Clemson and will surely send them back to the drawing board next season.

>> Read more trending news 

Clemson finished with 188 total yards while Alabama had 259 and the Tigers’ two turnovers were just too much to overcome as they both resulted in touchdowns for the other team. Crimson Tide running back Damien Harris had 18 carries for 75 yards while quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 120 yards and two touchdowns on the game.

Georgia and Alabama will meet for an all-SEC National Championship Game after the Bulldogs beat Oklahoma in overtime in the Rose Bowl. The game will be played Jan. 8 with a kickoff set for 8 p.m.

Wisconsin football players catch 450-pound shark days before Orange Bowl win

You can’t do this at every bowl destination. Wisconsin’s football team landed in Miami for the Orange Bowl earlier in the week, and between practices and team outings, a few teammates had the chance to schedule some deep-sea fishing.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

Members of Wisconsin’s football team went fishing somewhere near Miami this week and caught a 450-pound hammerhead shark. The Badgers’ Twitter account posted a photo of the impressive catch Wednesday.

>> See the photo here

The Badgers’ Orange Bowl gift bag included a PlayStation 4, wireless headphones, a 39-inch television and more, but none of the gadgets compare to a huge hammerhead. 

>> Read more trending news 

Wisconsin went on to defeat Miami 34-24 on Saturday night.

Titans, Vols players offer support to bullying victim who made heartbreaking viral video

When a boy from the Knoxville, Tennessee, area was revealed to be a victim of bullying, players for the Tennessee Titans and Vols football teams decided to step up.

>> Read more trending news

A video went viral Friday afternoon of a Knoxville boy detailing the bullying he had endured at school.

>> Watch the heartbreaking clip here

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

University of Tennessee sophomore receiver Tyler Byrd and freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano both pledged to visit the boy and offer support.

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker responded with his own video and invited the boy and his family to an upcoming game.

>> Click here to watch

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

WATCH: The Army-Navy national anthem in the snow was one to remember

When it came to the Army-Navy college football game on Saturday, there was no doubt what the national anthem was going to look like in terms of participation, but the addition of snow to the equation made the moment that much more memorable.

>> Watch the clip here

>> PHOTOS: Army beats Navy 14-13

The rendition by the West Point and U.S. Naval Academy glee clubs was a hit on social media, with many Twitter users saying the performance gave them "goosebumps” and “chills.”

Other commenters took the opportunity to call out the NFL players who have been kneeling in protest of racial inequality as the anthem is performed before games.

Army went on to win Saturday's game 14-13.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Oklahoma RB Rodney Anderson denies rape allegation

Documents show a woman filed a protective order that accuses starting University of Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson of rape.

>> Watch the news report here

The order accuses Anderson of driving a woman home from a bar and attacking her while she was blacked out. No charges have been filed.

His attorney released a statement denying the allegations: 

"Mr. Anderson first learned of (the woman’s) request for a civil protective order late yesterday evening. Mr. Anderson is shocked and disturbed by (the woman’s) claims. The allegations are patently false. Mr. Anderson did not, nor would he ever, force himself on any woman," the statement began.

"There are undoubtedly true victims of sexual assault, for whom Mr. Anderson carries a tremendous amount of compassion. However, there are those accused of sexual assault which they unequivocally did not commit – as is the case for Mr. Anderson. It is incumbent on our community to reserve judgment and to treat this allegation on its own merit. We are confident that when authorities have all of the information surrounding this circumstance, Mr. Anderson will be completely exonerated of any wrongdoing, and he looks forward to the conclusion of this investigation so he can focus on his obligations as a student-athlete."

>> Read more trending news 

The news comes weeks before the University of Oklahoma faces off against Georgia in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

The university released a brief statement Monday on the situation saying officials "are aware [of the filing] and are gathering information."

KOKI reached out to them again Tuesday following the release of more details on the allegations and received this statement:

"The university is aware of the situation and is following our protocols in coordinating with the Norman Police Department, which is currently handling the inquiry. The university takes seriously all allegations of misconduct and is continuing to collect information in this matter."

Anderson created a Twitter account Tuesday to defend himself: 

>> Visit KOKI for the latest on this developing story

Jackson, Love, Mayfield three finalists for 2017 Heisman Trophy

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Stanford running back Bryce Love and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield are this year’s Heisman Trophy finalists, according to the Heisman Trust, which made the announcement on ESPN Monday night.

>> Read more trending news

The Heisman is one of the most prestigious awards in sports and the top award in college football.

Jackson is looking for a repeat after winning the trophy last year, hoping to become the second player to win the award two years in a row after Archie Griffin did it in 1974 and 1975. And he’s got a good chance at it, throwing for 3,489 yards and making 25 touchdowns this season, according to Sports Illustrated.

Mayfield is a favorite to win, though, leading the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 title. Mayfield broke his own 2016 record this season, setting a Football Bowl Subdivision record for passing efficiency, SI reported. He threw for 4,340 yards with 41 touchdowns, the second highest number of the season.

Love scored 17 touchdowns and was second in the country for rushing with 1,973 yards. He did it mostly with a seriously injured ankle, too.

>> Related: 2 Georgia players arrested after SEC championship game

The Heisman has been awarded to the best college football player dating back to 1935, although the first award was called the DAC Trophy after New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. The name of the award was changed to the Heisman Memorial Trophy in 1936 after the death of legendary football coach and DAC athletic director John W. Heisman.

The winner of the 2017 Heisman Trophy will be announced at a ceremony Saturday in New York.

Ready, set, bowl! Here is the college football bowl schedule

Ready, set, bowl! The schedule and matchups have been announced for the 2017 college football bowl season, with 41 games on tap between Dec. 16 and Jan. 8. 

>> Read more trending news

That includes the College Football Playoffs, with the national title game to be held in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. No team ranked No. 1 in the final CFP regular-season rankings has ever won the national title. Defending national champion Clemson, heading into this year’s playoffs at No. 1, will try to change that.

Sit back and get your college football fix, as the bowl season begins with five games on Dec. 16. Here is the complete schedule.

Saturday, December 16

New Orleans Bowl

(New Orleans)

North Texas vs. Troy, 1 p.m., ESPN

Cure Bowl

(Orlando, Fla.)

Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky, 2:30 p.m, CBS Sports Network

Las Vegas Bowl

(Las Vegas)

Boise State vs. Oregon, 3:30 p.m., ABC

New Mexico Bowl

(Albuquerque)

Colorado State vs. Marshall, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Camellia Bowl

(Montgomery, Ala.)

Arkansas State vs. Middle Tennessee State, 8 p.m., ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Boca Raton Bowl

(Boca Raton, Fla.)

FAU vs. Akron, 7 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Frisco Bowl

(Frisco, Texas)

SMU vs. Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 21

Gasparilla Bowl

(St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Temple vs. FIU, 8 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Dec. 22

Bahamas Bowl

(Nassau, Bahamas)

UAB vs. Ohio, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Potato Bowl

(Boise, Idaho)

Wyoming vs. Central Michigan, 4 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 23

Birmingham Bowl

(Birmingham, Ala.)

Texas Tech vs. South Florida, 12 p.m.

Armed Forces Bowl

(Fort Worth, Texas)

Army vs. San Diego State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Dollar General Bowl

(Mobile, Ala.)

Toledo vs. Appalachian State, 7 p.m., ESPN

Sunday, Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl

(Honolulu)

Fresno State vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Heart of Dallas Bowl

(Dallas)

Utah vs. West Virginia, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Quick Lane Bowl

(Detroit)

Duke vs. Northern Illinois, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Cactus Bowl

(Phoenix)

UCLA vs. Kansas State, 9 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Independence Bowl

(Shreveport, La.)

Florida State vs. Southern Miss, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Pinstripe Bowl

(New York)

Boston College vs. Iowa, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Foster Farms Bowl

(Santa Clara, Calif.)

Purdue vs. Arizona, 8:30 p.m., Fox

Texas Bowl

(Houston)

Missouri vs. Texas, 9 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 28

Military Bowl

(Annapolis, Md.)

Navy vs. Virginia, 1:30 p.m., ESPN

Camping World Bowl

(Orlando, Fla.)

Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Holiday Bowl

(San Diego)

Michigan State vs. Washington State, 8 p.m., FS1

Alamo Bowl

(San Antonio, Texas)

Stanford vs. TCU, 9 p.m., ESPN

Friday, Dec. 29

Belk Bowl

(Charlotte, N.C.)

Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M, 1 p.m., ESPN

Sun Bowl

(El Paso, Texas)

North Carolina State vs. Arizona State, 3 p.m., CBS.

Music City Bowl

(Nashville, Tenn.)

Northwestern vs. Kentucky, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Arizona Bowl

(Tucson, Ariz.)

New Mexico State vs. Utah State, 5:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

Cotton Bowl Classic

(Arlington, Texas)

No. 8 USC vs. No. 5 Ohio State, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 30

Taxslayer Bowl

(Jacksonville, Fla.)

Louisville vs. Mississippi State, 12 p.m., ESPN

Liberty Bowl

(Memphis, Tenn.)

Memphis vs. Iowa State, 12:30 p.m., ABC

Fiesta Bowl

(Glendale, Ariz.)

No. 11 Washington vs. No. 9 Penn State, 4 p.m., ESPN

Orange Bowl

(Miami)

No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 10 Miami, 8 p.m., ESPN.

Monday, Jan. 1

Outback Bowl

(Tampa, Fla.)

Michigan vs. South Carolina, 12 p.m., ESPN

Peach Bowl

(Atlanta)

No. 12 UCF vs. No. 7 Auburn, 12:30 p.m., ESPN

Citrus Bowl

(Orlando, Fla.)

Notre Dame vs. LSU, 1 p.m., ABC

College Football Playoff semifinal

Rose Bowl

(Pasadena, Calif.)

No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma, 5 p.m., ESPN

College Football Playoff semifinal

Sugar Bowl

(New Orleans)

No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 Clemson, 8:45 p.m., ESPN.

Monday, Jan. 8

College Football Playoff

Championship game, 8 p.m., ESPN, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

College football: 5 takeaways after Alabama gets last playoff spot

First off, let’s be clear: I don’t really think Ohio State got a raw deal being left out of this year’s College Football Playoff. 

>> Read more trending news

Neither the Buckeyes nor Alabama had much to complain about, given what they did and did not do on the field in 2017. 

Both teams were absolutely at the mercy of the committee going into Sunday, and the committee showed favor to the Crimson Tide despite a lack of compelling evidence to do so. 

>> Four teams chosen by playoff committee

The Buckeyes had more positive marks on their resume, but there were also more negatives. 

Here are five takeaways from Sunday: 

1. The announcement sounds like an early death knell for the four-team playoff. 

I don’t know how long it’s going to take for an expansion to eight teams, but I’m pretty certain it’s going to happen for the same reason Alabama making the BCS championship in 2011 killed the two-team system.

This proves again every game doesn’t matter, which was the mantra the BCS reps leaned on and the one used by defenders of the four-team playoff against expansion. 

If we’re still just guessing who are the best four teams, we might as well just go back to voting on the winner on Jan. 2. 

2. The four-team playoff’s biggest issue: Five power conferences.

The conferences are very hard to compare in any given year, and we start necessarily having to leave out one based on some assumptions that may or may not be correct. 

That’s not ideal, and it’s often going to be unsatisfying. 

But leaving out two leagues even when none were dominant (or blatantly down) is even worse. 

Ironically, if this were 2011 it would have made a lot more sense, because LSU and Alabama reasonably were considered to be a lot better than everyone else.

Now that the conference of Jim Delany, one of college football’s ultimate power brokers, has been spurned, I would expect change to happen sooner or later. 

3. The committee simply believed Alabama was better than Ohio State. 

Therefore, they used whatever justification they wanted to explain the decision to pick the Crimson Tide. That was the Buckeyes’ blowout loss at Iowa. 

I want the the four best teams to make it, but only when it’s unequivocal who those are. 

That was not this year. 

Neither team really passed the eye test, so claiming one did rang really hollow. 

That is why I still would have gone back to the resumes, and I have always felt comparing wins was better than comparing losses because if nothing else it is a larger sample size. 

I’m also more interested in what a team is like on its best days than its worst, but if the committee disagrees that’s how it’s going to be I guess. 

And yet CFP chairman Kirby Hocutt’s statement, “Alabama was clearly the No. 4 ranked team in the country as a non-champion,” just doesn’t hold water to me. 

4. Four-team idea came too late for Ohio State.

In 2015, Ohio State was probably one of the top two let alone four, but the Buckeyes were not afforded the same treatment as Alabama this year. 

That year, too, the Buckeyes could have made the argument moot by taking care of business against Michigan State, but that’s beside the point. At least they finished the season by crushing Michigan in Ann Arbor, leaving a positive last impression rather than a loss like the 2017 Crimson Tide. 

It was generally agreed upon that was a special Ohio State team even with its flaws. 

Can we say that about this Alabama squad? 

5. What would prevent expanding the playoff? 

The conferences -- which made up the BCS and comprise the group that oversees the playoff -- might still draw the line in the sand at four teams in the playoff so they can protect their garbage championship game cash cows that often don’t mean anything in the playoff discussion. 

Lots of people say every year the first weekend of December works as the round of eight, but that’s obviously not true, since 50 percent of the time a playoff participant has not even taken part. 

A move to eight teams could guarantee the importance of a conference championship by granting the Power 5 winners a spot and leave room for someone who might have had a fluke loss. Also, someone like this season’s undefeated Central Florida could get a shot to be a college football Cinderella. 

That could be fun, right? 

They left room in the calendar to do this already, and expanding just this once wouldn’t upend the bowl system as a 16-team playoff would, which is why the latter will never happen. 

It’s all fantasy for now, but I have a feeling we’re closer to it becoming reality than we have ever been. 

Georgia beats Auburn to win SEC Championship

Shaking off a blowout loss to Auburn just three weeks ago, Jake Fromm threw two touchdown passes and No. 6 Georgia made its bid for a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 28-7 victory over the No. 4 Tigers in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday.

>> Watch the trophy presentation here

>> On WSBTV.com: PHOTOS: Bulldogs celebrate after winning the SEC Championship

Auburn (10-3) was the hottest team in the country, rolling into Atlanta after wins over Georgia and then-No. 1 Alabama in its last three games. But the Tigers were stymied by two crucial turnovers, a blocked field goal and a Georgia team eager to make up for its embarrassing 40-17 defeat on the Plains.

>> On WSBTV.com: PHOTOS: Georgia and Auburn battle in the SEC Championship

Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and freshman D'Andre Swift provided a much more effective running game for Georgia than the first meeting, which opened up things for the freshman quarterback. Fromm completed 16 of 22 passes for 183 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Isaac Nauta in the second quarter and a 6-yarder to Terry Godwin with just over 13 minutes remaining that essentially sealed Georgia's victory.

>> On WSBTV.com: PHOTOS: Fans, teams arrive for SEC Championship game

The Bulldogs claimed their first SEC title since 2005 and capped an impressive rise in Kirby Smart's second season as coach. Georgia went 8-5 a year ago, but Nick Saban's former defensive coordinator insisted he was establishing a culture that would return the team to national prominence.

>> Read more trending news

What's next for the Bulldogs? UGA will likely head to either the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl to play in a semifinal game, looking to take another step toward the team's first national title since 1980.

>> Visit WSBTV.com for a minute-by-minute look at the game

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