In the 2015 National Championship, Clemson covered as a 6.5-point underdog in a 45-40 loss. And past year, in a semifinal game, the Tide won and covered as 3.5-point favorites in a 24-6 victory.
Even Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who traditionally prefers to focus on the day-to-day rather than get ahead of himself and look too far down the road, admitted he at least partially anticipated there might be a Round 4 between the Tide and Tigers coming this time of year. Against the best defense he had faced all season, Lawrence completed 27 of 39 passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions.
It will be Alabama and Clemson, again.
Both teams will enter 14-0.
Such sentiments only grew stronger across the board as Oklahoma fell to Alabama in the Orange Bowl 28-0, but it bears noting that the Bulldogs loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game had some part in their current ranking. 18 Mississippi State on November 10 when they posted their second consecutive shutout victory.
The Fighting Irish were in their eighth Cotton Bowl - they have played in no other bowl more often.
The touchdown gave Clemson a 23-3 lead on the Irish heading into halftime, and it sure looks like the Tigers are 30 minutes away from moving on to another title game with a host of freshmen and sophomores leading the way. Clemson may or may not be able to knock off the Tide outright, but is a strong bet to keep this game very close.