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Bowl season winners & losers: Justin Fields, Big 12 redemption and a little more Fun Belt

Bowl season confronted extra challenges than ever in 2020.

Eighteen school soccer bowl video games had been canceled due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in the US. That stated, the 2020-21 postseason nonetheless produced some entertaining video games, and the conclusion will characteristic No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Ohio State within the School Soccer Playoff nationwide championship recreation on Jan. 11.

Irrespective of how you’re feeling about bowl video games, there are at all times memorable video games and performances, for higher or worse.

MORE: Alabama vs. Ohio State odds for College Football Playoff championship favor Tide

This is, a take a look at the convention information with simply the nationwide championship recreation remaining:

Convention W L Pct.
Large 12 5 0 1.000
MAC 2 0 1.000
Solar Belt 4 1 .800
SEC 6 2 .750
Large Ten 3 1 .750
Mountain West 2 1 .667
Unbiased 2 1 .667
American Athletic 1 5 .167
Pac-12 0 2 .000
ACC 0 6 .000
Convention USA 0 6 .000

With that, Sporting Information appears on the winners and losers from the decreased 26-game slate.

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Winner: Justin Fields

The Ohio State quarterback turned in an unforgettable performance in his crew’s 49-28 victory over No. 2 Clemson within the CFP semifinal on the Sugar Bowl. Fields had six landing passes and 6 incompletions to complete with 385 passing yards. 4 of these landing passes got here whereas enjoying by means of an undisclosed harm, the product of a targeting hit by Clemson linebacker James Skalski. The Buckeyes avenged final 12 months’s Playoff semifinal loss to the Tigers on the Fiesta Bowl. Now Ohio State has an opportunity to win a second CFP championship.

Loser: Dabo Swinney and Clemson’s protection

Trevor Lawrence threw for 400 yards, however that wasn’t sufficient within the Tigers’ second consecutive loss on the Playoff stage. Swinney gave the Buckeyes bulletin board materials by putting them at No. 11 in his last Coaches Ballot vote. Ohio State responded by ending with 639 whole yards — 11 greater than LSU put up in its 42-25 CFP championship victory over Clemson final 12 months. That ought to present offseason motivation for Clemson because it readies for the following go-round.

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Winners: Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith

Alabama’s Heisman finalists placed on a present within the 31-14 victory towards Notre Dame on the Rose Bowl. Jones completed with 25-of-30 passing, 297 yards and 4 touchdowns. Three of these went to Smith, who had seven receptions for 130 yards. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who was named Texas’ new coach on Saturday, dialed up a masterful recreation plan that helped to place the Crimson Tide in place to win a sixth nationwide championship underneath Nick Saban.

Loser: Florida

The Gators’ high 4 receiving targets opted out of the Cotton Bowl Traditional, after which Heisman finalist Kyle Trask threw three first-half interceptions in a 55-20 blowout loss to Oklahoma. Trask may need been higher off sitting out, too. Florida coach Dan Mullen stated the crew might have opted out of the bowl recreation due to a depleted roster, after which he doubled down by saying, “The final recreation the 2020 crew performed was 11 days in the past (within the SEC championship).” That perspective calls the worth of New Yr’s Day 6 bowls additional into query.

SEMIFINAL TAKEAWAYS: Rose | Sugar

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Winner: The Large 12

The convention completed 5-0 in bowl video games, and the Sooners used their Cotton Bowl expertise as a springboard to 2021. Their offense needs to be incredible subsequent season with Spencer Rattler, Marcus Main, Seth McGowan and Marvin Mims. Lincoln Riley lastly beat an SEC crew in a bowl recreation. And Oklahoma wasn’t the one winner. Texas beat Colorado 55-23 earlier than unexpectedly firing Tom Herman and hiring Sarkisian. West Virginia and Oklahoma State additionally received. Iowa State capped off the proper bowl season with a 34-17 victory over Oregon within the Fiesta Bowl. It was fairly the flip of occasions after a disappointing string of September nonconference losses. The Sooners, Longhorns and Cyclones might be all top-10 groups heading into the 2021 season.

Loser: The ACC

Clemson and first-time member Notre Dame misplaced within the semifinals, which put a damper on an in any other case historic season for the convention. Miami misplaced 37-34 to Oklahoma State within the Cheez-It Bowl, a loss that was compounded by quarterback D’Eriq King tearing his ACL. North Carolina misplaced to Texas A&M 41-27 within the Orange Bowl, Wake Forest misplaced to Wisconsin 42-28 within the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, and N.C. State was edged by Kentucky 23-21 within the Gator Bowl. That is an 0-6 mark, tied for worst among the many conferences.

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Winner: The Solar Belt

Coastal Carolina’s undefeated bid fell brief after shedding 37-34 to Liberty in a Treatment Bowl thriller, however the convention nonetheless constructed on a robust season in its bowl video games. Appalachian State and Louisiana might end as ranked groups after their respective bowl victories towards North Texas and UTSA. The Mountaineers obtained top-of-the-line particular person bowl performances from operating again Camerun Peoples, who rushed for 317 yards and 5 touchdowns towards the Imply Inexperienced within the Myrtle Seashore Bowl. Georgia State and Georgia Southern additionally received. The convention’s 4 victories had been by a mean margin of twenty-two factors.

Loser: Convention USA

The convention completed 0-6 in bowl video games, the bottom mark among the many Group of 5 leagues. Convention champion UAB did not get to play; its Gasparilla Bowl look was canceled due to COVID-19 points at 2-8 South Carolina. Marshall and UTSA every misplaced by a landing; these had been the smallest of C-USA’s six bowl defeats.

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