Capital One Orange Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal):
(4) Oklahoma (11 - 1) 28 vs. (1) Clemson (13 - 0) 27: This is possibly the most difficult pick of the season. Two balanced teams, two dual-threat quarterbacks, two great defenses and a couple of storied programs. Okay, it's been thirty-four years since a Clemson national championship, but it's still a premier football school. Oklahoma is one inexplicable loss to Texas from probably being the number one seed themselves. Clemson's defense is ranked much higher than the Sooners', but the Tigers didn't face nearly the caliber of offensive teams that Oklahoma had to stop. By just the narrowest of margins, I'm taking Oklahoma in what should be a great football game.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl (College Football Playoff Semifinal):
(3) Michigan State (12 - 1) 20 vs. (2) Alabama (12 - 1) 31: Alabama to me is just a grown up Michigan State. The Tide are almost impossible to generate a running game on, thus turning their opponents one-dimensional on offense. As good as Connor Cook is for the Spartans, he's not enough to carry Michigan State to victory. I look for Heisman winner Derrick Henry to take over in the fourth quarter, making a close game a runaway. There's no way Alabama will let themselves come in flat like Ohio State did against the Spartans. But the Tide isn't dominant enough to withstand turnovers, so if they give the ball back to Michigan State, this one could be close.