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Volume 25 No. 24
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Georgia-Oklahoma Rose Bowl Game Finally Delivers Semifinal Thriller For CFP

Last night's Georgia-Oklahoma Rose Bowl produced an "overtime thriller that was exactly what a College Football Playoff semifinal is supposed to be" and was one of the "greatest Granddaddies of Them All," according to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com. There have been "too many forgettable games in CFP semifinals the past two seasons." But viewers were "afraid to blink" during the game yesterday, as it "had everything" (ESPN.com, 1/1). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ben Cohen wrote there is "no way to capture what happened in the Rose Bowl without omitting something else that contributed to the whiplash" in the 54-48 game (WSJ.com, 1/1). YAHOO SPORTS' Pete Thamel wrote the matchup "delivered a raucous, dizzying and tense game, a four-hour manic sprint that matched the historic setting" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/1). In Las Vegas, Ed Graney writes under the header, "In Flawed Playoffs, Georgia-Oklahoma Was Good For College Football" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 1/2). In California, Joey Kaufman writes a year after the "highest-scoring Rose Bowl ever played" with USC-Penn State, another "classic unfolded on a New Year’s Day afternoon" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/2). In N.Y., Howie Kussoy writes in 104 years, even the Rose Bowl had "never seen" anything like yesterday's game (N.Y. POST, 1/2). In San Diego, Bryce Miller writes the game was a "new-age fireworks show" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/2). In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes the Rose Bowl "wasn't Big 10 versus Pac-12, but it was giant versus giant that delivered in the rosiest of traditions" (L.A. TIMES, 1/2).

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: USA TODAY's George Schroeder notes Georgia "gets a shot at its first national championship" since '80. And it "will happen in the very familiar, probably very friendly confines of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium" -- where the team won the SEC championship last month and where it will "likely have a sizable home-field advantage" (USA TODAY, 1/2). In Athens, Marc Weiszer writes the game last night is "sure to go down as one of the most memorable" in UGA's history (ATHENS BANNER-HERALD, 1/2). In Atlanta, Mark Bradley writes the game was "one of the greatest moments" in Georgia's history (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/2).