Sugar Bowl: Teams and fans ready for big entrance into Superdome

Call it New Orleans voodoo, or superior game planning - either way - Crimson Tide fans were ecstatic this game went their way. Upon returning to Cleveland, LeBron James led the Cavaliers to the Finals in 2015, but Steph Curry lifted the Warriors to the title, 4-2.

Sony Michel's 27-yard touchdown run in double overtime gave Georgia a 54-48 win over Oklahoma in a Rose Bowl thriller. The Tigers head to New Orleans having won their last six games.

Fans were upset about the late starting time for the Sugar Bowl.

And no matter that it had been invited to the big four-team tournament despite not advancing to the SEC Championship Game and the fact that its record against Auburn this season is not almost as good as, say, Central Florida's. The decision was met with intense criticism from many across the sports world, but they all seem mighty quiet now that the Tide rolled over what was the best team in college football this year.

This year's battle should be a sensational one, as Clemson comes into the playoff game with a 12-1 record, and that included a victory over Miami in the ACC Championship Game.

The Tigers, though, held practice outside at Tulane instead of inside at the stadium where their College Football Playoff game is being played.

After three combined punts to open the game, the Tide drew first blood.

On the very next play from scrimmage, Alabama defensive back Mack Wilson caught a deflected Clemson pass and raced into the end zone for a 24-6 lead. Alabama finished with nine tackles for loss on a night Clemson ran the ball only 33 times.

The Tigers got on the board in the second quarter with a 44-yard field goal by Alex Spence.

The Tide needed only six plays to extend their lead to 17-6, after Hurts found Payne for a 1-yard touchdown pass.

Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts fumbled when he tried to pull the ball back after he'd started to hand off to Damien Harris.

The two sides traded punts before Alabama took over at its own 41-yard line, where UA put together a drive down to the Clemson 20-yard line where Pappanastos' field-goal attempt hit off the left upright and bounced out to keep the score at 10-3 heading into the half.

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne (94) catches a touchdown pass during the third quarter against the Clemson Tigers in the 2018 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The pair were both a part of Mike DuBose's first Alabama staff in 1997, Swinney a holdover receivers coach from Stallings' staff, and Pruitt selected to be a graduate assistant after essentially running the Tide's scout team defense for two years as a player.

The two teams previous match-ups in the playoff were in the championship game.

Georgia is going to the national championship game.

Sure, there have been teams to beat Nick Saban two straight times throughout his career, but not for a national title.

  • Julie Sanders