PSG vs Guingamp

PSG vs Guingamp: among five postponed matches in Ligue 1 For the second straight weekend, Ligue 1 leader Paris Saint-Germain will not play after several games were postponed at the request of authorities.

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PSG’s match at Dijon on Saturday had initially been maintained, but it was among five weekend games postponed on Thursday after six matches were called off last weekend.

Saturday’s match between Amiens and Angers, as well as Sunday’s Brittany derby between Guingamp and Rennes, and Marseille’s home game against Bordeaux, will be played at a later date.

The French league said the reason for the postponements is because police forces are being stretched.

Saturday’s match between Nantes and Montpellier has also been postponed, and the match between Caen and Toulouse will take place on Tuesday.

Nice’s home game against Saint-Etienne — initially set for Friday and then postponed — will go ahead on Sunday.

It leaves Reims vs. Strasbourg as the only match left for Saturday, and Nimes vs. Lille and Lyon vs. Monaco are the only games still scheduled for Sunday.

Strasbourg are in mourning after a deadly Christmas market attack in the city on Tuesday night. A minute’s silence will be held at all football stadiums in France’s first and second divisions this weekend in memory of the victims and their families.

The six matches were postponed last week amid security concerns about anti-government protests. Those six matches are rescheduled for Jan. 15-16.

PSG will play their match against Montpellier, rescheduled from last weekend, on Jan. 15, but it may now be pushed back to February since it clashes with PSG’s planned winter training camp in Qatar, home to club owner QSI.

Manchester City vs Burton Albion

Manchester City vs Burton Albion Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News Carabao Cup ​holders Manchester City host Burton Albion in the first leg of the semi-final on Wednesdaym in what could prove to be a David vs Goliath encounter.

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Pep Guardiola’s City have steadied the ship since losing back-to-back Premier League matches against Crystal Palace and Leicester, winning their last three in all competitions and scoring 12 goals in the process.

City lifted the trophy last season, beating Arsenal 3-0 in the final to record a fifth Carabao Cup success, and will fancy their chances against League One’s Burton Albion having overcome ​Leicester City on penalties in the last round.

Remarkably, this will be the first ever meeting between these two sides, with Burton Albion earning their place in the semi-final thanks to their 1-0 away win at Middlesbrough in the previous round.

Nigel Clough’s side go into the game with two wins and two draws from their last four outings as they look to upset the odds yet again with a positive result at the Etihad.

Check out 90min’s preview for Wednesday’s clash below:

​When Is Kick Off? Wednesday 9 January​
​What Time Is Kick Off? ​19:45
​Where Is It Played? ​Etihad Stadium
​What TV Channel / Stream? ​Sky Sports Main Event
​Referee? ​Mike Dean

Hosts ​Manchester City head into Wednesday’s game with an almost fully fit squad. After the return of ​Kevin de​ Bruyne, City’s only absentees remain backup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy. The former sustained a knee injury back in mid-November and the left back isn’t due back until next month.

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Burton, on the other hand, are sweating on the returns of a number of key players ahead of the showdown at the Etihad. Midfielder Stephen Quinn was forced off after 13 minutes in Burton’s recent 4-0 rout of Rochdale, however is expected to return. Another player who missed the Rochdale clash entirely, John Brayford​, could make his return, while Kyle McFadzean and Marvin Sordell are unlikely to feature.

​Manchester City Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Zinchenko, Foden, Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero, Sane
​Burton Albion ​Collins; Hutchinson, Buxton, Turner, Brayford, Fox, Quinn, Wallace, Templeton, Akins, Harness

These two sides have never faced each other in a competitive match prior to Wednesday’s encounter, meaning history will be written at the Etihad.

The Citizens head into their semi-final match on the back of a seven-goal demolition of Rotherham in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday, meaning they continue firing on all four fronts this season.

In the ​Premier League, the club’s most recent outing saw them secure a vital 2-1 home win over Liverpool, reducing their opponent’s gap at the top of the division to four points.​ Before overcoming the league leaders, City ran out 3-1 winners away at Southampton before losing two on the bounce, in matches against Leicester City and ​Crystal Palace respectively.

Unbeaten in their last four, Burton Albion have risen to ninth place in League One under the tutelage of Nigel Clough. They finished 23rd in the Championship last season and were subsequently relegated, yet are still in the hunt for a play-off place in League One this campaign.

Their 4-0 success over Rochdale most recently was their biggest win of the season and will provide the Brewers with a much needed confidence boost ahead of the clash.

Here’s how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

Manchester City Burton Albion
Man City 2-3 Crystal Palace (22/12) ​Luton Town 2-0 Burton (22/12)
Leicester 2-1 Man City (26/12) ​Burton 3-1 Wycombe (26/12)
Southampton 1-3 Man City (30/12) ​Burton 1-1 Plymouth (29/12)
​Man City 2-1 Liverpool (03/01) ​Bristol Rovers 0-0 Burton (01/01)
​Man City 7-0 Rotherham (06/01) ​Rochdale 0-4 Burton (05/01)

Having brushed aside Championship side Rotherham 7-0 at home in the FA Cup, it seems difficult to imagine City will produce much less against a side one division lower. ​Having found their touch again, it will likely be a case of damage limitation for Burton as Man City could very well brush the floor with their League One opponents on Wednesday.

Own-goal aside, all six goals they scored in the FA Cup were by different scorers, indicating a strength in depth that means whatever team Pep Guardiola puts out, will likely be strong enough.

Burton will be hoping to go into the second leg still with an outside chance of progressing, meaning the fewer goals conceded the better as far as they are concerned. Reaching the semi-final is no mean feat, however, this could well be the end of the line for the visitors.

Real Madrid vs Leganes

Real Madrid vs. Leganes: Copa del Rey Leg 1 Live Stream, Odds, TV Info Real Madrid turn their attentions to the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, when Leganes are the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium for the first leg of their last-16 tie.

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Los Blancos are enduring a difficult season in La Liga and were beaten at home by Real Sociedad on Sunday to fall 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

They face a Leganes side who are just three points off the drop zone, and who were beaten 3-1 in the league at the Bernabeu in September.

Date: Wednesday, January 9

Time: 8:30 p.m. GMT/3:30 p.m. ET

Live Stream: BeIN Sports (U.S.)

Odds: Real Madrid (2-7), Draw (19-4), Leganes (21-2)

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Real Madrid held “crisis talks” on Monday after succumbing to their sixth La Liga defeat of the season against Real Sociedad, per EFE (h/t AS).

The result means their hopes of clinching the title are effectively over, and a win will be needed against Leganes to ease the mounting pressure on manager Santiago Solari and his underperforming team.

Solari is expected to rotate his squad for this game, which means fringe players such as Keylor Navas, Dani Ceballos, Sergio Reguilon and Federico Valverde may get rare starts.

Isco could also find himself in the starting XI. The playmaker has not yet started a league game under Solari, a situation that has attracted criticism:

New signing Brahim Diaz will also be hoping to make his debut in the cup game. The 19-year-old sealed his switch from Manchester City on Monday:

Solari will need a response from his team, who have failed to win either of their two La Liga games since being crowned FIFA World Club champions in December.

They will be expected to overcome Leganes, but Mauricio Pellegrino’s men have already pulled off a shock this season by beating champions Barcelona in La Liga in September.

Leganes will also have fond memories of last season’s Copa del Rey. They knocked Los Blancos out in the quarter-finals on away goals after a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu.

The result will give the visitors confidence they can pull off another shock against a vulnerable Madrid team, and the hosts will need a big improvement if they are to return to winning ways.

Handball World Championship

Handball World Championship 2019 Sports News in Brief: Danes quietly confident ahead of men’s Handball World Championships

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Wozniacki, meanwhile, is looking less optimistic ahead of the defence of her Australian Open crown

Going for gold on home soil (photo: Dansk Håndbold Forbund)
January 7th, 2019 10:10 am| by Christian W
When the men’s 2019 World Handball Championships commences in Denmark and Germany next week, the Danes will be tentatively confident they can compete for the title.

Despite missing superstar talisman Mikkel Hansen, Denmark crushed Hungary 33-19 in a pre-tournament friendly in Aarhus on Thursday night – the Hungarians knocked the Danes out of the quarters two years ago. However, the Hungarians bounced back to win 28-25 on Sunday night.

Following the birth of his first child on Sunday, Hansen is expected to return shortly, and he contends that only a lot of hard work will get Denmark far in the tournament.

“There are a lot of strong teams at the world championships, and if we make it through the group stage, we can face Sweden and Hungary in the middle round. And they are of a high quality,” he told BT tabloid.

READ MORE: Denmark gets another good draw

Key injuries
The Danish co-hosts, who face Norway, Austria, Chile, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia in Group C, do indeed have their own challenges – namely injuries.

Having already lost starting right back Niclas Kirkeløkke to a recent knee injury, veteran winger Hans Lindberg is nursing a calf injury and inspirational frontman René Toft Hansen could miss the first week of the tournament after picking up an injury last night.

“We have some injuries to some key people and a birth that complicates matter. Naturally, it leads to some unrest and we need to get a handle on that in order to get the squad sorted out,” Denmark’s coach Nikolaj Jacobsen told DR Nyheder.

Denmark opens the tournament against Chile on January 10 and will be favoured along with Norway to win Group C.

Hattrick of transfers
Danish striker Nadia Nadim has secured a move to French side Paris Saint-Germain. The Dane, who had her contract prematurely terminated at Manchester City at the end of 2018, managed eight goals in 28 games for the English side. Moving in the opposite direction is Katrine Veje, who has joined Arsenal after seeing out her contract at French side Montpellier. In related news, Danish international forward Martin Braithwaite, who was reported to be unhappy at English Championship side Middlesbrough, has been loaned to La Liga side Leganes.

Wozzie wins, then loses, then wins
Caroline Wozniacki capped an up-and-down week by being named Årets Sportsnavn, the Danish sports person of the year on Saturday in recognition of her winning her first grand slam tournament, the 2018 Australian Open. Wozniacki previously won the award in 2010. The week also began well when she was named Tennis Player of the Year in Denmark for the eleventh time. In fact, she has won the prize every year since 2007, aside from in 2012 when Frederik Løchte Nielsen won it thanks to his doubles triumph at Wimbledon. Meanwhile, 16-year-old starlet Clara Touson was awarded the junior player of the year for the third year in a row. But not all went well for Wozniacki, who endured a torrid start to 2019 following a 4-6, 4-6 loss to Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in the last 16 at the ASB Classic in Auckland. Andreescu is ranked 152 in the world, but can look forward to a big jump in the rankings after going on to defeat Venus Williams in the quarters and eventually losing in the final.

Danish golfers get US Masters invite
Two Danish golfers, Thorbjørn Olsesen and Lucas Bjerregaard, got a late Christmas present after being invited to take part in the 2019 US Masters. The two Danes were extended an invitation to the major at Augusta National Golf Club because they both finished 2018 in the top 50 in the world rankings (Olsesen 43 and Bjerregaard 45). The last time a Dane played in the US Masters was in 2017, when Søren Kjeldsen finished 37th. Olesen took part in the tournament in 2013 and 2014, finishing sixth on his first attempt, while Bjerregaard will be making his debut in this year’s edition in mid-April.

Danish cycling in doping shock
An unnamed Danish junior national team cyclist tested positive for a banned substance in 2018 in connection with a race abroad. According to the Danish cycling federation, the young rider has been suspended pending an investigation, but it would not name the rider because of the ongoing case. According to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, the rider is considered to be a big talent. The newspaper also revealed that the rider has asked for his suspension to be initiated, despite not admitting to the doping, in order to have time served on a prospective future suspension.

CFP Championship 2019

College Football Championship 2019: Alabama vs. Clemson Twitter Hype and Pick

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The hype for the College Football Playoff National Championship isn’t diluted because Alabama and Clemson are playing in the title game for the third time in four years.

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In fact, the excitement building up the clash at Levi’s Stadium is close to rivaling the hype for past meetings between the Crimson Tide and Tigers due to the amount of talent on both rosters.

A plethora of potential first-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft will participate in Monday’s game, and the quarterback showdown between Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be one of the ages.

Because the previous title clashes between the two sides have been decided by one possession, most experts are predicting Monday’s game to follow that pattern and come down to the wire.

Alabama and Clemson have far and away been the best two teams in college football this season, and many fans and experts, like CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee, are pumped to see what occurs Monday night:

To get us even more excited for the game, the College Football Playoff’s official Twitter account produced a hype video with clips from the previous title meetings in 2016 and 2017:

Although the two sides are level in terms of talent, the Crimson Tide have the advantage in the eyes of odds makers.

As OddsShark pointed out, the Crimson Tide are favored on the first-quarter line, first-half spread and on the game line:

But being favored by less than a touchdown hasn’t played into Alabama’s favor recently, as ESPN’s Chris Fallica showed us:

Monday marks one of the few games in which Clemson is the underdog in recent years, and there’s reason to trust the odds makers.

As SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic noted, 54 percent of the snaps the Tigers trailed on over the last four seasons were in games against the Crimson Tide:

Even with all the knowledge we have at our fingertips, it’s hard to make a prediction because the teams are evenly matched.

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel chimed in with his prediction of Alabama by seven points:

Of course, with a game like the National Championship, analysts from across the sporting spectrum are chiming in, with ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale being one of them:

If you think Monday’s game will be the last meeting between Alabama and Clemson in the National Championship for a while, you might be wrong, and as Reddit College Football pointed out, you very well could see both teams back in the same game a year from now:

Clemson’s biggest weakness in its Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama in 2018 was quarterback play.

That won’t be the case Monday, as freshman Trevor Lawrence engineers a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to hand Clemson its second national title in the Dabo Swinney era.

Alabama will come close to earning its sixth crown under Nick Saban, but it won’t be able to answer Lawrence’s final offensive masterstroke.

At some point, the defensive linemen with first-round talent will make a difference in the contest, but Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins will only be able to slow down the opposing offenses for a small window of time.

Monday’s game is going to belong to offense since each team boasts ridiculous depth at the skill positions.

Lawrence and Tagovailoa will pick out plenty of targets on scoring drives, and the most experienced skill position player of them all, Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow, ends up catching the game-winning pass from Lawrence

CFP Championship

College Football Championship 2019: Alabama vs. Clemson Twitter Hype and Pick

Click here To Watch Live Stream

The hype for the College Football Playoff National Championship isn’t diluted because Alabama and Clemson are playing in the title game for the third time in four years.

Free Sing Up To Watch Live Stream

In fact, the excitement building up the clash at Levi’s Stadium is close to rivaling the hype for past meetings between the Crimson Tide and Tigers due to the amount of talent on both rosters.

A plethora of potential first-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft will participate in Monday’s game, and the quarterback showdown between Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be one of the ages.

Because the previous title clashes between the two sides have been decided by one possession, most experts are predicting Monday’s game to follow that pattern and come down to the wire.

Alabama and Clemson have far and away been the best two teams in college football this season, and many fans and experts, like CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee, are pumped to see what occurs Monday night:

To get us even more excited for the game, the College Football Playoff’s official Twitter account produced a hype video with clips from the previous title meetings in 2016 and 2017:

Although the two sides are level in terms of talent, the Crimson Tide have the advantage in the eyes of odds makers.

As OddsShark pointed out, the Crimson Tide are favored on the first-quarter line, first-half spread and on the game line:

But being favored by less than a touchdown hasn’t played into Alabama’s favor recently, as ESPN’s Chris Fallica showed us:

Monday marks one of the few games in which Clemson is the underdog in recent years, and there’s reason to trust the odds makers.

As SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic noted, 54 percent of the snaps the Tigers trailed on over the last four seasons were in games against the Crimson Tide:

Even with all the knowledge we have at our fingertips, it’s hard to make a prediction because the teams are evenly matched.

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel chimed in with his prediction of Alabama by seven points:

Of course, with a game like the National Championship, analysts from across the sporting spectrum are chiming in, with ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale being one of them:

If you think Monday’s game will be the last meeting between Alabama and Clemson in the National Championship for a while, you might be wrong, and as Reddit College Football pointed out, you very well could see both teams back in the same game a year from now:

Clemson’s biggest weakness in its Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama in 2018 was quarterback play.

That won’t be the case Monday, as freshman Trevor Lawrence engineers a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to hand Clemson its second national title in the Dabo Swinney era.

Alabama will come close to earning its sixth crown under Nick Saban, but it won’t be able to answer Lawrence’s final offensive masterstroke.

At some point, the defensive linemen with first-round talent will make a difference in the contest, but Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins will only be able to slow down the opposing offenses for a small window of time.

Monday’s game is going to belong to offense since each team boasts ridiculous depth at the skill positions.

Lawrence and Tagovailoa will pick out plenty of targets on scoring drives, and the most experienced skill position player of them all, Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow, ends up catching the game-winning pass from Lawrence.

College Football Playoff 2019

College Football Championship 2019: Alabama vs. Clemson Twitter Hype and Pick

Click here To watch Live Stream

The hype for the College Football Playoff National Championship isn’t diluted because Alabama and Clemson are playing in the title game for the third time in four years.

Free Sing Up To watch Live STream

In fact, the excitement building up the clash at Levi’s Stadium is close to rivaling the hype for past meetings between the Crimson Tide and Tigers due to the amount of talent on both rosters.

A plethora of potential first-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft will participate in Monday’s game, and the quarterback showdown between Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be one of the ages.

Because the previous title clashes between the two sides have been decided by one possession, most experts are predicting Monday’s game to follow that pattern and come down to the wire.

Alabama and Clemson have far and away been the best two teams in college football this season, and many fans and experts, like CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee, are pumped to see what occurs Monday night:

To get us even more excited for the game, the College Football Playoff’s official Twitter account produced a hype video with clips from the previous title meetings in 2016 and 2017:

Although the two sides are level in terms of talent, the Crimson Tide have the advantage in the eyes of odds makers.

As OddsShark pointed out, the Crimson Tide are favored on the first-quarter line, first-half spread and on the game line:

But being favored by less than a touchdown hasn’t played into Alabama’s favor recently, as ESPN’s Chris Fallica showed us:

Monday marks one of the few games in which Clemson is the underdog in recent years, and there’s reason to trust the odds makers.

As SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic noted, 54 percent of the snaps the Tigers trailed on over the last four seasons were in games against the Crimson Tide:

Even with all the knowledge we have at our fingertips, it’s hard to make a prediction because the teams are evenly matched.

The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel chimed in with his prediction of Alabama by seven points:

Of course, with a game like the National Championship, analysts from across the sporting spectrum are chiming in, with ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale being one of them:

If you think Monday’s game will be the last meeting between Alabama and Clemson in the National Championship for a while, you might be wrong, and as Reddit College Football pointed out, you very well could see both teams back in the same game a year from now:

Clemson’s biggest weakness in its Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama in 2018 was quarterback play.

That won’t be the case Monday, as freshman Trevor Lawrence engineers a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to hand Clemson its second national title in the Dabo Swinney era.

Alabama will come close to earning its sixth crown under Nick Saban, but it won’t be able to answer Lawrence’s final offensive masterstroke.

At some point, the defensive linemen with first-round talent will make a difference in the contest, but Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins will only be able to slow down the opposing offenses for a small window of time.

Monday’s game is going to belong to offense since each team boasts ridiculous depth at the skill positions.

Lawrence and Tagovailoa will pick out plenty of targets on scoring drives, and the most experienced skill position player of them all, Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow, ends up catching the game-winning pass from Lawrence.

Alabama Clemson Football

How to watch Alabama vs. Clemson 2019: Time, TV channel, live stream

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Too bad, as it’s time for the fourth consecutive year of college football’s premier programs squaring off as part of the College Football Playoff. Last year, it was in the semifinal. This time, Alabama-Clemson IV decides the national title again.

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The stage was set with Alabama beating Oklahoma in one semifinal, 45-34, and Clemson hammering Notre Dame, 30-3.

It’s the first time in the five-year CFP history that both title game participants are undefeated.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

  • Who: Alabama (14-0) vs. Clemson (14-0)
  • When: 8 p.m.
  • Where: Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
  • TV: ESPN
  • Live stream: WatchESPN
  • Latest line: Alabama -5.5

ESPN will have its traditional broadcast anchored by Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on its main channel, but has a multitude of other offerings, including a SkyCam and All-22 features, along with hometown radio.

One thing that surely won’t be received well on social media: The popular Coaches Film Room has been replaced by the broadcast crew from “Monday Night Football.” So that means Jason Witten and Booger McFarland.

And it also will be interesting to see if there are many empty seats? Ticket prices had dipped as low as $130 last week, the cheapest CFP final to date (aside from traveling to northern California, of course.)

EAST LANSING — It’s an obvious week to draw some comparisons between this year’s Michigan State team and last year’s team.

Last year, Michigan State went to Ohio State as the No. 1 team in the country and fell apart in a 16-point road loss on Jan. 7.

This year, the Spartans went to Columbus at the exact same point in the season. And when Ohio State made the same run at the same point in the game, Michigan State was able to respond much differently and come out with a nine-point road win at the No. 14 team in the country.

The win as the Spartans’ eighth straight, and they rose to No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press poll. But don’t tell Tom Izzo that this year’s team is better than last year’s.

Immediately after Saturday’s win, Izzo said unprompted that this year’s team isn’t better than last year. He said the same at his Monday press conference and expanded on why he’s so adamant on the subject.

“I’m a little testy on comparing them because of all the things we went through,” Izzo said. “I don’t think last year’s team met expectations, but I also don’t think last year’s team had the same opportunity just because of the situation that surrounded everybody.”

Izzo was referring to the situation in January, when the Larry Nassar scandal engulfed the school and created questions for players and coaches. Simultaneously, an ESPN report questioned Izzo’s handling of past sexual assault claims made against his players. Then, the college basketball FBI investigation resulted in a charge that Miles Bridges’ family took money from an agent and led to a brief suspension for Bridges before he was reinstated.

After all of that, Michigan State eventually lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Syracuse. Izzo has said often since then that off-court issues affected the end of the season. Even with that team’s successor playing as well as could be expected at this point in the season, it’s clear that Izzo isn’t over that loss from a team that won 30 games and an outright Big Ten title.

“It’ll sadden me until the day I die that last year’s team didn’t get to totally show what they were,” Izzo said.

While Izzo won’t say it’s better than last year’s team, there’s plenty about this team that’s pleased him. After losing two lottery picks in Bridges and Jaren Jackson Jr., Izzo said the growth and maturity of players like Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and Nick Ward has helped make up for the losses. He said he’s been happy with his team’s consistency on both ends of the floor.

At the end of the year, a discussion could be had about comparing the two teams. But in early January, Izzo said there’s still no comparison.

“I hope at the end of the year we’re talking about this team being as good as that team and sometimes as good doesn’t mean what happens in the final number of wins or losses, it means how that team is playing at the end,” Izzo said. “Last year, we were going down a little bit. This year I hope we’re going to peak at the end.”

Michigan State plays next at home on Tuesday against Purdue.

Michigan State notes

Langford update: Shooting guard Joshua Langford will miss his third straight game on Tuesday as he continues to deal with an ankle injury, Izzo said on Monday. His status for the Spartans’ Sunday game against Penn State is unsure.

Izzo said again on Monday that Langford received encouraging news during a visit to a specialist last week but that he still needs to respond well to treatment before he’s able to return to action.

“He’s continuing to get treatment and rest and we’re going to see where that takes us in the next week or so,” Izzo said.

Ward Big Ten player of the week: Ward was named the Big Ten player of the week this week after scoring 21 points against both Northwestern and Ohio State, and averaging 7.5 rebounds per game while hitting 60 percent of his shots. It’s his third such honor of his career and first of this season. He’s the second straight player to win the award, after Winston did last year.

Alabama vs Clemson

Clemson vs Alabama : It is Monday morning at San Jose’s SAP Center. The home of the Sharks, at the moment, is the home of the ClemsonTigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, who are still more than 48 hours away from their College Football Playoff Championship showdown. In rink-side seats, Terry and Donnie Whitcomb sit shoulder to shoulder.

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The brothers are dressed in opposing football jerseys as they watch their teams go through the media day motions on the floor below. Terry, dressed in the crimson No. 12 of Joe Namath, says he started school at Alabama in 1964, when Namath led the Tide to a national title. Donnie, dressed in the orange No. 4 of Deshaun Watson — or, wait, he says it’s also for Steve Fuller — was a freshman at Clemsontwo years later. That fall, on Oct. 8, 1966, the Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa for the first time in 30 years.

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“We beat their ass,” Terry brags, correctly using the Upstate South Carolina pronunciation of “ay-ice.” “We always beat you, right, Donnie? Then we stopped playing.”

“For pretty much our whole lives, Clemson and Alabama never played,” Donnie adds, turning to his brother. “Now we play all the time — every January like clockwork, don’t we?”

“Yep,” big bro responds. “And we’re still gonna beat y’all’s ay-ice.”

Monday night (8 ET, ESPN) marks the fourth straight College Football Playoff matchup between Clemson and Alabama and the third in the national title game. The past five seasons, they have been the two best programs in college football, and that is inarguable. The winner of this latest round in their heavyweight bout might very well seize the upper hand in the “best team of college football’s most competitive era” debate. That is, at least until the next time they meet. Which will probably be one year from now.

“We do our work two different ways, but we always seem to end up right back here together in the big games, don’t we?” Todd Bates says. These days, he’s the assistant coach who oversees Clemson’s vaunted defensive line. But back in the day, he was the anchor of the D-line and team co-captain at Alabama. “I don’t care what team you root for, I think everyone knows that when these two teams in these two uniforms take the field together, that’s as good as it gets. That’s the biggest game in college football.”

Clemson versus Bama has indeed become the embodiment of the modern game. Both universities spend more than $110 million annually on athletics (Alabama is closer to $160 million). Both have dramatically increased their annual football recruiting budgets over the past decade. Both do their work in football facilities that are perpetual construction sites (Clemson’s still-new $55 million football building famously includes a giant slide, putt-putt course and whiffle ball field). Their records the past four seasons: Clemson 54-4, Alabama 55-3. The difference comes from Clemson’s two playoff losses to Alabamaagainst Bama’s one playoff loss to Clemson.

In 2019, college football will celebrate its 150th season in no small part by looking back on the sport’s great, old rivalries: contests that have been played for a century or more, built on a foundation of annual clashes held in classically concrete on-campus coliseums. Highlights of the greatest moments in those series will be recalled via grainy newsreel footage and scratchy AM radio play-by-play calls.

Clemson versus Bama has none of that. The résumé of this rivalry has been written almost entirely within the tiny, five-year timeline of the College Football Playoff, with every game played in sparkling, neutral-site, state-of-the-art NFL stadiums and broadcast around the world via Ultra 4K HD Megacasts against a background of chattering social media commentary.

“You can’t work at Alabama or at Clemson and not have a real appreciation for the history of college football. I mean, look at where I go to work every day. It feels like a museum,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban says. “But it really is remarkable that these two teams haven’t played all that much. Really, hardly at all until now.”

Monday night will be only the 19th time the Tigers and the Tide have met on the field. That’s one fewer than Clemson has played Davidson College and two games shy of Alabama’s all-time series with Howard.

The first CFP meeting — Alabama’s thrilling 45-40 victory in the 2016 National Championship — was only the teams’ second contest since 1975. Prior to Alabama’s victory in September of ’75, they played four in a row in 1966-69 (Alabama won them all), four times in the 1930s (Alabama won all those too) and five times between 1900 and 1913. In the all-time series, Clemson won the first three games, in 1900, ’04 and ’05. The Tigers then lost the next 13, a slump that started on Oct. 16, 1909, Howard Taft’s first fall in the White House, and didn’t end until they won the CFP title game rematch on Jan. 9, 2017, a couple weeks before Donald Trump was sworn into the job.

Despite the sparseness of head-to-head competition, these two classically Southern teams have a football history that is intricately intertwined. Of Clemson’s past nine head coaches, five played for Alabama, including the school’s holy orange triumvirate: Frank Howard, Danny Ford and current head coach Dabo Swinney. Alabama’s perpetually bronzed legend, Bear Bryant, was Howard’s roommate when they played together for the Tide in the 1930s. Bryant mentored Ford when the 30-year-old former Bama player found himself Clemson’s head coach in 1978. Ford was thrust into that job when boss Charley Pell left Clemson for Florida. Pell also played for Bryant on the 1961 national title team. Swinney learned the game from Bryant disciple Gene Stallings as a player on Alabama’s 1992 national championship squad. The Alabama athletic director during those years was Hootie Ingram, who worked under Howard at Clemson and succeeded him as head coach for three seasons, trademarking the famous Tiger Paw logo before returning to his alma mater to work with Bryant.

If Alabama fans don’t believe that’s enough to call Clemson a rival, then perhaps this will do the trick: Clemson football was founded in 1896 by professor-turned-coach-turned-university-president Walter Riggs. He molded the new team, mascot, colors and even the layout of the Clemson campus based on his experiences at his alma mater, Auburn, aka Alabama’s archenemy.

“The ties run so deep between the two schools, it’s crazy,” Swinney says, revealing that he met Frank Howard — the man whose name is on the Death Valley rock that Swinney touches before leading his team down The Hill on autumn Saturdays — when he was 10 years old. In his office, he keeps a photo of Howard eating dinner with his family. “My wide receivers coach at Alabama was Woody McCorvey, who was at Clemson with all those great teams in the 1980s and came to Alabama with Coach Stallings. Woody is my right-hand man now [Clemson’s football administrator]. [Associate head coach] Danny Pearman played at Clemson and came to Alabama with Woody. A bunch of guys did that. If we start listing all the assistant coaches who have gone back and forth, we’ll be here all night. I always knew about Clemson, but those guys really taught me about it. They loved it. So I knew there had to be something to it. I just needed to see it for myself.”

The coach smirks a little as he continues. “The truth is, there are a lot of closet Clemson fans in Alabama and always have been. That was easy to pull off when we never played. Now we’re making life a little rough on them. We’re making them have to choose. And that’s fine by me!”

For example, Swinney’s “second father,” Gene Stallings, likes to drop in to visit his apprentice from time to time. When he does, he dons an orange Clemson jacket as he stands on the sideline at practice. Likewise, Danny Ford used to enjoy wearing the 1973 national title ring he earned as an Alabama assistant coach under Bryant alongside the ’81 ring he won as Clemson’s head coach. No one had a problem with those wardrobe choices six years ago. “If I do it now, people are like, ‘Well, what the hell, Danny?!’” says Ford, who still lives near campus. “It all changed when we started playing each other all the time.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t call it a house divided,” says Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn, who played with Swinney at Alabama, as did defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall. He grins as he continues, looking over at Hall, who is eavesdropping nearby. “I would call it many houses divided.”

“That’s the truth,” Hall responds. He was the leading tackler of the Tide’s legendary ’92 defense. This is his first season on his old teammate’s Clemson staff. “I won a ring at Alabama. Now I want to win one at Clemson. I love my alma mater. I always will. But there will be no split loyalties Monday night.”

Maybe not on the sideline or in the Conn, Hall, Bates and Swinney homes. But the homes and hometowns of some of the players might be in for an internal tug-o-war. Three players on Alabama’s roster hail from South Carolina, and six Clemson players grew up in the Yellowhammer State.

“My mom and my dad are Clemson people, and I grew up wearing Clemson colors, but I’m in crimson now,” says Stephon Wynn Jr, who grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, the town everyone drives through to get to games in Death Valley. His father, Stephon Sr., played in that stadium as a tight end for the Tigers. “I know they are rooting for me on Monday night, but some of my other friends and family, I don’t know, man.”

That’s the same song recited by many others, such as James and Jacob Edwards, twin brothers from Birmingham suburb Vestavia Hills. In fact, five of the six Alabama-to-Clemson defectors are from the greater Birmingham area, just like the head coach who recruited them. “Most of our family supports us,” says James Edwards, placing extra emphasis on the word “most.” “We’ve managed to convert most of our family. The friends have been harder to bring along.”

Edwards says he made the switch to orange early in his high school days, when Clemson caught his eye with its on-field performance against, yep, Alabama. The story was the same for Alabama freshman punter Skyler DeLong, who grew up in Fort Mill, South Carolina, which sits just below the North Carolina border. “Growing up where I did, you either liked Clemson or South Carolina, but I didn’t root for either one,” he says. Alabama caught his eye, in no small part because of its success against his least favorite of the two state schools. “Now I hate Clemson. I get sick of hearing about them. I want to beat them so bad, just so I go home and talk smack to my friends I grew up with.”

One of those friends is Clemson placekicker B.T. Potter. DeLong and Potter were middle school soccer teammates. When both were cut from their opposing high school soccer teams, they took up kicking. They had the same kicking coach, so they worked out together. As they worked out and their teams played separate schedules, they talked a lot of smack. When graduation came last spring, they chose opposite sides of college football’s greatest new rivalry. This week, the freshmen have been trading smack once again.

As with all things in this new age of Clemson versus Alabama, it comes with considerably higher intensity.

“I think that in order to truly prove that you are a great team, you have to have someone who will push you there,” Saban says Saturday as the Whitcomb brothers watch and listen. “I think about the greatest teams I can remember, and they almost all had someone who was right there with them. That’s why you play or coach football or any other sport: to face the best.”

Ali had Frazier. The Yankees had the Dodgers. Magic had Bird. The Beatles had the Rolling Stones. Alabama has plenty of SEC rivalries to keep it on its toes. But it’s the Tide’s newest nemesis that takes them to the next level each and every January.

“Iron sharpens iron, right?” Swinney says. “Well, if you want to be mentioned in the same sentence with Alabama, you better be pretty dang sharp. I don’t know about making history and all that stuff, but if we have the kind of game Monday night that we’ve had on this stage before, then I think one day people will have to look back on Clemsonversus Alabama as one [of] the great ones. I hope we give them the kind of game that makes people have to say that.”

Clemson vs Alabama

Clemson vs Alabama : It is Monday morning at San Jose’s SAP Center. The home of the Sharks, at the moment, is the home of the ClemsonTigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, who are still more than 48 hours away from their College Football Playoff Championship showdown. In rink-side seats, Terry and Donnie Whitcomb sit shoulder to shoulder.

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The brothers are dressed in opposing football jerseys as they watch their teams go through the media day motions on the floor below. Terry, dressed in the crimson No. 12 of Joe Namath, says he started school at Alabama in 1964, when Namath led the Tide to a national title. Donnie, dressed in the orange No. 4 of Deshaun Watson — or, wait, he says it’s also for Steve Fuller — was a freshman at Clemsontwo years later. That fall, on Oct. 8, 1966, the Tigers traveled to Tuscaloosa for the first time in 30 years.

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“We beat their ass,” Terry brags, correctly using the Upstate South Carolina pronunciation of “ay-ice.” “We always beat you, right, Donnie? Then we stopped playing.”

“For pretty much our whole lives, Clemson and Alabama never played,” Donnie adds, turning to his brother. “Now we play all the time — every January like clockwork, don’t we?”

“Yep,” big bro responds. “And we’re still gonna beat y’all’s ay-ice.”

Monday night (8 ET, ESPN) marks the fourth straight College Football Playoff matchup between Clemson and Alabama and the third in the national title game. The past five seasons, they have been the two best programs in college football, and that is inarguable. The winner of this latest round in their heavyweight bout might very well seize the upper hand in the “best team of college football’s most competitive era” debate. That is, at least until the next time they meet. Which will probably be one year from now.

“We do our work two different ways, but we always seem to end up right back here together in the big games, don’t we?” Todd Bates says. These days, he’s the assistant coach who oversees Clemson’s vaunted defensive line. But back in the day, he was the anchor of the D-line and team co-captain at Alabama. “I don’t care what team you root for, I think everyone knows that when these two teams in these two uniforms take the field together, that’s as good as it gets. That’s the biggest game in college football.”

Clemson versus Bama has indeed become the embodiment of the modern game. Both universities spend more than $110 million annually on athletics (Alabama is closer to $160 million). Both have dramatically increased their annual football recruiting budgets over the past decade. Both do their work in football facilities that are perpetual construction sites (Clemson’s still-new $55 million football building famously includes a giant slide, putt-putt course and whiffle ball field). Their records the past four seasons: Clemson 54-4, Alabama 55-3. The difference comes from Clemson’s two playoff losses to Alabamaagainst Bama’s one playoff loss to Clemson.

In 2019, college football will celebrate its 150th season in no small part by looking back on the sport’s great, old rivalries: contests that have been played for a century or more, built on a foundation of annual clashes held in classically concrete on-campus coliseums. Highlights of the greatest moments in those series will be recalled via grainy newsreel footage and scratchy AM radio play-by-play calls.

Clemson versus Bama has none of that. The résumé of this rivalry has been written almost entirely within the tiny, five-year timeline of the College Football Playoff, with every game played in sparkling, neutral-site, state-of-the-art NFL stadiums and broadcast around the world via Ultra 4K HD Megacasts against a background of chattering social media commentary.

“You can’t work at Alabama or at Clemson and not have a real appreciation for the history of college football. I mean, look at where I go to work every day. It feels like a museum,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban says. “But it really is remarkable that these two teams haven’t played all that much. Really, hardly at all until now.”

Monday night will be only the 19th time the Tigers and the Tide have met on the field. That’s one fewer than Clemson has played Davidson College and two games shy of Alabama’s all-time series with Howard.

The first CFP meeting — Alabama’s thrilling 45-40 victory in the 2016 National Championship — was only the teams’ second contest since 1975. Prior to Alabama’s victory in September of ’75, they played four in a row in 1966-69 (Alabama won them all), four times in the 1930s (Alabama won all those too) and five times between 1900 and 1913. In the all-time series, Clemson won the first three games, in 1900, ’04 and ’05. The Tigers then lost the next 13, a slump that started on Oct. 16, 1909, Howard Taft’s first fall in the White House, and didn’t end until they won the CFP title game rematch on Jan. 9, 2017, a couple weeks before Donald Trump was sworn into the job.

Despite the sparseness of head-to-head competition, these two classically Southern teams have a football history that is intricately intertwined. Of Clemson’s past nine head coaches, five played for Alabama, including the school’s holy orange triumvirate: Frank Howard, Danny Ford and current head coach Dabo Swinney. Alabama’s perpetually bronzed legend, Bear Bryant, was Howard’s roommate when they played together for the Tide in the 1930s. Bryant mentored Ford when the 30-year-old former Bama player found himself Clemson’s head coach in 1978. Ford was thrust into that job when boss Charley Pell left Clemson for Florida. Pell also played for Bryant on the 1961 national title team. Swinney learned the game from Bryant disciple Gene Stallings as a player on Alabama’s 1992 national championship squad. The Alabama athletic director during those years was Hootie Ingram, who worked under Howard at Clemson and succeeded him as head coach for three seasons, trademarking the famous Tiger Paw logo before returning to his alma mater to work with Bryant.

If Alabama fans don’t believe that’s enough to call Clemson a rival, then perhaps this will do the trick: Clemson football was founded in 1896 by professor-turned-coach-turned-university-president Walter Riggs. He molded the new team, mascot, colors and even the layout of the Clemson campus based on his experiences at his alma mater, Auburn, aka Alabama’s archenemy.

“The ties run so deep between the two schools, it’s crazy,” Swinney says, revealing that he met Frank Howard — the man whose name is on the Death Valley rock that Swinney touches before leading his team down The Hill on autumn Saturdays — when he was 10 years old. In his office, he keeps a photo of Howard eating dinner with his family. “My wide receivers coach at Alabama was Woody McCorvey, who was at Clemson with all those great teams in the 1980s and came to Alabama with Coach Stallings. Woody is my right-hand man now [Clemson’s football administrator]. [Associate head coach] Danny Pearman played at Clemson and came to Alabama with Woody. A bunch of guys did that. If we start listing all the assistant coaches who have gone back and forth, we’ll be here all night. I always knew about Clemson, but those guys really taught me about it. They loved it. So I knew there had to be something to it. I just needed to see it for myself.”

The coach smirks a little as he continues. “The truth is, there are a lot of closet Clemson fans in Alabama and always have been. That was easy to pull off when we never played. Now we’re making life a little rough on them. We’re making them have to choose. And that’s fine by me!”

For example, Swinney’s “second father,” Gene Stallings, likes to drop in to visit his apprentice from time to time. When he does, he dons an orange Clemson jacket as he stands on the sideline at practice. Likewise, Danny Ford used to enjoy wearing the 1973 national title ring he earned as an Alabama assistant coach under Bryant alongside the ’81 ring he won as Clemson’s head coach. No one had a problem with those wardrobe choices six years ago. “If I do it now, people are like, ‘Well, what the hell, Danny?!’” says Ford, who still lives near campus. “It all changed when we started playing each other all the time.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t call it a house divided,” says Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn, who played with Swinney at Alabama, as did defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall. He grins as he continues, looking over at Hall, who is eavesdropping nearby. “I would call it many houses divided.”

“That’s the truth,” Hall responds. He was the leading tackler of the Tide’s legendary ’92 defense. This is his first season on his old teammate’s Clemson staff. “I won a ring at Alabama. Now I want to win one at Clemson. I love my alma mater. I always will. But there will be no split loyalties Monday night.”

Maybe not on the sideline or in the Conn, Hall, Bates and Swinney homes. But the homes and hometowns of some of the players might be in for an internal tug-o-war. Three players on Alabama’s roster hail from South Carolina, and six Clemson players grew up in the Yellowhammer State.

“My mom and my dad are Clemson people, and I grew up wearing Clemson colors, but I’m in crimson now,” says Stephon Wynn Jr, who grew up in Anderson, South Carolina, the town everyone drives through to get to games in Death Valley. His father, Stephon Sr., played in that stadium as a tight end for the Tigers. “I know they are rooting for me on Monday night, but some of my other friends and family, I don’t know, man.”

That’s the same song recited by many others, such as James and Jacob Edwards, twin brothers from Birmingham suburb Vestavia Hills. In fact, five of the six Alabama-to-Clemson defectors are from the greater Birmingham area, just like the head coach who recruited them. “Most of our family supports us,” says James Edwards, placing extra emphasis on the word “most.” “We’ve managed to convert most of our family. The friends have been harder to bring along.”

Edwards says he made the switch to orange early in his high school days, when Clemson caught his eye with its on-field performance against, yep, Alabama. The story was the same for Alabama freshman punter Skyler DeLong, who grew up in Fort Mill, South Carolina, which sits just below the North Carolina border. “Growing up where I did, you either liked Clemson or South Carolina, but I didn’t root for either one,” he says. Alabama caught his eye, in no small part because of its success against his least favorite of the two state schools. “Now I hate Clemson. I get sick of hearing about them. I want to beat them so bad, just so I go home and talk smack to my friends I grew up with.”

One of those friends is Clemson placekicker B.T. Potter. DeLong and Potter were middle school soccer teammates. When both were cut from their opposing high school soccer teams, they took up kicking. They had the same kicking coach, so they worked out together. As they worked out and their teams played separate schedules, they talked a lot of smack. When graduation came last spring, they chose opposite sides of college football’s greatest new rivalry. This week, the freshmen have been trading smack once again.

As with all things in this new age of Clemson versus Alabama, it comes with considerably higher intensity.

“I think that in order to truly prove that you are a great team, you have to have someone who will push you there,” Saban says Saturday as the Whitcomb brothers watch and listen. “I think about the greatest teams I can remember, and they almost all had someone who was right there with them. That’s why you play or coach football or any other sport: to face the best.”

Ali had Frazier. The Yankees had the Dodgers. Magic had Bird. The Beatles had the Rolling Stones. Alabama has plenty of SEC rivalries to keep it on its toes. But it’s the Tide’s newest nemesis that takes them to the next level each and every January.

“Iron sharpens iron, right?” Swinney says. “Well, if you want to be mentioned in the same sentence with Alabama, you better be pretty dang sharp. I don’t know about making history and all that stuff, but if we have the kind of game Monday night that we’ve had on this stage before, then I think one day people will have to look back on Clemsonversus Alabama as one [of] the great ones. I hope we give them the kind of game that makes people have to say that.”