Alabama beats Missouri to reach college semifinals
ATLANTA (AP) — Alabama pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Missouri 42-13 on Saturday and win its 24th Southeastern Conference championship, and can now aim for the title it wants most.
Quarterback Blake Sims threw a pair of touchdown passes while T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry each had a couple of touchdown runs for the Crimson Tide.
While Alabama and Oregon have sealed their place in the final four, the other two semifinalists will be chosen by the rankings committee on Sunday. All four of the top-ranked teams heading into the weekend won.
Reigning collegiate champion Florida State clinched its third-straight ACC championship by edging Georgia Tech and Texas Christian earned at least a share of the Big 12 championship by routing Iowa State.
Fifth-ranked Baylor pushed its claims to semi berth by defeating No.9-ranked Kansas State and No.6 Ohio State may also be in with a shot after crushing Wisconsin.
Alabama’s Amari Cooper boosted his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy as college player of the year by taking 12 receptions, the most in the 23-year history of SEC deciders.
The Crimson Tide moved into the semifinals of the new college football playoff system — against a yet-to-be-determined opponent — putting it two wins away from a third national title in eight years under coach Nick Saban.
Missouri was within one score in the third quarter, but Alabama scored three touchdowns over the final 15 minutes to lock up its semifinal spot.
Florida State’s quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns as the Seminoles pipped Georgia Tch 37-35.
Rashad Greene had seven catches for 123 yards and two scores to help extend the Seminoles’ winning streak to 29 games.
Synjyn Days ran for 67 yards and three touchdowns for Georgia Tech.
Texas Christian quarterback Trevone Boykin passed for a career-high 460 yards and caught a touchdown pass as the Horned Frogs smashed Iowa State 55-3 to keep up its bid for the semifinals.
TCU came into the weekend ranked third in the College Football Playoff selection committee’s rankings and was the only playoff contender not playing a ranked team this weekend.
A comfortable win over Iowa State was expected, and at least the Frogs avoided the type of clunker that could have caused the committee to downgrade them.
Aaron Green scored two touchdowns for TCU and Derrick Kindred returned an interception 44 yards for a score in the third quarter.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty threw for 412 yards in a 38-27 win over Kansas State.
Johnny Jefferson had two touchdown runs for the Bears, who tied with TCU for the top spot in the Big 12. While TCU was higher ranked before the weekend, the Horned Frogs did lose to Baylor in October.
Petty completed 34 of 40 passes with a touchdown and an interception, a week after suffering a concussion.
Jake Waters went 22 of 27 for 300 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas State which came up just short in its bid for a second Big 12 title in three years.
Ohio State needed an eye-catching scoreline to impress the rankings committee and make the final four, and did so with a 59-0 thrashing of Wisconsin.
Cardale Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns while Ezekiel Elliott ran for a career-high 220 yards and two scores for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has won 11 straight, this time with third-string quarterback Jones, who finished 12 of 17 and led the Buckeyes to scores on five of their first six possessions, building a 38-0 halftime lead.
It was Wisconsin’s worst loss since 1979 and its first shutout since 1997.
Oklahoma State’s Tyreek Hill returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in regulation and Ben Grogan kicked a 21-yard field goal in overtime to give the Cowboys a 38-35 win over rival Oklahoma.
Boise State claimed the Mountain West Conference championship with a 28-14 win against Fresno State, with Grant Hedrick running for two touchdowns.