Be careful what you wish for, Oklahoma fans.
The Sooners (12-1) survived a spunky Texas team to claim an unprecedented fourth consecutive Big 12 title on Saturday.
They faced arguably an even tougher adversary — public opinion — on Sunday after the team earned a spot in one of the College Football Playoff semifinals. The Sooners' reward is a matchup against No. 1 Alabama (13-0) during the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Crimson Tide cruised through much of the 2018 season, overwhelming opponents at a record-breaking pace with an impressive offense that averaged close to 48 points per game.
The Tide are led by Tua Tagovailoa, the dual-threat Heisman hopeful quarterback, and a slew of talented skill-position players, including five different receivers with at least 30 catches. Jerry Jeudy (1,103 yards, 12 touchdowns), Jaylen Waddle (803 yards) and Henry Ruggs III (724 yards) headline the Tide's potent receivers unit.
Alabama is an early two-touchdown favorite despite the fact coach Nick Saban said an MRI confirmed Tagovailoa suffered a high ankle sprain that could require a scope and take up to two weeks to heal. Saban said Tagovailoa should be healthy by the time the Tide starts bowl practices.
It's grim news for an Oklahoma defense that's had more bad reviews than an elementary school production of Les Miserables.
The Sooners rank No. 108 out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense, allowing 448 yards per game this season. Alabama, meanwhile, has put up at least that many yards during 11 of its 13 games this season.
While stopping people on defense may be a problem, scoring enough points hasn't been an issue for the Sooners.
Oklahoma leads the country in offense, averaging more than 577 yards per game this season thanks, in part, to the outstanding play of quarterback Kyler Murray.
Murray will be joining Tagovailoa in New York for the Dec. 8 Heisman Trophy ceremony after setting the school's single-season record for total offense (4,945 yards), surpassing Baker Mayfield, who won the Heisman last season.
Prediction: Alabama 35, Oklahoma 30
Clemson (13-0), meanwhile, is back in the playoff semifinals for the fourth consecutive year after the Tigers ran up, over and through a mediocre slate of ACC teams.
Dabo Swinney's team has one of the most dominant defenses in the country, holding opponents to just under 14 points and 280 yards per game.
With a front defensive line made up of five potential NFL first-rounders such as Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant, it's easy to see why Clemson is second in the country in sacks (45).
The group will test Notre Dame (12-0), which earned its first trip to the four-team playoff. The Irish put together their best season since 2012 when the team played Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.
Brian Kelly's gamble to replace quarterback Brandon Wimbush three games into the season with Ian Book has paid off in a big way, with the offense taking flight under the junior's guidance.
Clemson knows all too well how tough it can be to make a quarterback switch midseason as Swinney benched incumbent Kelly Bryant in favor of true freshman Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence responded with an outstanding season and claimed ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
Much like with Alabama, Clemson opens as a double-digit favorite against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Swinney said the key will be staying focused on preparing for a tough matchup.
"There's a lot of distractions. There's a lot of things that come with being a part of this — a lot of things that you have to manage that aren't in kind of a normal game," Swinney said of returning to the semifinals.
Prediction: Clemson 24, Notre Dame 21