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Historic Playoff: Alabama-Cincinnati, Michigan-Georgia

Alabama wide receiver Slade Bolden (18) celebrates during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. Alabama won 41-24. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama wide receiver Slade Bolden (18) celebrates during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. Alabama won 41-24. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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Irving, Texas (AP) -- As college football's postseason evolved from disconnected bowls to the BCS to the current four-team playoff, it never truly embraced the underdog the way the NCAA basketball tournament does.

From Tulane to Utah, Boise State to TCU and then UCF, the upstarts occasionally got a chance to play a blue blood in a big bowl game, but they never entered the postseason with a legitimate opportunity to win a national championship.