1. COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Four days until CFP semifinal in Miami: It’s No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Oklahoma on New Year’s Eve in a College Football Playoff semifinal in the Orange Bowl game at Dolphins stadium. Only thing keeping it from being the perfect matchup is that Miami fans don’t get a chance to boo Nick Saban.
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UM can’t end postseason drought in Sun Bowl: The Canes lost 20-14 against Washington State on Saturday in El Paso, losing its sixth consecutive bowl. UM’s last postseason win had been after the 2006 season. Counting interim guys, that was six coaches ago.
Red-hot Cats try to extend win streak on Sunday: The Panthers have won five in a row and 11 of their past 14 to surge within two points of second place in the NHL’s East playoff race entering Sunday’s game against Columbus. If the Cats were any hotter, the ice would be melting under their skates.
Heat stands precariously at season’s one-third mark: Entering the weekend, Miami was only one game from second place in the East but also only one game from 10th place. Remember phone booths? Picture 10 people crammed into one. That’s the Eastern Conference standings.
Miami hosts Colts on Sunday in next-to-last game: You are a true Dolfan if you show up Sunday to watch a 5-9 team host the Andrew Luck-less Colts. For a seventh consecutive season, the Dolphins, in lieu of the gift of a playoff season, reward their fans with a metaphorical lump of coal.
Read an updated, expanded Hot Button Top 10 every Sunday in Greg Cote’s Random Evidence blog.