college football

Keith Jackson was one of sports' great voices, and one of its most popular play-by-play announcers. He was considered the voice of college football by several generations or watchers.

Jackson died Friday. He was 89.

He began calling college football games for ABC Sports when it acquired the broadcast rights for NCAA football in 1966.

He also worked NFL and NBA games, World Series, Winter and Summer Olympics and auto racing. For the job, he traveled to 31 countries for ABC's Wide World of Sports.

The sitting president did not receive a word from hip-hop's reigning prophet last night.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The Crimson Tide eked their way into the NCAA football playoffs this year, but they rolled into a third straight national title game Monday night against nemesis Clemson.

Alabama dominated the Sugar Bowl — a rematch of the 2016 and 2017 title games, which the Tide and Tigers split — from the start, but the 10-6 halftime score suggested another nailbiter was possible. Alabama's defensive players erased that possibility in a span of seconds in the third quarter.

Becca Longo won't be the first female kicker in college football, but she's believed to be the first to earn a scholarship in Division I or II, after Longo, 18, signed a letter of intent to play for Adams State University in Colorado next year.

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Buried amid the excitement of competing for a Big 12 championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff last season was the fact that Oklahoma State struggled on defense at times, surrendering 151 points in its final three games — all of them losses.

On top of that, the Cowboys lost their best defensive player to graduation as All-American defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, moved on to the NFL.

Coach Mike Gundy and his staff are hoping that increased depth developing at several positions will lead to better play this season.

Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 in Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship, giving the Crimson Tide their fourth title in seven seasons. Heisman-winning running back Derrick Henry ran for 158 yards and scored three touchdowns for Alabama.

It was a remarkably high-scoring game for the teams — Alabama had allowed an average of 13.4 points coming into the game, while Clemson had allowed 20 points per game.

Clemson University, having its best football season in decades, will face off for the national title against perennial power Alabama later this month after both teams won semifinal games Thursday night.

Clemson was down a point at halftime to the University of Oklahoma, but scored three second-half touchdowns while keeping the Sooners from scoring, and won 31-17.

Alabama's defense did Clemson's one-half better, shutting out Michigan State as the Crimson Tide cruised to a 38-0 victory.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In football, a sport that demands military-style discipline and singular focus, there's ample precedent for speaking out against the status quo.

What happened at the University of Missouri in recent days, with African-American football players calling for a boycott with the support of coaches, is dramatic, but it's the kind of action that was quite common around 50 years ago, according to historian Lane Demas, a professor at Central Michigan University.

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