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ESPN selects Joe Tessitore, Todd Blackledge to call Alabama-Clemson CFP semifinal

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — One of two College Football Playoff semifinal games will feature ESPN’s All-Star cast of Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge working from inside the broadcast booth, along with Holly Rowe and Laura Rutledge commanding the sidelines.  

In the trilogy between Alabama and Clemson, which is set for Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La., the Allstate Sugar Bowl will start at 7:45 p.m. 

News on the ESPN staff in question and kickoff time for the game was released from ESPN Media Zone on Wednesday.

As for the other semifinal – Rose Bowl, between No. 2 Georgia and No. 3 Oklahoma – the personalities of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will have the call. 

Tom Rinaldi and Maria Taylor will operate the sidelines for that matchup. 

With Clemson and Oklahoma garnering the hype, Alabama enters this year’s endeavor under no type of pressure.

Despite being 1-3 in CFP games, Saban and the Tide have taken opponents down to the wire and even won the 2015 national championship in beating Clemson, 45-40. 

The general notion says third time is the charm. Hopefully, Alabama will be ready. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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