If you like underdogs and great stories, you’re going to like this year’s Orange Bowl. And if you don’t like those things, you’re probably an Alabama fan? Everybody, save for maybe Ole Miss alumni, was a fan of Mississippi State and their incredible run this season. The Bulldogs jumped to national relevance with an upset win over then No. 8 LSU to open their conference play. They followed that up with wins over then No. 6 Texas A&M and then No. 3 Auburn and all of a sudden Mississippi State was getting College Football Playoff mentions. Beating three Top 10 teams in a row can rush an unranked team up the charts in a hurry, especially when those wins are in-conference SEC victories. The Bulldogs’ run as No. 1 in the nation ended in mid-November with a five-point loss to Alabama. But there are a lot worse things to do in college football than fall to the Crimson Tide by less than a score and their College Football Playoff hopes didn’t end until rival Ole Miss downed them on the final week of the regular season. Quarterback Dak Prescott led Mississippi State’s run to relevance and more as a classic dual threat college QB. While Prescott’s Heisman candidacy couldn’t make it the whole year, he was on many a pundit’s “Watch” throughout the season. The junior had only middling passing numbers – 2,996 yards and 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions – but had opposing defences running scared with his 939 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. That said, the more defences forced Prescott to pass, the farther down Heisman Watches he fell, something Georgia Tech likely has noted heading into the New Year’s Eve battle. Speaking of Georgia Tech, they had a pretty memorable out-of-nowhere season too, just with none of the hype or national fanfare. The Yellow Jackets’ solid season was interrupted by back-to-back losses to basketball powerhouses Duke and North Carolina, but the team managed to rebound and finish strong enough to earn a top-tier bowl bid. Wins over ranked opponents Clemson, in a rout, and Georgia, in a significant one, had fans and experts alike thinking the Yellow Jackets could steal the ACC from Florida State. That didn’t happen, with the Seminoles squeaking out a two-point win, but Georgia Tech was never going to make the College Football Playoff, so this Orange Bowl bid was as good as they could have hoped for. Tech’s an interesting team in that they have one of the nation’s top offences based almost solely on the run. Outside of Wisconsin, maybe no team puts as much an emphasis on the ground game as GT. Using a combination of quarterback Justin Thomas, who led the team with 965 rushing yards, and running backs Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days, who combined to add 1,541 more, the Yellow Jackets finished third in the NCAA in rushing, averaging 333 yards per game. This one should be heavy on offence, but in a game featuring the fifth (Thomas) and sixth (Prescott) best running quarterbacks, the edge on defence should go to the Bulldogs. Neither Mississippi State or Georgia Tech had defences to write home about this season, but the Bulldogs did rank decently against the run. If they can take away GT’s ground game in any significant way, they’ll put the game in the hands (literally) of a QB who averaged 13 pass attempts per game (of course the Bulldogs also boast the fourth worst pass defence in the nation, so it could be pick your poison.) They’ve each had great stories this season, but only one can finish on a high note. The Bulldogs enter the game as seven-point favourites and after knocking off a number of SEC powerhouses, should be able to do the same to an ACC (sorta)powerhouse. It could be the start of another good run for Mississippi State. With bleak pro prospects, Prescott should return for his senior season and head coach Dan Mullen should have a lot more luck on the recruiting trail this off-season. Eye on Sunday LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State If Prescott declares, a lot of pre-draft talk will be about the quarterback and where he fits into the draft, if at all. Scouts will make the trip to the Mississippi State pro day where they would do well to focus more attention on McKinney. McKinney may be the best inside linebacker in the draft and has a real shot at getting selected in the first round. QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State Prescott’s game is suited much better to college than the pros. He was exposed down the stretch when opponents took away the run and forced him to air it out. That won’t change the fact that if the junior declares there will be tons of discussion about which round he should be selected, if he’s selected at all. Prescott has gotten some early mid-round draft grades but will likely be a late-rounder at best and would be wise to return to school for another season. SS Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech A look at several draft boards around the Internet doesn’t produce many Georgia Tech products. The one name that came up is Johnson, who projects as a late-rounder early in the evaluation process. Larry Nance Jr. Jersey . Vonn "reopened" the idea of competing in the season-opening World Cup event on Oct. 26-27 in Soelden, Austria after returning to the slopes last month in Portillo, Chile. Dean Wade Jersey . Not sure yet. #livetweetingthegreatuntangle — Strombone (@strombone1) April 17, 2014 Stage three, coping: I feel like I could use a cigarette or something. https://www.thecavalierslockerroom.com/D...Edition-Jersey/. His second visit, not so much. Roark (7-5) allowed four runs on 10 hits and one walk over six innings in a 7-2 setback in front of several friends and family members, as the Cubs snapped his personal streak of four consecutive victories on Friday. John Henson Jersey . The thunderous cheers quickly changed to an appreciative chant: "Ma-son! Ma-son! Ma-son! Headed to New York with new life, Mason sure earned this curtain call. Tristan Thompson Jersey . He made another correct read. The Browns, who have been shuttling quarterbacks on and off the field all season, finally got some good news on that front: Campbells ribs are only bruised.CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Defensive end Greg Hardy has signed his franchise tag tender with the Carolina Panthers, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been made official. Hardy, who said in January hed have no issue if the team used the franchise tag to keep him, will make $13.1 million for one season if he doesnt sign a long-term extension. The Panthers have until July 15 to sign Hardy to a long-term deal. After that date they cant discuss a contract extension until after the season is over. When the Panthers used the franchise tag on Hardy Friday, general manager Dave Gettleman said in a press release it was done so to buy more time to potentially work out a long-term extension with the former Mississippi star. "The franchise meechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers," Gettleman said.dddddddddddd "We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together." The four-year NFL veteran had 15 sacks last season, tying a franchise record previously established by Kevin Greene in 1996, and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. Hardy has 26 sacks in his last two seasons. Hardy led the Panthers with 38 quarterback pressures last season and posted a career-high 67 tackles for the NFC South champions. The Panthers led the league in sacks last season with 60. Gettleman said Hardy was "a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact." ' ' '