‘Bama joins Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia in CFP

Alabama beat out Ohio State for the final spot in the College Football Playoff announced on Sunday, joining Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia.

The top three seeds each won their conference championships on Saturday, while Alabama (11-1) was idle after failing to reach the SEC title game. The Crimson Tide lost to Auburn the previous week, leaving them to watch Saturday’s action and hope they could find a way into the top four.

Clemson (12-1) secured the top seed with its rout over Miami in the ACC title game and Oklahoma (12-1) moved up to No. 2 with a convincing victory over TCU in the Big 12 championship game. Georgia (12-1) locked up the third spot by upsetting Auburn in the SEC title game.

The CFP committee was left with a difficult choice after Ohio State (11-2) held on to beat previously undefeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game Saturday night. The Buckeyes have two losses, including a 31-point loss at Iowa, but Alabama did not reach its own conference title game.

“As we saw Alabama play week in and week in out, the selection committee believed Alabama was the better football team,” CFP committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said. “When we looked at Ohio State, when you looked at their resume it was impressive, but it wasn’t enough for the selection committee to place them in above Alabama.”

Alabama will face Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, while Oklahoma will play Georgia in the Rose Bowl. The semifinal winners will play in the national title game on Jan. 8 in Atlanta.

Clemson and Alabama, who faced each other in the past two national title games, will meet in the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Crimson Tide are also the only team to have appearing in every playoffs since they began in 2014.

Of the final four teams, Georgia has the longest title drought, with the Bulldogs’ last championship coming in 1980. It will also be the first time Georgia and Oklahoma have ever played. The Sooners’ Lincoln Riley is the first coach to reach the CFP in his first season as an FBS coach.

Ohio State finished No. 5 and Wisconsin No 6.

CFP Rankings
1. Clemson (12-1)
2. Oklahoma (12-1)
3. Georgia (12-1)
4. Alabama (11-1)
5. Ohio State (11-2)
6. Wisconsin (12-1)
7. Auburn (10-3)
8. Southern Cal (11-2)
9. Penn State (10-2)
10. Miami (10-2)
11. Washington (10-2)
12. UCF (12-0)
13. Stanford (9-4)
14. Notre Dame (9-3)
15. TCU (10-3)
16. Michigan State (9-3)
17. LSU (9-3)
18. Washington State (9-3)
19. Oklahoma State (9-3)
20. Memphis (10-2)
21. Northwestern (9-3)
22. Virginia Tech (9-3)
23. Mississippi State (8-4)
24. NC State (8-4)
25. Boise State (10-3)

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