They’re in: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame tabbed for College Football Playoff
You wouldn’t have necessarily had Notre Dame, the preseason AP #10.
The Irish (10-1) got the four spot in the CFP rankings despite a 34-10 blowout loss to Clemson in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game, the selection committee obviously valuing the early November double-OT win in South Bend.
Notre Dame will face Alabama (11-0), which defeated Florida, 52-46, in a wild SEC Championship Game Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide opens at a 17.5-point favorite in what is being presented as the Rose Bowl, though the game has been moved to Dallas because California would not grant an exemption allowing fans to attend the game in person.
Ohio State (6-0), which faces Clemson (10-1), may be the controversial selection. The Buckeyes got just six games in because the Big Ten had originally said it would not play football in the fall, before opting to return in late October.
Ohio State defeated Northwestern, 22-10, to win the Big Ten championship on Saturday.
Clemson opens as a 6.5-point favorite in this semifinal matchup, being billed the Sugar Bowl, with the game in prime time on Jan. 1, at 8:45 p.m.
The ‘Bama-Notre Dame game kicks off at 5 p.m. on Jan. 1.
Left on the outside looking in: Texas A&M (8-1), which won seven straight after losing 52-24 to Alabama back on Oct. 3, was ranked fifth by the selection committee.
“Seven straight SEC wins,” A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said after Saturday’s 34-13 win over Tennessee. “Some schools ain’t even playing seven games. I don’t care what league you’re in. If you’re gonna pick the best four teams, we’re one of them.”
Oklahoma (8-2) was the surprise pick for the sixth spot.
The Sooners have won seven straight after a 1-2 start, and avenged one of its losses on Saturday, defeating Iowa State, 27-21, to win the Big 12 title.
OU jumped Cincinnati (9-0), which defeated Tulsa, 27-24, on Saturday to win the AAC championship.
Story by Chris Graham