Georgia, Alabama join Clemson, Oklahoma in College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff officials Sunday named their top four teams — Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama — and set their matchups for the major bowl games.

Now let the arguing begin.

The CFP selection committee made the obvious choices when it placed Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia at the top of the final rankings for 2017. The point of contention rested with the fourth slot.

Alabama slipped into the playoffs on the strength of an 11-1 record, even though the Crimson Tide lacked a conference championship, failing to even qualify for the Southeastern Conference title game.

The team finished just ahead of No. 5 Ohio State, which had two losses but made a late charge by defeating Wisconsin, 27-21, for the Big Ten Conference crown.

“I don’t think one game defines who you are,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban said after his team’s only loss, to Auburn, which kept the Crimson Tide out of the SEC title game. “It certainly doesn’t define this team.”

Ultimately, Ohio State’s 31-point loss to unranked Iowa during the regular season hurt the Buckeyes in the eyes of the selection committee.

Oklahoma will play Georgia in a semifinal at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. The Sugar Bowl will play host to the other semifinal — a rematch of last year’s national championship between Clemson and Alabama — the same day.

“You’ve got a heavyweight matchup here,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said on the ESPN announcement show.

They will play Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.

The CFP semifinal winners will meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the national championship game on Jan. 8.

%d bloggers like this: