The Georgia Bulldogs, who gained redemption over the Auburn Tigers for their lone loss with a 28-7 win over the Tigers in Saturday’s SEC Championship game and the Alabama Crimson Tide, who suffered their only loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, were selected for the College Football Playoff on Sunday.
Clemson (12-1) and Oklahoma (12-1) grabbed the one and two seeds respectively after winning their conference championship games. Wisconsin held the fourth playoff spot heading into play on Saturday, but lost to Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, dropping them to 6th, behind the Buckeyes.
The No. 1 Tigers will face the No. 4 Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl, and the No. 2 Sooners will play the No. 3 Bulldogs in the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1.
How is it possible that the winner of the Big Ten title game got overlooked by the committee in favor of a team that didn’t even play in a title?
“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 résumé it was impressive, but it wasn’t enough for the selection committee to place them in above Alabama.”
Hocutt said a 31-point loss by the Buckeyes to Iowa was the difference.
Clemson is the number one seed for the second time in three years. They open as a one-point underdog to Alabama who has appeared in every College Football Playoff. Oklahoma boasts a Heisman favorite in QB Baker Mayfield and Lincoln Riley is the first-time coach to make the CFB playoff. Georgia is searching for their first national title since 1980.