For weeks now, we debated back and forth over who deserves to be in the College Football Playoff. After Championship Saturday, all the games were over and the fate of the playoff selections were all in the hands of the selection committee. By Sunday the conception was that Clemson, Oklahoma, and Georgia had all secured the first three spots. In the hunt for the final spot was Big 10 Champion Ohio State and Pac 12 Champion Southern California. Also in the mix, one-loss Alabama who did not play in the SEC Championship Game. Due to the Pac 12’s mediocrity after its top four teams, the fight for the last spot was really between Ohio State and Alabama. Would the committee select a two-loss conference champion or a one-loss dynasty? Upon final unveiling, the Committee responded with a resounding, “Roll Tide!”
Bama vs. Buckeyes
Without a doubt, Alabama football is the most prestigious college football program in the nation. Until Clemson or someone else rattles off several National Championships over the next few years, that won’t change either. They get the best recruits and roll through the tough SEC year in and year out. This season they did the same. The Crimson Tide won every game they played this season until their season finale at sworn rival Auburn. By losing to Auburn, the Alabama conceded the SEC West to the Tigers. Subsequently, the Tide didn’t make the SEC Championship. Their regular season ended with a record of 11-1.
Urban Meyer and Ohio State are no scrubs either. Everyone remembers what they did with Cardale Jones in 2014. The third-string QB led a loaded team to three straight victories, Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship, Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and Oregon in the National Championship. Now to this season. Despite an early-season loss to Oklahoma and an embarrassing beat down in Iowa City by the Hawkeyes, the Buckeyes took out undefeated Wisconsin to claim the Big 10 Championship. To boost their resume, Ohio State owned wins over Penn State (39-38), and Michigan State (48-3).
Why Bama Got In
Some speculate the Committee chose Alabama because of their name alone. Others believe it’s because they prefer the SEC over the Big 10. I believe it is a rating-grab based off of the rest of the rankings.
Look what happened last season in the Playoff. Clemson utterly trolled Ohio State in the semifinals. Then the Tigers played Alabama in one of the greatest National Championship games ever. After the Committee chose Clemson as number one, how could they not select Alabama for number four? The storylines and speculation surrounding a Clemson/Alabama rematch with a trip to the title game on the line are too good to pass up. On the other hand, if Oklahoma was the number one team in the rankings, Ohio State had a more legitimate shot at making the Playoff. In that scenario, the Baker Mayfield rematch with Ohio State would be a dream semifinal matchup.
All in all, Alabama is in the College Football Playoff and that isn’t going to change. Their rematch with Clemson sets up one of the most anticipated semifinals to date. When you look back at the past two National Championships, can you blame the Committee?
Enjoy the rematch New Years Eve.