The pretty straightforward outcome of College Football’s championship weekend made life a bit easier for members of the College Football Playoff selection committee. As things stand, it would be a bit of a surprise if Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma aren’t the teams competing for the championship.
Why These 4?
Alabama completed an undefeated season, beating George 35-28 in another comeback that will haunt the Bulldogs and fans for a very long time, this time with Jalen Hurts playing the hero. This was the first game this season Alabama had to hustle in order to win. Number one heading into the SEC championship game, heading out with the title and a guaranteed berth for the 5th straight season.
Clemson, #2 before their ACC championship game against Pittsburgh, didn’t falter either, beating the Panthers 42-10 to finish their regular season undefeated. Will we see them facing off against Alabama for a 4th straight year in the playoffs? Perhaps, because they’re not losing their berth in the Final Four.
Notre Dame didn’t play, that’s true, but the committee placing the Fighting Irish at #3 before it began says it all – without something really impressive from the teams ranked below them, they’re not getting pushed out of the Top 4. And they aren’t like to be pushed out.
Oklahoma, despite being #5 before the weekend, did what they had to – Beat Texas in a rematch to the Red River Shootout in au courant Big 12 style: A lot of offense, not a whole lot of defense. But considering everything else that went down, it should be enough.
Who Should be Left Out
Georgia is now with 2 losses. Despite the 2 SEC teams thing that people are afraid of, the Bulldogs probably won’t get in. It won’t matter that they had the #4 ranking before the game; it won’t matter that they pushed Alabama to the brink once again. They lost, the teams below them won and claimed conference titles, titles that matter. Leaving Georgia in the top 4 makes no sense.
Ohio State had short, tense moments against Northwestern, but overall got the job done, relatively with style. It won’t be enough. The #6 team heading into the Big Ten championship game, Ohio State didn’t do enough to leap over Oklahoma. Politicking, even world-class politicking, won’t be enough.
What About UCF?
The #8 team in the nation based on the committee rankings heading into the game got the job done, beating Memphis to win the American conference and finish the season undefeated. Just like last season, it’ll be enough for an NY6 bowl game berth, not a playoff one.