Alabama Makes the Playoff Cut, Buckeyes Left Out in the Cold

The Southeastern Conference has landed two teams in the college football playoffs.

On Sunday, the playoff committee revealed the top four teams that will compete in this year’s national title run. Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia all won their conferences. Committee members said they stayed up until 2 a.m. Sunday morning as they deliberated over the fourth – Alabama or Ohio State.

Despite never even making it to the SEC championship, Alabama still got the nod over Big 10 Champion Ohio State, because the Crimson Tide was ranked number one or two throughout the season before losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Ohio State also had two losses – to Oklahoma and Iowa – each by a margin greater than two touchdowns.

College Football Playoff Chair Kirby Hocutt told ESPN that “Alabama is unequivocally the number four team this season.”

“The selection committee looked at a one-loss Alabama team, with that one loss coming against the final ranking No. 7 team, Auburn, in a very competitive game,” Hocutt said. “We compared that to a two-loss Ohio State team … obviously one loss at home to No. 2-ranked Oklahoma [and] more damaging was the 31-point loss to unranked Iowa. The selection committee favored Alabama’s full body of work over that of Ohio State. It was consistent over the course of the year as we saw Alabama play week in and week out.”

With the selection of two SEC teams for this year’s playoffs, two power five conferences – the Pac 12 and the Big 10 – will not have a chance to play for a championship title this season.

Instead, ACC champ Clemson will meet the Crimson Tide in a rematch of last year’s national title tilt in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. Big 12 champion Oklahoma will face SEC leader Georgia in the “granddaddy” of all bowl games, the Rose Bowl.

The winners of those two games will battle it out in Atlanta for the national title.

Fans may remember the clash between Alabama and LSU for the BCS crown in January 2012. Could this year bring another all-SEC national championship?

Adam Brown is sports editor of He can be reached at

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