Alabama opens as slight favorite over Clemson


The stage is set for another loaded College Football Playoff.

After the field was announced Sunday, Iowa fans took pleasure in knowing their team's blowout win was the reason Ohio State missed out on the playoff.

Clemson (12-1) was ranked No. 1, followed by Oklahoma (12-1), Georgia (12-1) and Alabama (11-1).

After Saturday's conference championship games, the question was whether the committee would value better wins and a conference title (Ohio State) or fewer losses and perhaps a more convincing eye test (Alabama).

"Over the course of the year, as we saw Alabama play week in and week out, our rankings show when we start with a clean sheet of paper each and every week that the selection committee believed that Alabama was the better football team", Hocutt said. The Crimson Tide, on the other hand, lost last weekend to their rival Auburn and didn't even make their conference championship game.

Associated Press
Associated Press

During Saban's segment, he talked about Penn State being left out a year ago after winning the conference, but OSU getting in.

Georgia (12-and-1) avenged their regular season loss to Auburn by routing the Tigers 28-7 in the SEC Championship. Ohio State won the title in 2014, the first season of the CFP.

With how chaotic the final weeks of the season were, it raised the question of, if four is too small a number for the playoff field? Fourteen of the 16 (playoff) teams have been conference champions. The defending national champions have made the National Championship Game in each of the past two seasons. The Crimson Tide won the 2015 national championship 45-40 in Phoenix, then lost 35-31 in Tampa in the 2016 national championship. Teams like Penn State, TCU, USC, Wisconsin, Auburn and Miami were all around the top 10 in November and had a case to be a top-four team at some point.

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