The first three teams announced for the college football playoff were no surprise. Clemson was number one, after their savage beatdown of Miami last night, and they were followed by Big 12 champion Oklahoma and SEC champs Georgia, who will play each other in the Rose Bowl.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will face off against Alabama, who slipped back into the top four despite being idle this weekend. The one-loss Crimson Tide have fewer quality wins than Ohio State, the Big 10 champions and number-five ranked team. But the Buckeyes’ 31-point loss to Iowa, coupled with their early-season defeat at home against Oklahoma, was apparently too much to get them in.
This is the third straight year that Clemson will face Bama in the college football postseason. The two programs have split the last two title games by a combined margin of victory of nine points. They’ll meet again in the Sugar Bowl semifinal, which will take place along with the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.