After "Championship Saturday", there was zero debate on three teams - ACC champ Clemson, Big 12 champ Oklahoma and SEC champ Georgia. Ohio State's losses came against Oklahoma and unranked Iowa. Oklahoma's resume only improved since then, with wins over Oklahoma State, TCU (twice, including in the Big 12 Championship), and West Virginia.
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.
It was down to the Tide and the Buckeyes (11-2) for the final spot and the committee ultimately went with Nick Saban's squad.
Alabama is the only team to appear in all four years of the playoffs.
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Sugar Bowl COO Jeff Hundley called the matchup a "home run" for the bowl game which serves as the Championship game qualifier for the second time since the College Football Playoff's inception in 2014.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett threw touchdown passes and two interceptions in the win against the Badgers.
Alabama (11-1) was No. 1 in consecutive playoff polls before losing to Auburn on November 25. "We'll let everybody else argue about who should and shouldn't have been, but what we know right now is that we have a great ball game coming up on January 1". Before the Crimson Tide's road loss at Auburn, they had been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in every edition of this year's playoff rankings.
Georgia is the first non-Alabama SEC team to make the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately for them, their lack of a championship will be a factor for them, as well as their lack of big wins. And the selection committee chose to put in the Crimson Tide, leaving OSU out.