The College Football Playoff committee has spoken.
With a short turnaround after championship Saturday ended, the tough decision on which team would be joining No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma, and No. 3 Georgia was made. And it was No. 4 Alabama moving into the last spot.
The final ranking was divided more than ones of the past, with a tougher discussion on the basis of win-loss records, strength of schedule, conference championships, head-to-head results and results against common opponents. Alabama makes the playoff as a one-loss team without a conference championship over two-loss respective conference champions No. 5 Ohio State and No. 8 USC.
It was a significant decision by the committee placing two teams from the same conference into the playoff for the first time ever. Alabama continues their streak of making the round of four, having not missed a playoff since its inception in 2014.
Clemson (12-1, 7-1 ACC) put on a strong showing Saturday night with a 38-3 win over No. 7 Miami and remain the top seed in the playoff. It’s a third straight conference championship for the Tigers and fourth under coach Dabo Swinney since 2009. After starting the season 6-0, Clemson’s lone loss came on Oct. 14 against Syracuse on the road, 27-24.
Oklahoma (12-1, 7-1 Big 12), finished off No. 11 TCU in the Big 12 championship, 41-17. The Sooners moved past a week 5 loss vs. Iowa State to win seven straight games behind Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield.
Georgia (12-1, 7-1 SEC) beat the dog out of No. 4 Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs avenge their 40-17 loss to Auburn from three weeks ago, advancing to their first ever playoff.
Both Playoff semifinal games are scheduled on New Years Day 2018. No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Alabama meet for rematch of last year’s national championship game in the Sugar Bowl (8:45 p.m. ET/ TV: ESPN). No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia head west to Pasadena for a Rose Bowl showdown (5 p.m. ET/ TV: ESPN).
The National Championship is scheduled for Jan. 8, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (8 p.m. ET/ TV: ESPN).