College Football Playoff Field Set
After the past weekend’s conference championships or final regular season games in the case of the Big 12, the four team field for the College Football Playoff is all set. Those who didn’t make the cut found out which bowl games they will be going to.
In the two semi finals, #1 seed and SEC champion Alabama (13-0) will play #4 seed and Pac-12 champion Washington (12-1) in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on December 31st. The other semi final, also on New Year’s Eve, will be #3 Ohio State (11-1) vs. ACC champ and #2 seed Clemson at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. The winners will play for the National Championship on January 9th in Tampa.
Those who were under the impression that there would not be controversy over who gets to play for the National Championship if a playoff was instituted have been proven wrong. Penn State (11-2), winners of the Big Ten Championship, were left out. Though Penn State is one of the hottest teams in college football right now, an early season loss to 8-4 Pittsburgh and a blowout by Michigan (10-2) probably was enough to keep the Nittany Lions out. Penn State’s consolation prize is pretty good however; the Nittany Lions will take on 9-3 USC in the Rose Bowl. The Trojans are another red hot team, finishing with eight straight victories.
And then there’s Big 12 champion Oklahoma. The Big 12 does not have a Conference Championship game, which is considered to be a strike against it in the eyes of the selection committee. The conference will institute such a game next year, but for now, the Big 12 is shut out again from the Playoff. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby (what a great name for a college football guy) publicly asked why Ohio State got in without a conference or division championship ( the Buckeyes lost to Penn State during the regular season so the Nittany Lions won the division by tie breaker) and the Sooners were left out. First of all, there are five “power conferences” and at least one will always be left out, which is why some people would like to see an eight team format. Also, Oklahoma had some quality wins, but also two losses, while the four team CFP field had 0 or 1. To top it off, one of Oklahoma’s losses was to Ohio State; the Buckeye’s blew out the Sooners in Norman 45-24. Like Penn State, Oklahoma has a nice reward anyway; the Sooners will take on Auburn (8-4) in the Sugar Bowl.
Here’s a couple of highlights from Oklahoma’s regular season final game, a 38-20 win over Oklahoma State: