Ohio State made a strong case to secure the final spot with a 27-21 victory against No. 4 Wisconsin on Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game. Saturday was the Bulldogs' first SEC title since 2005 and they're probably rewarded with the team's first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1943.
"I really do believe based on the total body of work that our team really deserved to be in", Saban said.
No. 1 Clemson (12-1) defeated No. 4 Alabama (11-1) in last year's championship game after losing to the Tide in the previous season's title game. Ohio State won the Big Ten while Alabama did not even win its Southeastern Conference division. Teams don't play well extremely well after they play us.
"I just think we've got a lot of good football players and we've got a good team, and I think a lot of people around this country think we're one of the four best teams in the country". And the Tide's inclusion also means its the first time the playoff has taken two teams from the same conference. Clemson is making its third appearance.
Oklahoma (12-1) overcame a stunning loss to Iowa State in October to win its third straight Big 12 title with a commanding 41-17 win over TCU. The Sooners also have a Heisman hopeful in quarterback Baker Mayfield. Favoring a one-loss team without any substantial wins costs the fans more than it even costs the Buckeyes in the long term. This is Oklahoma's second appearance, and the first time for Georgia.
For the upcoming playoff, with the rankings official, let's say there was an eight-team playoff in place.
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