AP – Alabama edged out Ohio State for the final spot in the College Football Playoff field. The Crimson Tide’s reward is a playoff rematch against defending national champion Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1.
Clemson’s inclusion as the top seed in the bracket was expected since the Tigers (12-1) were No. 1 in the previous CFP rankings and then routed Miami 38-3 in the ACC title game on Saturday.
The inclusion of Alabama (11-1) was much more contentious. Fourth-seeded Alabama didn’t even win the Southeastern Conference West after losing to Auburn in the final game of the regular season, but was impressive until that loss.
Clemson beat Alabama 35-31 in the national championship game last season. The Tigers have made it back to the CFP with a dominant defense and the emergence of junior quarterback Kelly Bryant.