This year marks the fourth year of the College Football Playoff, and marked the toughest decision the young CFP Committee has ever had to make.
Coming into Sunday, Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia were virtual locks for the playoff after winning their respective conference title games on Saturday. But with Ohio State beating previously unbeaten Wisconsin on Saturday, in the Big Ten Championship, the battle for the fourth and final spot brought angst.
Alabama, 11-1, earned the final College Football Playoff spot despite losing to Auburn on Nov. 25, and were unable to qualify for the SEC Championship.
Ohio State's 31-point loss on Nov. 4 at Iowa was ultimately too much for the committee to handle.
"We spent a great amount of time... talking about the full body of work, and the selection committee Alabama's over that of Ohio State," committee chair Kirby Hocutt said. "The win over Wisconsin, winning the Big Ten Championship, the wins over top 25 teams, it was impressive, but it was not enough to place them over Alabama. We believe we got it right this week."
USC, 11-2, won the Pac-12 title with a win over Stanford on Saturday, and were left out of the Top 6.
This year's playoff marked the first time that two teams from the same conference made the playoff.
Top-seeded Clemson will take on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and No. 2-seed Oklahoma will play No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl.