Bama in, Ohio State out of College Football Playoff - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Bama in, Ohio State out of College Football Playoff

The Oklahoma cheerleaders poses for a photo on a confetti-covered-field after their Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game win against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) The Oklahoma cheerleaders poses for a photo on a confetti-covered-field after their Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game win against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Clemson's Kelly Bryant (2) celebrates after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game over Miami in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) Clemson's Kelly Bryant (2) celebrates after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game over Miami in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and team hold the SEC championship trophy after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. Georgia won 28-7. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and team hold the SEC championship trophy after the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Auburn, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. Georgia won 28-7. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Ohio State's Tyquan Lewis kisses the trophy following the team's Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Wisconsin, early Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Indianapolis. Ohio State won 27-21. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) Ohio State's Tyquan Lewis kisses the trophy following the team's Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Wisconsin, early Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Indianapolis. Ohio State won 27-21. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (9) is tackled by Auburn linebacker Tre' Williams (30) as he carries the ball during the second half of the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough (9) is tackled by Auburn linebacker Tre' Williams (30) as he carries the ball during the second half of the Iron Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

(RNN) - It would seem you can't have the College Football Playoff without Alabama.

The Crimson Tide earned the No. 4 ranking, and are the only team to have qualified for the playoff in all four years of its existence.

It's also the first time two teams from the same conference have qualified with Georgia ranked No. 3, and the first time the Big 10 will not be represented.

They join No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Oklahoma.

The other three teams were obvious, but the fourth hinged on just how valuable a conference championship is to the selection committee. It mattered very little.

"The selection committee just favored Alabama's whole body of work over Ohio State," Kirby Hocutt, College Football Playoff Selection Committee chair, said. "The committee believed Alabama was the better football team."

Clemson and Alabama will meet in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 at 8:45 p.m. Eastern while Oklahoma and Georgia will play in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. Eastern.

The Clemson-Alabama matchup is the third time the teams have met in the postseason in the last three years. Alabama won the national championship two years ago with a win over the Tigers, and Clemson took the championship last season with a win over the Tide.

After making the playoff without a conference championship last season, it was Ohio State that was passed over for a bid in favor of a non-champion.

Ohio State's loss to Iowa featured most prominently in the discussion surrounding the No. 4 position. The Buckeyes fell by 31 points to the Hawkeyes, who are unranked and finished the year 7-5. Ohio State also lost to Oklahoma.

Alabama's only loss came in its final game of the season against Auburn after being ranked No. 1.

The Tide's chances were held back by a schedule that isn't as impressive as it was at the beginning of the year. Alabama opened with a win over Florida State, at the time ranked No. 3 and considered a playoff favorite. But quarterback Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending injury in that game and the Seminoles finished the season 6-6, depriving the Crimson Tide of a signature win.

Whichever way the committee had gone, there was precedent, both involving Ohio State.

The Buckeyes entered the inaugural playoff in 2014 after winning the Big 10 championship in favor of two co-champions from the Big 12, which did not have a conference championship game at the time. Last year, the Buckeyes made the playoff despite not having won the conference championship.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • Cleveland 19 News Poll

  • Which of the College Football Playoff semifinals are you most interested in watching?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Clemson vs. Alabama
    66%
    109 votes
    Oklahoma vs. Georgia
    34%
    56 votes
Powered by Frankly