Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama will vie for national championship


The College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy awaits its presentation after the College Football Playoff National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers on January 9, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Clemson won the game 35-31.

The College Football Playoff committee sent the Crimson Tide to a fourth straight semifinal even after sitting out the SEC title game.

Alabama stayed ahead of Ohio State in the final College Football Playoff rankings and made the playoff for a fourth-straight season.

Conference Championship Weekend turned into a quarterfinal for the rankings, as the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC Championship Games had the chance to unofficially determine who will be in the top four.

The Bulldogs will play against the Sooners on Jan.1.

Alabama (11-1) made it 4-for-4 in the playoff, the only team that has made them all.

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Alabama and Clemson have played in the past two finals, with each coming down to the final minute; the Tide won the 2015 title.

"I would say that if we lost to a team in our conference that was not ranked by 30 points that we wouldn't be having this conversation", Saban said in a late-night SportsCenter interview with Scott Van Pelt. The debate heading into Sunday's announcement regards whether Ohio State or Alabama should make the playoff.

Alabama was chosen despite not winning even its division title.

"I was kind of hoping we had those good wins". "And so we played three top-five teams, and we won two of them". I think we had three wins against the top 16 teams in America. It's Oklahoma's second playoff appearance.

The Buckeyes' 55-24 loss to an unranked Iowa (7-5) on November 4 proved too much for the 13 committee members to overcome, especially in light of the fact that Alabama hasn't lost to an unranked team in the last decade and has never lost any game under Saban by more than 14 points.