GRAPEVINE, TX — After all of last year’s drama, the favorites were pretty clear going into the last college football playoff ranking. The only thing to be decided by the committee at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine was which order they’d be in.
So here you go: in the second annual college football semifinals it’ll be #2 Alabama playing #3 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl and #1 Clemson against #4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
“We had a lengthy discussion about Michigan State and Oklahoma,” said committee chair Jeff Long. “Ultimately, Michigan State’s two wins against top tens made the difference and edged them in front of Oklahoma.”
Either way, it’s a big sigh of relief for the Big 12 to see OU in the top 4 after the conference was shut out entirely from the playoffs last year.
Of course, it wasn’t just the semifinals being decided Sunday but the other four games that make up the elite New Years Six.
The big surprise this year was that there will only be one team repping the Lone Star State in the New Years Six and it ain’t TCU or Baylor but the Houston Cougars who will take on Florida State in the Peach Bowl!
“Houston is a very impressive team,” said Long. “I think strength of schedule is what resulted in them, even though they only have one loss at 12-1, being back there at 18.”
Locally, Baylor wound up at #17 after a tough loss against Texas and has to settle for the Russell Athletic Bowl where they will take on North Carolina on December 29th.
Meanwhile, TCU finished at #11 and is set to take on #15 Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl on January 2nd.
So now all the stages are set and plenty of teams have a chance to prove themselves, but in the end only one will be walking away with this trophy and college football immortality.