The second-annual College Football Playoff selections are in. And now those in favor of Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma can breath a nice, big sigh of relief.
The ACC-champion Clemson Tigers were the first shown to be in the Playoff, given the top seed and a berth into the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. They'll be facing the Big 12-champion Oklahoma Sooners on New Year's Eve, as the Sooners were selected as the fourth and final seed.
On the other side of the four-team bracket, the SEC-champion Alabama Crimson Tide were expectedly named the second seed, and in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on New Year's Eve as well, they'll be facing a high-rising three seed in Big Ten champs Michigan State.
This image via ESPN was shown on-screen in the network's exclusive live coverage of the selections.
There was predictably much controversy over the selections on the CFP committee, as committee chair Jeff Long confirmed by afterwards stating that "There were people in the room that thought Oklahoma could be the number one team." [ESPN]
Long did note that Clemson seemed the clear top team, as the undefeated Tigers had no reason to hold any other rank. On Michigan State's jump from fifth to third and past the Sooners, he did say that the reasoning behind that selection was the Spartans' superior resume.
Left out according to many were Ohio State and Stanford, but Long was not comfortable saying they were "close" to being in that treasured top four.
The winners of the two semifinal bowls will face off on January 11th at 6:30 PM EST in Glendale, Arizona for the AT&T National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. Gametime details for the Orange and Sugar Bowls are to be announced at 3:00 PM EST.