SEC champion Alabama, ACC champion Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma were picked Sunday as the four teams that made the cut.
"We'll treat it just like a playoff game", junior safety J.R. Reed said after the Alabama loss. Georgia fell to Alabama 35-28 in the SEC Championship and did not return to the College Football Playoff after being a No. 3 seed last season. Alabama has played in them all.
The Fighting Irish had their spot booked in the playoff a week before the other teams given they didn't play in a conference title game. It is likely that Georgia will face Texas (9-4) in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.
Yet the ranking of Georgia above Ohio State - which, like Oklahoma, won its conference Saturday - essentially indicated that the room did feel Georgia was unequivocally better than Ohio State, as the tiebreaker would have led Ohio State to be ranked higher. "That's a good football team from the front end to the back end".
No. 2 and ACC champion Clemson (13-0) will face No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) December 29 in the Cotton Bowl, while No. 1 and SEC champion Alabama (13-0) will vie for its sixth national title in the last 10 years when it competes the same day against No. 4 and Big 12 champion Oklahoma (12-1) in the Orange Bowl.
Oklahoma, Georgia, and Ohio State all had numbers to support a spot in the CFP, according to ESPN. They earned some impressive wins during the season, including home wins over Michigan, Stanford and Syracuse and road wins over Virginia Tech, Northwestern and USC.
It is the third year that the Big 12 has been included in the playoff. Clemson is making its fourth straight appearance. 2 and 3, respectively - but Saturday's results meant a tough decision among three qualified teams for that one final Playoff slot.
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