End-Of-Year College Bowl Games Set: Alabama To Face Clemson In Sugar Bowl, Georgia To Play Oklahoma
The field for the fourth College Football Playoff was set and for the first time, two teams from the same conference made it.
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When Alabama earned the fourth and final Bowl spot over Ohio State, the Big Ten was left out for the first time. In addition, the Pac-12 was shut out for the second time in four seasons.
“I don’t see anything that’s happened in the first four years in the work of the selection committee or the playoff that is inconsistent with how it was designed or what was possible,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
The Buckeyes (11-2) finished first in the Big Ten East. One of their two losses was a humiliating 31-point defeat at unranked Iowa (7-5, fourth in Big Ten West), who is set to play Boston College (7-5, third in ACC) in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Dec. 27.
“It doesn’t change my view that the present structure is best for college football,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said during an interview with ESPN of the possibility of an All-SEC championship game. “I can be supportive of (the selection committee) and at the same time be disappointed and a little bit surprised.”
Here is the list of the rest of the New Year’s Six bowls: USC (11-2) vs. Ohio State (11-2) in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29 ; Washington (10-2) vs. Penn State (10-2) in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 30 ; Miami (10-2) vs. Wisconsin (12-1) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 ; and UCF (12-0) vs. Auburn (10-3) in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1 .
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said he trusted the Bowl committee would reach the right conclusion about which team merited a spot.
“I really do believe based on the total body of work that our team really deserved to be in,” Saban said in an ESPN interview.
This marks the third straight year that Alabama and Clemson face each other in the playoffs, though this time it’s in the semifinals.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer voiced his disappointment in his team not earning a spot.
“I sank in my chair at home, because I really thought we were in,” he said. He noted his team had three wins “against the top 16 teams in America.”
“But I get it,” he added.
GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 11: O.J. Howard #88 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after scoring a 53 yard touchdown in the third quarter against the Clemson Tigers during the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)