College Football Playoffs set after Championship Week

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma will compete for the championship
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Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma will compete for the championship https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7549/15964948455_1a99d31ec0.jpg

Matthew Szymanowski, Deputy Sports Editor

On Sunday, the 13 members of the college football playoff committee selected the four teams that will be competing for the championship in January of 2019. After some controversy, the committee selected: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma.

The Alabama Crimson Tide was the clear No. 1 seed. They dominated this season, finishing with a 13-0 record and five of them coming against now top-25 ranked teams. They averaged over 54 points per game offensively their first eight games of the season, and their defense posted back-to-back shutouts in November.

One of the biggest pieces to Alabama’s undefeated season is quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Heisman Trophy front-runner has posted one of the best seasons an Alabama quarterback ever has. He has thrown for 3,353 passing yards with 37 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He has a 207.2 quarterback rating and a 67.7 completion percentage.

In their final game of the season against Georgia, Tua was injured late in the game with Alabama trailing. Backup quarterback Jalen Hurts was able to come in and bring the Crimson Tide back for a 35-28 win and solidify their spot in the playoffs.

The second seed in the playoffs went to undefeated Clemson Tigers. Though they did not play teams as good as Alabama played, they still dominated and finished with a 13-0 record. Clemson went on the road and took down Boston College and Texas A&M in marquee wins, and they defeated Pitt in the ACC Championship.

The third seed went to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With an impressive 12-0 record, the committee had to put them in the playoffs. They started off the year with a bang in a home win against Michigan and followed up a few weeks later with a win over Stanford. They went to Northwestern and pulled out a victory and beat Syracuse in New York.

The fourth seed had the most controversy. With four deserving teams for the final spot, the committee selected Oklahoma over Ohio State, Georgia, and UCF.

Oklahoma has the best offense in the nation. With a 12-1 record, Oklahoma’s offense scored at least 30 points in 12 out of 13 games and at least 40 in 10 out of 13 games. Their incredible offense was led by Heisman hopeful Kyler Murray. Murray has torched defenses this season with his passing and running attack. He has over 4,000 passing yard and 40 touchdowns through the air, while he has rushed for 892 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Their defense struggled most of the season though, which caused controversy on whether they should receive the final spot.

The committee chose Oklahoma for multiple reasons. They picked Oklahoma over Georgia because Georgia lost two games on the season. They chose Oklahoma over Ohio State because Oklahoma’s one loss was to a ranked team by three points. Ohio State’s only loss was to an unranked team by 29 points. UCF was also left out because of their strength of schedule. UCF was undefeated, but they were not in a Power 5 conference and therefore did not play teams to the level of Oklahoma. Oklahoma also played Texas, their only loss, in the Big 12 Championship and avenged that loss by a final score of 39-27.

Both playoff games will take place on Saturday, Dec. 29. Notre Dame will play Clemson in the Cotton Bowl at 4 p.m., and Oklahoma will play Alabama in the Orange Bowl at 8 p.m.

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