The four teams that earned spots in the College Football Playoff were named Sunday, and there really were no surprises. Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington will face off in the semifinals, which will be held Dec. 31. The semifinal winners will meet in the championship game on Jan. 9 in Tampa, Florida.
Alabama cruised into the playoffs for the third straight year with a 54-16 victory against Florida in Saturday’s Southeastern Conference championship game. Clemson held on to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship by beating Virginia Tech, 42-35. Ohio State, which lost the Big Ten East tiebreaker to Penn State and was idle this weekend, became the first team to reach the playoff in its three-year history without winning its conference. Washington whipped Colorado 41-10 in the Pac-12 title game Friday night.
Big Ten champion Penn State missed the playoff despite its 38-31 victory against Wisconsin on Saturday and a victory against Ohio State earlier in the season. The Nittany Lions, winners of nine straight games, wound up fifth in the rankings, while Michigan was No. 6.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer watched the announcement from a maternity ward in Columbus, Ohio, as his oldest daughter gave birth to his first grandchild, ESPN reported.
“It's been incredible,” Meyer told ESPN. “And everybody is good.”
At the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Alabama opened as a 14-point favorite over Washington. Ohio State was a three-point favorite over Clemson.