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Ohio State just misses out on College Football Playoff, to play USC in Cotton Bowl

WSYX/WTTE

Alabama is in.

The Crimson Tide got the nod over Ohio State and will play Clemson in the College Football Playoff on Jan. 1, likely in the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma and Georgia will meet in the other semifinal — probably the Rose Bowl — on New Year's Day.

Tide or Buckeyes was the question facing the selection committee, the toughest call in the four-year history of the playoff.

The Tide had been more consistent and lost just once. The Buckeyes lost twice, including an embarrassing 31-point beating to unranked Iowa, but have the more impressive set of victories (#6 Wisconsin, #9 Penn State, #16 Michigan State). Ohio State won the Big Ten while Alabama did not even win its Southeastern Conference division.

The committee rolled with the Tide, and for the first time the playoff will include two teams from the same conference. Alabama joins SEC champion Georgia and an all-SEC title game is possible.

Here's a look at the top 5 teams

  1. Clemson
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Georgia
  4. Alabama
  5. Ohio State
  6. Wisconsin

Ohio State will play USC in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on December 29. They were favored to play in the Fiesta Bowl, but the bowl selection committee favored a different venue since the Buckeyes played their previous two bowl games there. Penn State will play Washington as a result.

It'll be the Buckeyes second ever appearance in the Cotton Bowl. They won the 1987 Cotton Bowl Classic over Texas A&M, 28-12.

It will be the 24th all-time meeting between the two blueblood programs (USC leads the series 13-9-1, including wins in the last 7 games). It will be their 8th meeting in a bowl game, but the first time it won't be in the Rose Bowl (Trojans lead 4-3, including winning the last 3).

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