The College Football Playoff field is official. No. 1 Clemson (12-1) will face No. 4 Alabama (11-1) in the Sugar Bowl, while No. 2 Oklahoma (12-1) will face No. 3 Georgia (12-1) in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Did the committee get it right?
“I think so,” CBS Sports Network college football analyst Houston Nutt said on The DA Show. “I think so. I’m a big believer in conference champions, no question about it. I wish every conference champion could go in, no doubt about it. But it’s not the way it’s set up. When you look at it, I think the Iowa game is just a tough game to overlook when you see that many points, and Alabama has been No. 1 throughout the season.”
Alabama’s best wins came against No. 17 LSU (9-3) and No. 23 Mississippi State (8-4). The committee, though, likely gave Alabama credit for its season-opening win against then-No. 3 Florida State, which lost Deondre Francois for the season and finished 6-6.
“Remember: That Florida State game before the year, that’s all we talked about during the summer,” Nutt said. “Deondre Francois and the defense of Florida State – some people picked Florida State to beat Alabama, so that was a huge, huge first game. It doesn’t look so pretty now because of all (of Florida State’s) injuries, but I think for the most part, they got it right.”
Nutt, however, would like to see the playoff expand to eight teams.
“I really feel like if they had five champions and three at-large (teams), I really think they get everything right,” he said. “I know No. 9, the next number (left out) is going to be upset. But when you win the conference championship, ask Penn State last year. Penn State won the conference championship, but they didn’t go. To me, that kind of set the precedent. But I think they’re getting the four best teams. I think overall when you look at Alabama, I think they’re the fourth-best team.”
DA would agree. After all, Alabama is favored by a point against Clemson, and if Dabo Swinney could pick his opponent, wouldn’t he rather face Ohio State than Alabama?
“If you asked Dabo Swinney, he’s going to tell you, ‘Hey, we’re just glad to be there. We’ll play anybody,’” Nutt said. “But I think you’re right. Alabama, that’s a mouthful. Alabama is favored. They’re No. 4. They’re favored against No. 1. To me, Nick Saban has done a good job with recruiting for the last four or five years of getting the best players, and look at all the injuries that he’s had. I can’t wait to see the game. I think it’s going to be awesome.”