Alabama is headed to its fourth consecutive College Football Playoff as UA ranked No. 4 in the final CFP rankings, ahead of Ohio State.

Alabama will face No. 1 Clemson in a semifinal in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The Crimson Tide and Tigers are meeting for the third straight postseason after playing for the national championship in 2015 and 2016.

In the last week, the debate about which team deserved to get in to the playoff was intense, with Buckeyes proponents advancing their quality wins and Big Ten conference championship. Ohio State defeated previously unbeaten Wisconsin 27-21 on Saturday night.

“The committee looked at one-loss Alabama compared to a two-loss Ohio State,” said Kirby Hocutt, chairman of the College Football Playoff committee. “More damaging was 31-point loss to unranked Iowa.”

For Alabama, its advocates pushed the notion of the eye test and the fact that the Crimson Tide’s 12-point loss at Auburn, its only of the season, was better than Ohio State’s 31-point defeat at Iowa in early November. Ohio State lost by 15 at home to Oklahoma. Alabama also started the season at No. 1 in preseason polls and held that position until it was beaten by Auburn.

“Alabama was clearly the No. 4 team in the country as a non-champion,” Hocutt said.

More to come…