Chalk Overcomes Chaos As Alabama Is Left Out Of The Dance

Chalk overcame chaos in the final College Football Playoff ranking of the year.

There were no shocking surprises, no insurgent cracking the top 4….and, when all was said and done, no Alabama in the Playoff.

As expected, defending national champion Georgia (13-0) remained the No. 1 seed after the Bulldogs thumped LSU, 50-30, Saturday in the SEC championship game, while fellow unbeaten Michigan (13-0) stayed at No. 2 after the Wolverines beat Purdue, 43-22, in the Big Ten title game.

Despite some intrigue, TCU (12-1) remained at No. 3 after losing to Kansas State, 31-28 in overtime, in the Big 12 title game.

Ohio State (11-1) jumped to No. 4 from 5 after Utah beat then-No. 4 Southern Cal in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night.

No. 1 Georgia will get home field advantage by facing No. 4 Ohio State in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta in one national semifinal on Dec. 31, while No. 2 Michigan will meet No. 3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

The national championship game is set for Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Alabama (10-2), which has won three national championships under the current format, finished at No. 5 and will play Big 12 champ Kansas State (10-3) on Dec. 31 in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Nick Saban’s team didn’t win the SEC West, lost to an LSU team that now has four losses and didn’t have history in its favor: a two-loss team has never made the Playoff before.

“When we looked at the total body of work, the committee was comfortable with Ohio State at 4 and Alabama at 5,” committee chairman Boo Corrigan said on ESPN.

Asked if the possibility of an Ohio State-Michigan rematch in a potential 2-3 game played a role in Ohio State being seeded No. 4, Corrigan said, “It really wasn’t discussed. Our goal was to get the top four teams right.”

Saban told ESPN that his team didn’t have any bad losses, while some other teams did. He pointed out that his team’s two losses — at Tennessee and at LSU — were by a combined 4 points, and that his quarterback, defending Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, had been dealing with a shoulder injury.

Still, he told ESPN’s Mardy Smith, “We are absolutely national-championship caliber.”

But those arguments didn’t go over with the committee.

“I look at an Alabama team that has two losses, they’re not even in this conversation for me,” ESPN’s Booger McFarland said Sunday morning on air. “The only reason they’re in this conversation is because of their history and what we’ve seen from Alabama.”

Despite its loss Saturday, TCU owns a win against Big 12 champion Kansas State, which is better than anything Alabama or Ohio State has on its resume.

“There was a lot of respect for Kansas State in that room as well, and that win [by TCU over Kansas State in the regular season] kind of won the day for TCU to be the No. 3 team,” Corrigan said.

TCU went 4-1 against Top 25 teams, while Ohio State was 2-1.

“We shouldn’t be punished for coming to the Big 12 Championship,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes told reporters following the overtime loss.

“We were No. 3 last week and my hope is we would stay at 3 and go tee it up and see how we do,” he added.