Oklahoma snags 4th spot in college football playoff

  • Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray hoists the Most Outstanding Player trophy after beating Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter) Jeffrey McWhorter

  • Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) celebrates after scoring the during the fourth quarter against Georgia during an NCAA college football game for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta. (AJ ReynoldsAthens Banner-Herald via AP) AJ Reynolds

  • Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney raises the trophy after Clemson won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game against Pittsburgh in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Chuck Burton

  • Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) runs with the ball during an NCAA college football game against Alabama for the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta. (AJ Reynolds/Athens Banner-Herald via AP) AJ Reynolds

  • Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave, right, is congratulated by quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) after catching a touchdown pass during the second half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Northwestern, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast) AJ Mast

Associated Press
Published: 12/2/2018 8:04:41 PM

Faced with a tricky choice, the College Football Playoff selection committee fell back on some simple criteria: One loss is better than two. Winning a conference championship is better than not. Go with the team that didn’t get blown out.

Oklahoma is in the playoff over Georgia, moving into the fourth and final spot Sunday after the Sooners avenged their only loss by winning the Big 12 championship against Texas.

“I feel like we have a team worthy of it, a team that can go make a run,” Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said on ESPN.

The Sooners (12-1) will face No. 1 Alabama (13-0) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 in a matchup of Heisman Trophy front-runner quarterbacks — Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and the Tide’s Tua Tagovailoa, who sprained his ankle in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

No. 2 Clemson (13-0) plays No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) in the Cotton Bowl on the same day. The winners meet in the championship game on Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, California.

The rest of the New Year’s Six bowl matchups are UCF vs. LSU in the Fiesta Bowl; Florida vs. Michigan in the Peach Bowl; Ohio State vs. Washington in the Rose Bowl; and Texas vs. Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia (11-2) dropped a spot to fifth and Ohio State (12-1) remained sixth in the selection committee’s final top 25 released Sunday. The Bulldogs lost to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday while the Buckeyes won the Big Ten championship against Northwestern.

“In the end, one-loss conference champion with their only loss being on a neutral field to a ranked team, which they avenged in their conference championship,” selection committee chairman Rob Mullens said on ESPN. “Every combination was vetted, looking at their full body of work, their resumes side-by-side. In the end, what we decided was amongst the group of three, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, the committee voted that no one was unequivocally better than the other so then we leaned on the protocol. So we went with the one-loss conference champion.”

Selection committee protocol states conference championships work as a virtual tiebreaker when teams are close. The Sooners beat Texas for the Big 12 title on Saturday, paying back a three-point loss in October in Dallas in the Red River Rivalry game.




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