Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COLLEGE FOOTBALL ; Final CFP Rankings Bring No Surprises, Complaints

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COLLEGE FOOTBALL ; Final CFP Rankings Bring No Surprises, Complaints

Article excerpt

A college football season filled with fantastic finishes led to a sleepy selection Sunday. Top-seeded Clemson will play No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl in the first College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year's Eve. No. 2 Alabama will play No. 3 Michigan State at the Cotton Bowl in the nightcap of the Dec. 31 doubleheader.

No drama. No complaints. Nothing at all like the week-to-week mayhem - with one once-in-a-lifetime-play after another - that made the season memorable.

In the end, the only real debate was how to rank the top four teams.

Clemson (13-0) has been No. 1 since the committee began its rankings the first week of November, and committee chairman Jeff Long said that the Tigers were the clear top team in the final rankings. As the top seed, the Tigers get to play as close to home as possible. The Tigers and Sooners (11-1) met in Russell Athletic Bowl last season and Clemson won 40-6.

"Last year's game with Oklahoma has nothing to do with this year's game. They are a different team. We're a different team, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said.

Clemson and Oklahoma have split four meetings, dating back to 1963.

Alabama (12-1) began its season at AT&T Stadium in North Texas against a Big Ten team (Wisconsin) and returns to face another in Michigan State (12-1). The Tide and Spartans have played only once, with Alabama winning the Capital One Bowl 49-7 after the 2010 season.

Oklahoma was No. 3 last week after it finished its regular season as the Big 12 champion, but Michigan State's Big Ten championship game victory over previously unbeaten Iowa pushed the Spartans past the Sooners in the end.

Long said bumping Michigan State past Oklahoma had nothing to do with avoiding the possibility of having the Sooners play close to home in the Dallas area.

And that was it for drama, if you could even call it that. …

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