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Playoff season

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Sophie Jejurikar, Section Editor

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The teams that clinched a spot in the college football playoffs were not predicted this year as easily as they usually are. This year, just winning the conference did not secure a spot in the playoffs. On Saturday Dec. 2, some of the potential candidates played in their conference championships.

In Indianapolis, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Wisconsin Badgers by 6 points in the Big Ten Championship game. In North Carolina, the Miami Hurricanes lost to the Clemson Tigers by 35 points in the ACC Championship game. In Atlanta, the Auburn Tigers lost to the Georgia Bulldogs by 21 points in the SEC Championship game. In Arlington, the Oklahoma Sooners beat the TCU Horned Frogs by 24 points in the Big 12 Championship game.

After the conference games, Clemson was ranked first, Oklahoma second, Georgia third, and Alabama fourth. Ohio State, who won their conference game, was ranked fifth. Many Buckeye fans were upset that Alabama was ranked above them but did not even make their conference championships. Ohio State’s head coach, Urban Meyer, tried to stay positive when reacting to his team not making the playoffs in an interview with ESPN.

“I was kind of hoping we had those good wins, I think we had three wins against top 16 teams in America,” Meyer said. “But I get it, let’s move forward and get around people you care for- your family, your teammates.”

The other teams in the conference championships that did not make the playoffs will all be in bowl games. Ohio State will play USC in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington. Wisconsin and Miami will play each other in the Orange Bowl in Miami. Auburn will play UCF in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, and TCU will play Stanford in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

The playoff committee’s choice in teams shows what they prioritize for the top four teams. Winning a conference does not always assure a spot in the playoffs, but Alabama only had one loss in their season while Ohio State had two. The Buckeyes lost to the unranked Iowa Hawkeyes by 31 points, which had a large impact on them not having a playoff spot.

On New Year’s Day, Oklahoma will play Georgia in the Rose Bowl in California and Clemson will play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The winner of each game will go on to play each other in the national championship in Atlanta. The College Football Playoff National Championship is on Jan. 8, 2018.

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