The College Football Playoff field is officially set, and it will include some familiar names. SEC champion Alabama is back in the College Football Playoff for a fifth straight year. They are joined by ACC champion Clemson, making their fourth consecutive appearance, undefeated Notre Dame and Big 12 champion Oklahoma.
Alabama is the only school to play in the College Football Playoff every season the playoff has been held. Alabama’s inclusion and Clemson’s appearance continue a perfect streak by the SEC and ACC in having a representative in the playoff field.
Notre Dame is making its first playoff appearance. This will be the second time since the dawn of the BCS era Notre Dame will have the chance to play for a true national championship. Notre Dame lost to Alabama in the BCS national championship game in 2012.
Alabama will face Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29. Clemson and Notre Dame will play in the Cotton Bowl on the same day. Kickoff times will be either 4 pm or 8 pm ET.
Missing the cut for the playoff was SEC championship game runner-up Georgia, who played for the national title last season, and Big Ten champion Ohio State. This is the second straight year the Big Ten has failed to be represented in the playoff and the third straight year the Big Ten’s champion has not been included. Georgia was the selection committee’s No. 5 team, with Ohio State being ranked No. 6.
The Pac-12 is also out of the playoff for the second-straight season. The Pac-12 has missed out on the playoff a total of three times. The Big 12 and Big Ten each have been left out entirely twice.