TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — In the end, Alabama football has Iowa to thank.
That was the biggest factor in the College Football Playoff committee selecting the Crimson Tide as the No. 4 seed over Ohio State on Sunday.
Alabama will face No. 1 Clemson in the Sugar Bowl semifinal on Jan. 1. No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia will meet in the Rose Bowl semifinal the same day.
Alabama has now made the playoff in every year of its four-year existence.
“Alabama was clearly the No. 4-ranked team in the country even as a non-conference champion,” College Football Playoff committee chairman Kirby Hocutt said on Sunday.
Alabama was off this past weekend after losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 25. The Tigers lost 28-7 to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday.
With Georgia, Clemson and Oklahoma all winning their conference championships, there was only one spot left for Alabama and Ohio State to battle for.
The Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin 27-21 to win the Big 10 championship on Saturday night. It was an ugly performance, as the Buckeyes had multiple turnovers, and needed to hang on late.
Ohio State’s resume includes wins over Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan. It’s the Buckeyes’ losses that give people pause.
The Buckeyes were beat down at home by Oklahoma, which doesn’t seem as bad considering how good the Sooners are.
The second loss came at Iowa by 31 points. The Buckeyes were smashed 55-24 by the Hawkeyes. Good teams don’t get beat by 31 points — at home or on the road.
For Alabama, the Crimson Tide’s best wins include LSU and Mississippi State. Alabama isn’t getting credit for the Florida State win, despite beating the Seminoles at full strength.
Alabama’s lone loss came on the road to Auburn, who was ranked No. 2 in College Football Playoff rankings last week.