Do you think the College Football Playoff selection committee members slept much Saturday night?
Two of college football’s heavyweights, Alabama and Ohio State, are “battling” for the final playoff spot, with the four teams being announced Sunday just after Noon ET.
Alabama has been in each of the three playoffs: The Crimson Tide lost the championship game to Clemson last season, beat Clemson for the title in 2015-16 and lost to Ohio State in the semifinals in 2014-15. Ohio State won the 2014-15 playoff title and lost to Clemson in the semifinals last season. The Buckeyes did not make the 2015-16 playoff.
It’s Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. Tradition and titles on top of tradition and titles. But one will get handed a New Year’s Six bowl invitation Sunday instead of the coveted playoff one. On Saturday night, Saban made Alabama’s case and Meyer went to bat for his Buckeyes.
We don’t know which team gets in, but we know this: One team and its fans will lose their minds Sunday when they are left out.
We asked some SEC Country writers and editors how they think it all will shake out Sunday afternoon.
Vote: Alabama (9*)
Hale McGranahan: If you lose to an unranked team by more than 30 points, you don’t deserve a seat at the table.
Eric Bolin: Alabama will get in because “they” won’t do that to Nick Saban.
Marq Burnett: Ohio State lost by 31 to Iowa. Thirty one. Good teams don’t lose by 31 points at home, on the road or on Mars. Alabama’s one loss came on the road to an in-state rival. Alabama is better than Ohio State.
Justin Ferguson: The Crimson Tide had their most lopsided road loss in a while this season, but it was by 12 to a fellow playoff contender, not by 31 to a team that finished under .500 in its own conference.
Alex Martin Smith: The Big Ten Championship Game played out perfectly for Bama. Ohio State knocked out Wisconsin while failing to score any style points in crunch time.
Chris Walsh: Ohio State just can’t overcome the loss at Iowa.
Thomas Neumann: Allowing 55 points in a game is a nonstarter for any logical playoff debate.
Ryan Young: Two lopsided losses for Ohio State, including a 31-point loss to Iowa (Iowa!) is too much to wipe away simply with a Big Ten title.
* One voter did not comment
Vote: Ohio State (4)
Joe Mussatto: I’d take Alabama in a play-in game, but I think the committee sides with the conference champ.
Mike Griffith: Ohio State played 13 FBS teams; Alabama played 11. Ohio State beat an undefeated team and won its conference title. I’m in favor of conference titles carrying weight.
Jordan McPherson: While Ohio State’s loss to Iowa is an eyesore, the Buckeyes’ three top-12 wins plus a Big Ten championship gives them a narrow edge over a one-loss Alabama team that didn’t make the SEC Championship Game.
Daniel Shirley: Conference championships should matter (and they should have last year, as well).