Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

Bama downs Georgia, punches ticket to playoff

After handing Georgia its first loss in nearly two years, Alabama mixed a raucous celebration of its latest Southeastern Conference championship with a whole lot of lobbying for a College Football Playoff spot that no one could’ve envisioned in September.

Jalen Milroe, the quarterback who epitomizes the Crimson Tide’s remarkable turnaround from an early-season loss to Texas, posed a pointed question to the committee that will decide who’s in — and who’s out.

“Georgia is number one, right?” said Milroe, who was picked as MVP of a 27-24 victory Saturday that snapped the top-ranked Bulldogs’ 29-game winning streak. “We just beat the number one team. What do you consider us?”

The playoff selection committee agreed.

Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama were selected to the College Football Playoff on Sunday, making Florida State the first unbeaten Power Five conference champion to be excluded from the four-team field.

Michigan will face Alabama in the Rose Bowl and Washington will play Texas in the Sugar Bowl in the Jan. 1 CFP semifinals. The national championship will be decided Jan. 8 against Houston.

The final season of the four-team playoff before it expands to 12 next year presented the CFP selection committee with its toughest decision in the 10-year history of the postseason system.

The Seminoles (13-0) lost star quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending injury two weeks ago, but continued to win with a backup and then a third-string quarterback. But the committee is instructed to judge the teams for what they are heading into the playoff and decided FSU without Travis was not among the best four in the country.

That steered the committee to Alabama, which upset Georgia to win the Southeastern Conference championship, and Big 12 champion Texas, which beat the Crimson Tide on the road in September.

Florida State defensive lineman Patrick Payton reacts after a play during the second half of the team’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game against Louisville, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

No matter which team was left out it would have had a good argument to get in. That created unprecedented controversy.

The SEC had never missed the playoff. Alabama, which is in for the eighth time, kept that streak alive.

Texas would have been just the second Power Five team with only one loss to be left out. Instead, the Longhorns will be making their first appearance in the CFP in their last season as a member of the Big 12. Texas moves to the SEC next year.

Big Ten champion Michigan is making its third straight appearance in the CFP, still looking for its first playoff victory.

Washington is in the CFP for the second time, breaking the Pac-12’s playoff drought after six years, and doing so the year before it leaves the conference for the Big Ten.

Florida State, which was No. 4 in the previous CFP rankings, appeared to be on the way to its second playoff appearance in mid-November when the trajectory of their season changed drastically. Travis suffered a serious injury in the first quarter against North Alabama and was lost for the year.

The Seminoles beat rival Florida last week with backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker playing. Then Rodemaker missed the ACC championship against Louisville with a concussion. Florida State stayed unbeaten with a strong defensive performance, but scored only one touchdown.

Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia