Conference Championship weekend has wrapped up, and Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma have been selected to battle it out for the National Championship. As usual, the debate rages on as to whether the committee got their choices right or snubbed certain teams. Neil Simmons and Michael Logan debate whether the playoff field is fair, or if Ohio State, Georgie or UCF should have been included.
Neil Simmons: I think the committee got it right. Alabama and Clemson have looked like juggernauts all season, Notre Dame went undefeated against a formidable schedule and Oklahoma’s unstoppable offense propelled them to 12 wins and a Big 12 title. While I think Georgia is a better team than OU and the Irish, it’d be hard to justify putting them in with two losses and no conference championship. Ohio State has a decent case of their own, a 12-1 record and a Big 10 championship, but any team that loses by 29 points to Purdue shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Michael Logan: If the goal of the College Football Playoff committee is to put the best teams into the playoff, then no, they did not get it right. I am not saying they should have put UCF in, but I think it is pretty clear that Ohio State and Georgia are superior to Oklahoma. Georgia is the only team to give a historically great Alabama team a run for their money. Nick Saban said he would not want to play the Bulldogs again in the playoffs and I am sure they celebrated their lone competition (Georgia) not making the playoff.
Oklahoma can’t stop a nosebleed on defense and couple that with a Tua Tagovailoa-led offense, this game will be a rout from beginning to end.
Simmons: I agree Georgia is a better team than Oklahoma, but you can’t put an 11-2 team without a conference title in the Top 4 ahead of a 12-1 squad who won their conference and avenged their only loss of the season (vs Texas) in that game. Ultimately the Sooners had the superior resume and were more deserving of the final spot.
Saban’s Bama defenses have historically had a tough time against dual-threat QBs, and I think future Heisman winner Kyler Murray will give them fits. If Tua isn’t 100 percent by kickoff, the Cotton Bowl will be a much closer game than we expect.
Logan: While Murray is great, he isn’t the second coming of Jesus Christ, and that is what they would need from him in order to win against Alabama what with the Sooners’ paltry defense. Jake Fromm and Georgia have proven they can contend with Alabama, and they deserve another chance. If not them, then you have to go with Ohio State. Other than its brutal lose to Purdue, the Buckeyes have done everything right, and they even throttled a good Northwestern team to win the Big Ten conference.
Dwayne Haskins has been unbelievable for Ohio State under center and is a dark horse Heisman trophy candidate. Even though defense isn’t its strong suit, they could hang around with Alabama.
Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neil Simmons is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.