For the first time ever, the annual College Football Playoff has selected four college football teams to compete in its new championship tournament.
According to Nicole Auerbach of USA Today Sports, the top four seeds were announced Sunday afternoon. On Jan. 1, 2015, No. 1 Alabama will play No. 4 Ohio State at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans at 8:30 p.m. ET and No. 2 Oregon will take on No. 3 Florida State at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. at 5 p.m. ET.
The winner of the Sugar and Rose Bowls will compete for the national championship on Jan. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
USA Today reported that the most controversial pick happened in the race for the fourth spot. Texas Christian University, Ohio State and Baylor all tried to make their best case possible in order to secure a spot; after much consideration, the Playoff selection committee ended up selecting Ohio State.
"It was really about Ohio State's moving up, their performance on the field that made the difference to the committee to move them up," committee chairman Jeff Long said.
All three teams had their ups and downs during the college football season. However, Long noted that although the Buckeyes' loss to Virginia Tech back in September played a major factor, Ohio State managed to beat nine other bowl-eligible teams and have a stellar performance in the Big Ten championship game.
"With the championship game, Ohio State demonstrated they were a total team and did overcome replacing two quarterbacks," Long said. "Ohio State's performance in a 13th game gave them a quality win over a highly ranked team. ... Ohio State earned that spot."
Long added that Ohio State's performance on the field "made a difference to the committee," noting that "they were voted in there clearly."
However, not everyone is happy with the selection of teams for the inaugural college football championship tournament. The Associated Press reported that the Big 12, which includes TCU and Baylor, were taken out of the playoff picture altogether.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Associated Press that he may have figured out which factors could play in selecting teams for this new tournament.
"I would say that human nature is that the most recent thing that occurs, in this case the most-recent achievements, are the most impactful," Bowlsby said. "Ohio State's victory over Wisconsin was complete domination, and in that regard they played their way into the position they now enjoy."
The Associated Press reported that Bowlsby and his conference athletic directors are meeting in New York this week to potentially discuss the topic of how best to determine a champion. In response, Long noted it was too soon to say what changes will need to be made.
"I think that the committee will look at this year, look at this season, look how the entire process went," Long said.
The College Football Playoff will begin on New Years Day.