GRAPEVINE, Texas – The SEC's dominance of the season this season was reflected in the first ranking of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee season when the lossy LSU Notre Dame jumped undefeated as number 3, finishing in first place in Alabama and joining no 2 Clemson in the CFP semi-final.
With this special ranking, there would be five SEC teams in the shells of the New Year, including two in the semifinals.
But do not write down the Big 12 and Pac from -12 yet.
With the loss of Oklahoma in 7th place and the loss of Washington in 8th place, the 13 members of the Selection Committee have given these conference leaders more credit than the court of public opinion. Both teams have big planning issues and would probably need to win and finish with a conference title to get into the top four, but if you start in the top 1
While the strength of the schedule for Washington State, which was not an opponent of the Power 5 conferences, was not a major deterrent, UCF remained unbeaten in 12th place. The selection committee did not consider the past seasons – only the CV of this season. Still, it would be good enough for the Knights to get another bid for a New Year's Eve bowl.
This is what the brace would look like if the playoff ended today.
No. 1 Alabama would play against Notre Dame at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic's College Football Playoff semi-finals, as the committee is not the number one geographical disadvantage, and although Arlington is slightly more marginal than Orlando, where No. 2 Clemson will face in the semi-final It would also be an unfair advantage for the LSU to play in Arlington as it is closer to Baton Rouge geographically than Tuscaloosa.
The Northwestern Mutual-presented Rose Bowl is a contract bowl in which the Big Ten champion historically competes against the Pac-12 champ, which is ranked No. 5 Michigan against No. 8 Washington State in this ranking. The Allstate Sugar Bowl is also a contract bowl guaranteed to garner the Big 12 Champion and SEC Champion. With both the SEC champion, in this case Alabama, and the runner-up, LSU, in the semi-finals, the Sugar Bowl would receive the next highest SEC team, the number 6 in Georgia. The Bulldogs would play # 7 Oklahoma, the projected Big 12 champion in this ranking.
12 UCF would likely head to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl for Best Group-of-Five Conference Champion, claiming a place in a Six-Bowl for the New Year because she was inducted into the chick-fil-A series last year. Peach Bowl was playing. The Knights would face Kentucky # 9 based on fan interest and matchup.
The Peach Bowl would then have Ohio State No. 10 against No. 11 Florida as they are the highest ranked remaining teams and this would also be selected due to fan interest and matchup.
( All games are viewable on ESPN and the ESPN App )
Saturday, December 29
Noon ET: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl : # 11 Florida vs. No. 10 Ohio State
16.00 ET: College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: No. 4 Notre Dame Against No. 1 Alabama (Cotton Bowl Stadium, Arlington, Texas)
8:00 pm ET: College Football Playoff Semifinals in the Capital One Orange Bowl: No. 3 LSU vs.. # 2 Clemson (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida)
Tuesday, January 1  1:00 pm ET: PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: No. 9 Kentucky Vs. # 12 UCF (University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Arizona)
17.00 ET: Rose Bowl Game, presented by Northwestern Mutual: No. 8 Washington State Vs. No. 5 Michigan (Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California)
8:45 am ET: Allstate Sugar Bowl: No. 7 Oklahoma vs. California. No. 6 Georgia (Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans)