DALLAS, Sporting Alert – The 2016-17 College Football Playoff semi-finals field in now set and there were little to no surprises with the lineup that has been assembled.
Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington are the four programs that will feature on the on New Year’s Eve in the battle for the national title.
The selection committee made the announcement on selection Sunday (4), the final day to pick the top four teams in the country.
Alabama, without an issue, returned as the No. 1 team in the final CFP rankings, while ACC champion Clemson jumped Ohio State for the No. 2 spot with the Buckeyes slipping to No. 3.
Those three teams were on the pundits’ final list, but everyone was anxious to know which team would be the fourth squad in the playoff.
At the end of the day, the 12-man College Football Playoff selection committee decided to reward Washington for its impressive in-conference record and the fact that it won the Pac-12 championship title.
“Had Washington had a stronger strength of schedule, I do not think that conversation would have been as difficult,” CFP committee chairman and the athletic director at Texas Tech, Kirby Hocutt said on ESPN.
Huskies sophomore tailback Myles Gaskin, who rushed for 159 yards on 29 carries in the Pac-12 championships game against Colorado said: “It’s one of those things where it’s just on to the next game.
“We’re going to enjoy this one for 24 hours like coach Pete always says and then it’s on to the next one. We’ve got some time to get rested up. We’ve got a big one coming up next.”
Sitting on the outside at No. 5 was the Big Ten champion Penn State, which finished ahead of both Ohio State and Michigan to win the Big Ten East as well.
The Wolverines were No. 6.
College Football Playoff Semifinal Schedule:
The Crimson Tide will face the Huskies in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Tigers will square off with the Buckeyes in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31.
The rest of the rankings is listed below.
College Football Playoff Rankings
RK TEAM REC
1 Alabama 13-0
2 Clemson 12-1
3 Ohio State 11-1
4 Washington 12-1
5 Penn State 11-2
6 Michigan 10-2
7 Oklahoma 10-2
8 Wisconsin 10-3
9 USC 9-3
10 Colorado 10-3
11 Florida State 9-3
12 Oklahoma State 9-3
13 Louisville 9-3
14 Auburn 8-4
15 Western Michigan 13-0
16 West Virginia 10-2
17 Florida 8-4
18 Stanford 9-3
19 Utah 8-4
20 LSU 7-4
21 Tennessee 8-4
22 Virginia Tech 9-4
23 Pittsburgh 8-4
24 Temple 10-3
25 Navy 9-3
Dropped from rankings: Houston 24