The College Football Playoff selection committee released its final rankings of the year on Sunday, and it decided that Georgia will be the only representative from the SEC in this season’s CFP.
After USC and TCU failed to win their respective conference title games, there was much discussion on whether the Alabama Crimson Tide would sneak into the College Football Playoff. Although Alabama did not play in the SEC title game after finishing in second place in the SEC West, Nick Saban’s squad managed to win its final three SEC games of the regular season.
In the end, the College Football Playoff selection committee elected to move Ohio State up to the No. 4 spot, while the Crimson Tide are on the outside looking in at No. 5. For Saban, as he told ESPN on Sunday, he is “disappointed” that Alabama will not appear in the CFP, but he is much looking forward to seeing his team play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
“We’re obviously disappointed,” Saban said. “We wanted to see our team have an opportunity to play and get into the playoffs. But we’re gonna get an opportunity to play someone, somewhere in a good game, and that’s going to be an opportunity for our players to create value for themselves and show what kind of team we really have.”
In the big picture, Saban came away with plenty of learning lessons from Alabama’s 12-game regular season schedule.
“We probably have to do a much better job with making sure you have great relationships with all your players because I think it’s more difficult in the landscape of college football to be able to keep people focused,” Saban said. “Because there’s a lot of external factors that can affect them. You want them to be able to stay focused on the task at hand.
“That’s what they control and that’s really what builds value for them and their future, and I think that’s the No. 1 thing that we would like to do a better job of in the future.”
Alabama is set to cap off its campaign in the Sugar Bowl against the reigning Big 12 champions in the Kansas State Wildcats.