The debate is over. The College Football Playoff is now set, and three of the four teams making the final field are conference champions that clinched their spots by virtue of wins on Saturday.
1. Clemson (12-1)
2. Oklahoma (12-1)
3. Georgia (12-1)
4. Alabama (11-1)
That means the Tigers will take on the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl -- a rematch of the last two national championships -- while the Sooners and Bulldogs will square off in the Rose Bowl in a pair of CFP Semifinal games on Monday, Jan. 1.
It also means No. 5 Ohio State (11-2) was left out of the top four due in large part to its 31-point road loss to Iowa and despite the Buckeyes winning a conference championship and two games against teams in the final top 10. Slotting in at No. 6 is Wisconsin (12-1), ahead of Pac-12 champion USC (11-2).
The committee is sending several messages, some of which people have not wanted to hear, with the selection of Alabama over Ohio State. The first of those is that they have no problem selecting two teams from the same conference. Conference champion Georgia and SEC West division runner-up Alabama are both in the field.
Another message is that conference championships do not mean a lot. We learned that last year, too, but people do not like to hear that. The committee has said all along that being a conference champion is just a tiebreaker, which means that the committee did not feel that it was close between Alabama and Ohio State.
The two major polls are in, and they're in agreement: Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama are the best four teams in the country.
The Tigers and Sooners maintain the top two spots, Georgia moved up three spots to No. 3 after topping Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship Game and Alabama moves up one spot to No. 4 -- one spot ahead of Ohio State, which topped Wisconsin on Saturday night in the Big Ten Championship Game.
In the AP Top 25, it's the Crimson Tide. Coach Nick Saban's crew chimed in above the Buckeyes despite not winning their division. Clemson maintained the top spot, with Oklahoma holding strong at No. 2 and Georgia jumping from No. 6 to No. 3 after dominating Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship Game.