Bama, Clemson, Ohio State, & Irish selected to 2021 CFP
On Sunday, the highly-anticipated College Football Playoff selection drew to a climax. Following a rigorous round of conference championship games, tumultuous virus-plagued seasons, and plenty of lengthy debates and discussions, the polarizing yet deciding force in the College Football Playoff committee made its top four teams known.
With that, in order from first to fourth, the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish were selected as the committee’s four playoff teams. In order, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Florida, Cincinnati, Georgia, and Iowa State rounded out the final top-10 rankings. Each of the national semifinals along with the 2020 CFP National Championship Game will be aired on ESPN.
The No. 1 Tide will face the fourth-ranked Irish at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The winner of that national semifinal will face the winner of second-ranked Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State. The Tigers defeated the Buckeyes in the national semifinal last season by a final score of 29-23 in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona. This year, the two teams will rematch at 7 p.m. New Year’s Day at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Even though Notre Dame fell by 24 points to Clemson in their ACC Championship game rematch, the Irish were selected fourth by the committee over the one-loss and fifth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies of the SEC. The committee said the decision was “based on the complete analysis of the resumé.”
Notre Dame had an additional win over a ranked team. The Irish hold ranked wins at home against then-No. 1 Clemson (47-40, F/2OT) and at then No. 17-ranked UNC (31-17).
The Aggies’ lone win against a ranked opponent was at home against the previously unbeaten and fourth-ranked Florida Gators by a final score of 41-38. Notre Dame also competed as a part of the ACC Conference this year instead of an Independent school due to COVID-19 implications.
The Aggies will face No. 13-ranked North Carolina in the Orange Bowl at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, which will be aired live on ESPN.
The CFP National Championship game will take place at 7 p.m. January 11, 2021, at Hard Rock Stadium. For more sports coverage, click here.