Alabama vs Oklahoma in Playoff
Oklahoma and Alabama will meet in the semifinals of the 2018 College Football Playoff after they each won their conference titles over the weekend.
Alabama would be favored on a neutral field against anyone in the country by at least 2.5 points,
By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer Oklahoma is in the College Football Playoff, moving into the fourth and final spot in the rankings after winning the Big 12 championship. The Sooners (12-1) will face No. 1 Alabama (13-0) in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29
Alabama has been favored in 52 straight games, so naturally it has been favored in every College Football Playoff matchup it has ever played. The Tide are making their fifth appearance in the CFP’s five-year existence.
There have been just two double-digit favorites in College Football Playoff history — Alabama -10 vs. Michigan State in 2015 and Alabama -15.5 vs. Washington in 2016.
How Alabama Reached the College Football Playoff
The Tide took no prisoners all season, winning their first 12 games by at least 20 points before narrowly escaping against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Even with a loss to Georgia, Alabama likely would have gotten in the playoff.
How Oklahoma Reached the College Football Playoff
The Sooners have used the nation’s best offense to carry a porous defense that’s allowed 32.4 points per game, which is 96th in the nation.
Oklahoma’s schedule wasn’t murderer’s row by any means, but the Sooners avenged their only loss to Texas and didn’t suffer any blowout losses like Ohio State did. That ultimately was the difference.
College Football Playoff Betting History
Alabama has never been an underdog in the College Football Playoff, but is just 3-4 against the spread and lost two of those games outright
Alabama and Clemson are the top two seeds after completing unbeaten regular seasons. The Crimson Tide now have made the field in all five seasons of the current system that decides the college football championship. After missing out on the inaugural final four, this is the fourth consecutive berth for the Tigers.
What’s new to the playoff this year is Notre Dame. After an unbeaten run in their 12 games, the Irish are making their first appearance. They are the third seed and will meet Clemson in the Cotton Bowl.
The drama from the committee came with the fourth choice. There were three possibilities: Big 12 champion Oklahoma, Big Ten champion Ohio State and Georgia.
Each had outstanding seasons. The Sooners and Buckeyes went 12-1. The Bulldogs went 11-2, but narrowly fell to Alabama in the SEC championship game.
In the end, it was Oklahoma that got the spot and a date with the Crimson Tide in the Orange Bowl.
The selection of the Sooners means the playoff field includes three of the four teams from last year. Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma have also accounted for 12 of the 20 berths in the five years of the system.
Oklahoma was fifth last week avenged its only loss of the season by beating Texas in the Big 12 title game. The Sooners are the No. 1 offense in college football and will test the Crimson Tide. A maligned defense played better against the Longhorns. Alabama’s offense should provide a tougher test.
It was the second consecutive year Ohio State was left out after winning the Big Ten. While the Buckeyes swept the the East Division, a 29-point loss to Purdue and several closer-than-expected games against lesser competition weighed them down.