A season where there isn't a consensus top-four.
Alabama stayed ahead of Ohio State in the final College Football Playoff rankings and made the playoff for a fourth-straight season. The Big Ten has a zillion living alumni, and now three of the four teams in the playoffs are located in the southeast, a lack of geographic diversity that is bad for television ratings. The Buckeyes went on to win the national championship that year.
I thought Ohio State would be picked because this would have been the most expedient result for the committee. "I think our efforts to play more conference games, to schedule up to a reasonable degree, to reduce the number of mismatches should serve us well". The other side of the ball won't be as fun, Georgia's rushing attack is fun even if the team has its limitations in the air and Oklahoma's defense is best described as "porous", but watching Mayfield spin it against the Bulldogs is going to be hot fire.
The opening matchups consist of a rematch of the last two National Championship's in (1) Clemson vs. (4) Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, while (2) Oklahoma will meet (3) Georgia in the Rose Bowl. And it was a pretty significant loss at that. However, their losses to Oklahoma (31-16 at home) and Iowa (55-24 on the road) haunt them.
"I would say that if we lost to a team in our conference that was not ranked by 30 points that we wouldn't be having this conversation", Saban said in a late-night SportsCenter interview with Scott Van Pelt. "You wouldn't be talking to me".
Alabama was chosen despite not winning even its division title. 3 Florida State (6-6), which has seemingly fallen off the national map after losing its starting quarterback, Deondre Francois, for the season in the fourth quarter against the Tide. The Sooners lost to Clemson in the semifinals following the 2015 season.