The first-ever College Football Playoff field is set and history is about to be made as the sport determines a national champion on the field for the first time.
Historic power Alabama locked up the No. 1 seed in the four-team playoff after demolishing Missouri, 42-13, to win the SEC Championship on Saturday. Head coach Nick Saban's team boasts the most balanced team of any of the contenders, with a defense that is in the top five in the country thanks to a number of future NFL draft picks and an explosive offense led by quarterback Blake Sims and the top wide receiver in the country in Amari Cooper.
Because the Crimson Tide earned the top spot according to the College Football Playoff selection committee, the team will head to the Sugar Bowl for its semifinal in primetime on New Year's Day. Alabama will face four-seed Ohio State, which just barely made it into the field ahead of Baylor and TCU.
The inclusion of the Buckeyes in the playoff field will no doubt prove to be controversial given that they bumped both of the Big 12 co-champions. The team suffered the worst loss of any contender when it fell to Virginia Tech at home earlier in the season, but they ran through the Big Ten undefeated.
The committee didn't seem to be phased by the team's loss of quarterback J.T. Barrett to a season-ending surgery, no doubt being impressed with backup Cardale Jones in a blowout of Wisconsin on Saturday night in the Big Ten title game.
Pac-12 champion Oregon earned the No. 2 seed after trouncing Arizona at Levi's Stadium on Friday. Thanks to an improving defense and the play of Heisman Trophy favorite Marcus Mariota, the Ducks will head to the hallowed grounds of the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Also heading to Pasadena will be defending national champion Florida State, who won the BCS Championship Game there earlier in 2014. Despite being the only undefeated team in major college football this year, the Seminoles and star quarterback Jameis Winston were dropped by the selection committee after a series of narrow wins and close calls along the way to a 13-0 season. The matchup of Winston and Mariota in the same game will no doubt draw plenty of NFL scouts to the game as both are considered to be the top two signal-callers in the country and high draft picks when the time comes.
The bracket is set for the inaugural College Football Playoff, however, and four very happy teams are still in the running to win the national title.
The entire order of the College Football Playoff selection committee rankings: