Home Featured Teams LSU Tigers CFP Committee Explains Selection of LSU Over Ohio State for #1 Seed

CFP Committee Explains Selection of LSU Over Ohio State for #1 Seed

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Photo courtesy of LSUsports.net

After sliding down to No. 2 for two weeks, LSU reclaimed the pole position of the College Football Playoff. It was a close call, but ultimately the CFP committee lifted LSU ahead of Ohio State in their final rankings prior to the playoffs.

The semifinals on Dec. 28 will pit No. 1 LSU (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and No. 2 Ohio State (13-0) vs. No. 3 Clemson (13-0) in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl.

“They spent as much time on this 1 and 2 as on anything I can remember in the past,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said to ESPN.

LSU cruised past Georgia 37-10 in the SEC Championship Game. This is LSU’s first SEC title since 2011.

In the Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State trailed Wisconsin 21-7 at halftime but stormed back with the game’s final 27 points to earn the victory.

Both LSU and Ohio State have impressive resumes. LSU and Ohio State were No. 1 three times apiece during the six weeks of rankings.

LSU has defeated five ranked teams: Texas (No. 9), Florida (No. 7), Auburn (No. 9), Alabama (No. 3) and Georgia (No. 4).

Ohio State has victories against five ranked teams (No. 25 Michigan State, No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 8 Penn State, No. 13 Michigan and No. 8 Wisconsin) and two Group of Five conference champions (Florida Atlantic and Miami (OH).

LSU’s strong showing vs. Georgia swung the pendulum in their favor.

“I think these are two teams that have been really close the entire time, and as we’ve explained, every weekend one of them has done something to move above the other,” selection committee chair Rob Mullens said to ESPN. “I think [Saturday] in watching the championship game, LSU’s performance against a No. 4-ranked Georgia propelled the committee to put them just ahead of Ohio State in 1 versus 2. Did last night’s games play a role? Sure they did. Every game plays a role, and I think it was more about LSU’s strong, dominant performance over a No. 4-ranked team that elevated them to No. 1.”

After tossing 349 yards and four touchdowns in the SEC Championship Game, Heisman Trophy finalist Joe Burrow was unwavering that LSU deserves to be the top seed in the CFP.

“You know we will play anybody, anywhere,” Burrow said. “Send us to Canada and we will play on a gravel lot, doesn’t matter to us.”

While the No. 1 seed is validation, LSU was prepared for whatever the committee threw at them.

“It didn’t matter to us,” Orgeron said. “Anytime, anywhere, anybody, we’re ready to play. So we’re going to be playing Oklahoma, great football team. Wherever they tell us to play, we’re going to show up and we’re going to be ready.”

This is LSU’s first appearance in the CFP as they seek their first national championship since 2007. In their last meeting, LSU defeated Oklahoma 21-14 in the 2004 BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans.

With a victory against Oklahoma in the CFP semifinals, LSU would head to the Big Easy for the national championship game on Jan. 13. LSU is aware it’s going to require a total team effort to claim the ultimate trophy.

“Obviously, the season just ended,” Orgeron said. “Our goal was to go to the SEC championship and that was one of our goals. We’re going to be on the road recruiting. I’m sure I’ll think about it this week. But we’re not done yet. That wasn’t our final destination. I’m very proud of our offense, I’m very proud of our defense, all our coaches, but we still have some work to do.”