Jeff Harvey

Let’s just say that after all the tumult and shouting, that the Bowl Championship Series committee did their job with a minimum of controversy as they picked the four teams with the best records to play for the 2019 NCAA Division I title in 2020.

Quoting from the Associated Press story, LSU will play Oklahoma and Ohio State will face defending national champion Clemson in the College Football Playoff.

The selection committee revealed the pairings Sunday for the national semifinals and the final four was no surprise. The only mystery involved which team would be the No. 1 seed. The 13-member committee went with Southeastern Conference champion LSU. The top-seeded Tigers (13-0) will head back to Atlanta for its playoff game to face the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1) in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28. Ohio State plays Clemson on Dec. 28 at the Fiesta Bowl.

LSU used a convincing victory against Georgia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday to move up to No. 1. Ohio State had been atop the committee’s rankings last week, but the slipped to No. 2 after coming from behind against Wisconsin to win the Big Ten title.

Clemson, the third 13-0 team in the field, was penalized by a weaker conference schedule, despite having the most convincing conference title win ,a 62-17 win against Virginia.

As for the other teams we talked about from last week, Utah lost to Oregon and Baylor to Oklahoma, thus knocking them out of Final Four consideration.

Getting back to the AP article, LSU is in the playoff for the first time, the only newbie in the field. The Tigers will likely bring the Heisman Trophy winner with them. Quarterback Joe Burrow capped a record-breaking season by throwing four more touchdown passes against Georgia in the SEC championship.

Ohio State is making its third playoff appearance and first since 2016 after just missing out the previous two seasons. The Buckeyes won the first playoff championship in 2014. Their last appearance came after the 2016 season, when they were shut out by Clemson in the semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl. That was all under coach Urban Meyer. Now Ryan Day leads the Buckeyes, and in his first season as Meyer’s successor has the Buckeyes unbeaten.

The Tigers are 3-0 all-time against Ohio State, all in the postseason. The Buckeyes enter the playoff with a 19-game winning streak.

Oklahoma is in the playoff for the fourth time, but has yet to win a game. This will be the third consecutive year the Sooners face an SEC team.

Oklahoma and LSU have split two previous meetings: The Sooners won the 1950 Sugar Bowl and the Tigers won the BCS championship game at the Sugar Bowl in 2004.

Former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is back in the playoff for the fourth straight year, this time with the Sooners, after going three times with the Crimson Tide. Hurts follows Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as quarterback transfers to find success in coach Lincoln Riley’s offense.

LSU and Ohio State are also led by transfer quarterbacks. Burrow started his career at Ohio State before switching schools in 2018. Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields was at Georgia last season.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence led the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman last season.

I’m going with LSU (best offense) and Ohio State (best defense) to play in the National Championship Game, with LSU winning.

See you next week.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter at the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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