Nick Saban saw his Alabama team come at No. 1 in the final edition of the College Football Playoff rankings. The Crimson Tide will now prepare for a match-up against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the semifinals.
Amidst the numerous storylines on the Sunday of conference championship weekend, was how the committee would weigh Ohio State's resume. The Buckeyes played just six games in 2020 but went undefeated, beating Northwestern to capture another Big Ten title.
Ohio State ended up at No. 3, setting up a rematch of last year's semifinal game between the Buckeyes and Clemson. The Tigers finished the season at No. 2.
Saban became the latest to weigh in on the decision to include Ohio State in the playoff. The well-respected Alabama leader spoke highly of the Big Ten champs and seemed perfectly content to let the Buckeyes in.
“Other than seeing them on TV, I know they have a very good team and they beat Clemson who has a really, really good team,” Saban said via 247Sports. "They have a really good quarterback. They have a tough defense. I don’t think you win 10 games in this season without having some really, really good players."
"I think that was the big thing about this season. The people who played 10 or 11 games had to survive the grind. That’s why I thought those teams should be rewarded. I think Ohio State has a great team and they probably deserve to be in the Playoff as well based on the quality of team they have.”
Although Saban politely answered the question about Ohio State, it's clear that he was focused on his own team's game. He mentioned that the Crimson Tide would have a brief holiday break before getting back to work in a few days.
"This is a lot like having a bye week," Saban said. "We're going to try to manage a lot like we would a bye week. That's not a routine that's abnormal for players. We can give the players three days during Christmas to do that. I have a hard time ... we let our players go home when we had a bye week and tried to educate their families on safety issues. I don't have the heart to tell the players they can't go home for Christmas.
Once Alabama comes back, it'll be all business as Saban tries to win his seventh National Championship.