Ohio State finished strong in defeating Wisconsin to claim the B1G championship but an 11-2 record with wins over three teams ranked ahead of any of Alabama's key wins wasn't enough as the Buckeyes finished just outside the CFP top four.
We'll hear from CFP committee chairman Kirby Hocutt later but clearly the group went with what they thought was the "better" team over the "most deserving" in tabbing the Crimson Tide as Ohio State couldn't escape two losses including one by 31 points on the road in Iowa City despite boasting a conference title and higher quality wins.
Ohio State landed in the No. 5 spot with Wisconsin slotted No. 6.
The top four spots go to:
UPDATE: Hocutt spoke to Rece Davis following the field announcement and clearly called out Ohio State's loss to Iowa as the fatal blow while Alabama's lone defeat came to now-No. 7 Auburn.
Hocutt noted the committee favored Alabama's whole body of work over Ohio State's as it worked to select the four best teams, essentially noting the Crimson Tide as unequivocally better although last week he noted there was little separation between teams slotted fifth through eighth.
TL;DR: Don't lose to Iowa by 31 and Ohio State's in.
Ohio State will learn its bowl opponent in short order and has a press conference scheduled for around 3:00 p.m. today. Stay tuned to 11W for continuing coverage.