ATLANTA (AP) — Sitting beside Nick Saban, Lincoln Riley and Dabo Swinney at a gathering of the College Football Playoff coaches, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly referred to his team as “the new kids on the block.”

The description fit. Saban has guided No. 1 Alabama, the defending champion, to its fifth straight playoff. Swinney and Clemson are making their fourth straight appearance. Riley’s Oklahoma team is in the playoff for the third time in four years.

The Fighting Irish are newcomers, but the playoff is an old dream for one of college football’s most familiar names.

“It’s something we certainly look toward each and every year,” Kelly said Thursday at the College Football Hall of Fame.

WATCH: Notre Dame earns Team of the Week honors after win against Stanford

Finally, Kelly has his chance when No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) plays No. 2 Clemson (13-0) in the Cotton Bowl. Alabama (13-0) will play No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) in the Orange Bowl.

Are these college football’s best four teams?

Georgia, which made it all the way to last year’s national championship game, took a 35-28 loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Following the game, Saban said he believed Georgia was one of the nation’s best four teams.

MORE: Comparing the 2018 Heisman finalists: How do Tua Tagovailoa, Kyler Murray, and Dwayne Haskins stack up?

In his final vote in the coaches poll, however, Saban voted for the four teams that actually made the playoff. Georgia was No. 5 in his poll.

Saban stuck by his vote — and his Georgia claim — on Thursday night.

“I do think they were one of the top four teams in the country, but I didn’t think they were going to get in the playoff with two losses,” Saban said, adding that he voted for the best four teams he thought had a chance to be included in the playoff.

“What this really indicates is the SEC championship game was a playoff game,” he said.

RELATED: Undefeated college football teams in 2018

Asked a follow-up question, Saban wouldn’t say Georgia should be one of the playoff teams.

“I think they’re one of the best four teams, no disrespect to the other coaches here,” Saban said. “… I’m saying what I said and I’m not changing what I said. I voted for the four teams that are here.”

The loss to Alabama dropped Georgia (11-2) to No. 6 in The AP poll. The Bulldogs will play No. 14 Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

ALSO: College Football TV schedule

Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray edged Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in AP Player of the Year voting released Thursday. Murray has a chance to give the Sooners two straight Heisman Trophy winners, following Baker Mayfield.

“To have a chance to have guys back to back, you really never dream it,” Riley said.

This article was written by Charles Odum from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Share.

About Author

Turner South Syndicate  is proud to publish SportsBuzzSource.com TSS is a group of common interest people coming together in the sports news world. Sports news has always been an evolving hobby of ours. We take pride in researching the latest breaking news and presenting stories to readers as a quick reference. Sources are from multiple outlets scoured by our highly enthused team of researchers. Presenting a navigational friendly website, we are dedicated to exhibit the latest stories in sports. Also, for mobile news check out our app, Sports Buzz Source, on Google Play Store. ​ Lastest app releases are Remind List+ and YoCelsi on iTunes. Remind List+ -- Record all your list in one place and get notifications on home screen. Check it out... ​ YoCelsi - Minimalist Weather and Local Sorm Conditions Social Browser - 3D iBrowser with integrated social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc...)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: