There was no sweating out college football's Selection Sunday for the Oklahoma Sooners.
"We had a good year as far as getting better each week [in 2015]", OU senior safety Steven Parker said.
For Oklahoma, it will be just the second appearance in "The Granddaddy of Them All" - the oldest bowl game in the sport. The Bulldogs are 12-1 this season and went 9-4 against the spread. Georgia is scheduled to play a game there in 2025 against UCLA. The Sooners will be led by fleet-footed quarterback Baker Mayfield, the likely Heisman Trophy victor.
Oklahoma and Georgia, teams that rank seventh and 11 in all-time wins, have never played in football before.
Georgia earned a spot with its first SEC title since 2005 under Smart, its second-year coach. He will get another $200,000 if Georgia finishes in the top five of the final AP or coaches' poll.
There's the quarterback matchup of Baker Mayfield, the most distinguished college player of 2017 and one of the most experienced, and Jake Fromm, the outstanding freshman for Georgia. The Group-of-5 teams have been clamoring for a chance to prove themselves to the nation, and Central Florida taking an undefeated record into Death Valley to play Clemson garners national exposure for UCF, which will help their recruiting efforts in the long-run, as well as giving them that opportunity to show what they're made of against teams that they wouldn't get to normally play. Previous year in the postseason, Foster put on a show for Alabama and became a first-round pick of the 49ers in the spring. "Kind of seemed like a dream, kind of out there a little bit". They're tremendous. Great athletes all over the field.
Georgia: Simple: Hire a Nick Saban assistant away from Alabama on the faith that he's one of the few coaches with the leadership skills to operate Saban's system outside of Tuscaloosa, and then find yourself proven right in just two years. It's going to be a challenge. "It should be a great game, and we're looking forward to a week in Orlando".
"Bob told me he went out there", Riley said. "We [did that] so much better in the second half".
When assigning teams to sites, the committee places the top two ranked teams at the most advantageous sites, weighing criteria such as convenience of travel for its fans, home-crowd advantage or disadvantage and general familiarity with the host city and its stadium. Georgia's only loss was in the hands of Auburn, 40-17, but the mere fact that they have captured the SEC and only a loss catapulted the Bulldogs to be part of the college football playoffs in the selection of the college football committee.
It landed the final spot over Big Ten champion Ohio State, which handed Wisconsin its only loss 27-21 to win the Big Ten championship.