Playoff picture

We know Alabama will make the four-team College Football Playoff field when it's announced Sunday (11 a.m., ESPN). The top-ranked Crimson Tide (13-0) secured a spot with its 35-28 comeback win over No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. And we also know that No. 2 Clemson (13-0), the ACC champion, and No. 3 Notre Dame (12-0) are near locks to get in.

So, who's the fourth?

Big 12 champion Oklahoma (No. 5, 12-1), Big Ten champion Ohio State (No. 6, 12-1) and Georgia (11-2) are the candidates. We'll project the Sooners, based on their higher ranking than the Buckeyes and Georgia's two losses.

And the Gophers?

The Gophers' destination appears to be down to three bowls — the Redbox (Dec. 31 in Santa Clara, Calif.), Pinstripe (Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium) and Quick Lane (Dec. 26 at Detroit).

Randy Johnson

KEY DATES

Dec. 15: Bowl season begins.

Dec. 29: Playoff semifinals in the Cotton and Orange bowls.

Jan. 7: National title game in Santa Clara.