By Peter Gleason

Penn State is arguably is hottest team in college football.

But that wasn’t enough to make the Final Four for the College Football Playoff.

The Nits will have to settle for the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

In the end, the top four teams entering the conference championship games held their berths in the College Football Playoff.

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide will face the No. 4 Washington Huskies and the No. 2 Clemson Tigers will square off with the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes in the playoff semifinals Dec. 31, as announced Sunday by the CFP committee.

The semifinal winners will meet for the national title Jan. 9 in Tampa, Florida.

Big Ten champion Penn State will feel left out after its 38-31 win over Wisconsin last night and a victory over Ohio State earlier in the season. The Nittany Lions wound up fifth in the rankings.

The selection committee protocol states that championships won and head-to-head results should be used by the committee to separate teams with similar résumés. But committee chairman Kirby Hocutt has said the margin between the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes the previous two weeks was not all that close.

Clemson (12-1) won the ACC championship by beating Virginia Tech 42-35 on Saturday, making it a lot more exciting than Tigers fans probably hoped.Deshaun Watson added to his Heisman Trophy résumé, and Clemson needed every one of the five touchdowns he accounted for to hold off the Hokies.

Alabama (13-0) completed its rampage through the regular season earlier in the day, crushing Florida 54-16 just for the fun of it. The Crimson Tide (13-0) probably didn’t even need to win, but the machine knows nothing but destruction.

And Washington pounded Colorado in the Pac-12 title game Friday night to wrap up its 12-1 record.

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