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John E. Hoover: College Football Playoff field is set; Cali-bound Sooners are No. 2

John E. Hoover: College Football Playoff field is set; Cali-bound Sooners are No. 2

Oklahoma defensive back Steven Parker (10) celebrates after their Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game win against TCU on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Sooners are going back to the College Football Playoff, and they’re California-bound.

This year’s playoff bracket was set during this morning’s telecast on ESPN, and the Sooners came in at No. 2 in the CFP rankings, one spot behind No. 1 Clemson and just ahead of No. 3 Georgia. Alabama got the fourth spot over Ohio State despite not winning its conference championship. Ohio State finished No. 5, while Wisconsin was sixth.

OU (12-1) will play Georgia (12-1) on Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The game kicks off at 4:10 p.m. CT. It’s the first-ever meeting between the two college football powerhouses.

Clemson (12-1) and Alabama (11-1) — the last two national champions — will rematch for a third straight year, this time in the Sugar Bowl, a 7:45 p.m. kickoff.

The Sooners stamped their ticket after Saturday’s 41-17 destruction of TCU in the Big 12 Championship Game in Arlington, Texas.

OU made the playoff field in 2015, but was left out in 2014 and 2016. The Sooners lost to Clemson 37-17 in the Orange Bowl in their only previous CFP trip.

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Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “Further Review with Hoover & Rew” and can be heard every weekday on The Franchise in Tulsa from noon to 3 p.m. with co-host Lauren Rew. In Oklahoma City, catch him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:25 and every Friday afternoon at 4:05. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Visit his personal page at johnehoover.com.

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Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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