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Revisiting preseason playoff projections | al.com

Back in August, the playoff was a far-off concept. Preseason polls were a projection and there were a number of college football writers who offered projections for the four-team playoff of the future.

Now that that field is set, we can look back to see who was right, kinda right or not right at all.

Almost everyone had Alabama making a fifth straight playoff back in August. Only one hit it on the head, at least so far.

Bill Bender of The Sporting News picked the Crimson Tide to face Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl and Clemson in the national championship. Alabama will, in fact, meet the Sooners in the Dec. 29 Orange Bowl semifinal in Miami Gardens. The Tigers have a date with Notre Dame in the other semifinal, leaving open the possibility of Round 4 in Santa Clara.

Three others picked Alabama to play Oklahoma in a semifinal, though it wasn’t the most popular projected opponent. Eight thought the Tide would meet Washington, a team that ultimately won the Pac-12 but lost three games and finished ninth in the final CFP rankings.

A full lookback at who picked who to play where back in late August:

Yahoo, Pat Forde: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Washington, face Clemson in title game

AP, Ralph Russo: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Washington, face Clemson in title game but lose.

CBS Sports, Jerry Palm: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Oklahoma.

— Phil Steele: Orange Bowl semifinal vs. Washington, face Clemson in title game and win.

USA Today, Erick Smith: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Oklahoma, face Clemson in title game.

Sports Illustrated, Andy Staples: Miss playoff

Sports Illustrated, Ross Dellinger: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Washington, face Clemson in title game and win.

Sports Illustrated, Joan Neisen: Orange Bowl semifinal vs. Clemson, lose to Clemson.

Sports Illustrated, Laken Litman: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Wisconsin, face Clemson in title game but lose.

The Athletic, Stewart Mandel: Cotton Bowl semifinal vs. Washington

The Sporting News, Bill Bender: Orange Bowl semifinal vs. Oklahoma, face Clemson in title game.

The Orlando Sentinel, Brant Parsons: Orange Bowl semifinal vs. Oklahoma.

SB Nation, Jason Kirk: Orange Bowl semifinal vs. Washington, face Clemson in the title game.

247Sports, Brad Crawford: Orange Bowl semifinal vs. Washington, face Clemson in the title game.

ESPN: 40 of the 43 staffers picked Alabama to the playoffs and 14 picked the Tide to win the national title.

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