CHARLOTTE — On to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl.
Or Miami and the Orange Bowl.
But either way for freshly crowned ACC champion Clemson, probably against Notre Dame.
"There's no comparison; Clemson is the best football team we've played so far to this point," Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi said Saturday night after a 42-10 ACC Championship Game loss to the Tigers when asked to compare them to Notre Dame, which beat Pitt 19-14. "They deserve to be where they are. They'll probably win a national championship, in my opinion. It's a good football team from the front end to the back end as far as the talent they've got. Dabo (Swinney) has done a great job, ton of respect for him, love that guy. Clemson is the measuring stick in the ACC right now. They've got it going."
The 13-member College Football Playoff committee after a long night at the Gaylord Texan Resort in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine will make their final reveal on Sunday (noon on ESPN). Logic points to No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame in Dec. 29 semifinal playoff games.
Using last week’s rankings for Saturday’s games, No. 1 Alabama edged No. 4 Georgia 35-28 in the SEC Championship Game; No. 2 Clemson's win over unranked Pitt; No. 3 Notre Dame was idle this week; No. 5 Oklahoma was a 39-27 winner over No. 14 Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game.
Alabama is closer to Dallas but, with a top seed’s option, head coach Nick Saban probably prefers Miami if it means making Oklahoma less comfortable.
The Tigers would have been a 12-point favorite over Notre Dame on a neutral field had they met this week, per USA Today’s Sagarin computer predictor comparison. Though the actual line likely would come down some, the spread is mostly because the Tigers fared better against three of four common opponents:
Clemson won 63-3 on Oct. 6 in Winston-Salem
Notre Dame won 56-27 on Sept. 22 in Winston-Salem
Clemson won 27-23 at home on Sept. 29
Notre Dame won 36-3 at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17
Clemson won 59-10 on Oct. 27 in Tallahassee
Notre Dame won 42-13 at home on Nov. 10
Clemson won 42-10 Saturday night in Charlotte
Notre Dame won 19-14 at home Oct. 13
Both teams changed starting quarterbacks in the first month of the season. Notre Dame’s Ian Book replaced Brandon Wimbush, who was benched after three games. The 6-foot, 203-pound junior from El Dorado Hills, Calif., has completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 2,468 yards with 19 touchdown passes and six interceptions.
Book has run for 250 yards and four touchdowns.
Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence won the job from senior Kelly Bryant, who then left the program. The freshman from Cartersville, Ga., entered the ACC Championship Game having completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,488 yards with 22 touchdown passes and four interceptions. Lawrence has rushed for 126 yards with one touchdown.
If Clemson meets Oklahoma in a playoff game it will be their third postseason meeting since 2014.
Clemson beat the Sooners, 40-6, in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl, with backup quarterback Cole Stoudt leading the way as Deshaun Watson was recovering from knee surgery.
Watson was back for a 37-17 victory over Oklahoma and quarterback Baker Mayfield in the 2015 Orange Bowl, the Tigers’ first-ever playoff game.
If Clemson is matched up with Ohio State, the Tigers have a three-game postseason win streak going against the Buckeyes: 17-15 in the 1978 Gator Bowl, 40-35 in the Orange Bowl to cap the 2013 season and 31-0 in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
And the zaniest possible Clemson matchup entering the weekend: Georgia, a two-loss, non-champion but a team that nearly pulled an upset against Alabama for the second straight season.
Clemson hasn’t faced the Bulldogs since a 45-21 loss in Athens in the 2014 season-opener, a game in which Watson came off the bench to make his first college appearance.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff.