For the first time in the College Football Playoff era, Alabama will not make an appearance in the semifinals with a chance to play for the national championship.

A large reason for that is the season LSU had, including the win at Bryant-Denny Stadium. At the CFP press conference on Thursday, all of the coaches were asked about the absence of Alabama coach Nick Saban.

“We saved a seat for him,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, motioning to the empty chair left for Ohio State’s Ryan Day, who had a flight delay. “He’ll be back. Don’t fret for Coach Saban. He’s the best to ever do it, unbelievable program, and a couple tough games this year. He’ll be back. It is a little odd to not see him, that’s for sure. I don’t think he’ll be gone very long.”

Once the games begin on Dec. 28, it’ll be No. 1 LSU against No. 4 Oklahoma in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, and No. 2 Ohio State versus No. 3 Clemson in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.

The national championship will be held Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Undefeated LSU re-took the No. 1 ranking with a 37-10 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. The victory was the Tigers’ fifth over an Associated Press top-10 team this season, which ties a record in the AP Poll era (since 1936) for most top-10 victories in a single season.