Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide has returned to the College Football Playoff. The team was left out in 2022 but will return this season after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship.

Much discussion was had surrounding whether the Tide or undefeated Florida State Seminoles deserved the final spot. The Tide’s strength of schedule and the Seminoles losing Jordan Travis led to the Tide getting the nod.

After the selections were announced, Saban reacted to his team being selected.

“It’s unfortunate that some good teams had to be left out. I really think that our team earned the right to be here,” Saban said on ESPN. “Beat No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, they worked hard all year to improve and I’m really proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish as a team.”

Saban’s Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 27-24 in Atlanta on Saturday. This is just months after losing to Texas and struggling against South Florida.

“This team has shown great resiliency all year long. We’ve been behind in several games, came back, came back in the second half,” explained Saban. “When you play teams like a Georgia, you play teams like we’re going to play in the Playoffs, they know how to win, so you have to go out there and prove that you know how to win in terms of being able to sustain for 60 minutes and keep making plays and keep playing hard. I think our guys have done that all year and they certainly were able to do it last night.”

The Tide will played the Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.