Dec 4, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Jordan Battle (9) celebrates with tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) after an interception return for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs in the second half during the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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College Football Playoff: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati, No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia

Alabama is the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff and will face No. 4 Cincinnati, while No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Georgia will square off on the road to the national championship.

The defending champion Crimson Tide and the Bearcats — the first-ever Group of Five team to qualify for the playoff — will meet in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on New Year’s Eve. The Wolverines will face the Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., that same night.

The winners will meet Jan. 10 in the College Football Playoff championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The College Football Playoff committee ranked Notre Dame (11-1) as No. 5, followed by No. 6 Ohio State (10-2).

Gary Barta, the CFP committee selection chair, said Alabama’s win in the SEC title game and a strong in-season resume led to the Crimson Tide earning the No. 1 seed.

“At the end of the day, the complete victory over Georgia, the committee came out of there with a strong consensus that Alabama was No. 1 and Michigan was No. 2,” he said.

Alabama won the Southeastern Conference title on Saturday with a 41-24 victory over previous No. 1 Georgia. Both teams finished the season with a 12-1 record. The Crimson Tide’s only loss was a 41-38 decision at Texas A&M on Oct. 9.

With its 42-3 drubbing of No. 13 Iowa on Saturday, Michigan won its first Big Ten title since 2004 and finished 12-1. A 37-33 loss at Michigan State on Oct. 30 kept the Wolverines from a perfect season.

Cincinnati did achieve perfection, running its record to 13-0 with a 35-20 defeat of No. 21 Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday.

Alabama is making its sixth appearance in the eight-year history of the CFP. This is the second appearance for Georgia.

On Jan. 8, 2018, Georgia had a 20-7 lead in the third quarter against Alabama, but freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa replaced starter Jalen Hurts and led the Crimson Tide to a 26-23 overtime win.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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