Alabama gets No. 1 seed in College Football Playoff, followed by Michigan, Georgia and Cincinnati

·3 min read

There was no drama about who would be in the College Football Playoff field when the committee released its final rankings Sunday. The only question was how the four teams would be seeded.

The debate was between Alabama and Michigan after both teams posted dominant wins in their respective conference title games. The Crimson Tide won the SEC by beating previous No. 1 Georgia. The Wolverines handled Iowa for the Big Ten crown.

In the end, the committee went with Alabama in the No. 1 spot off of its dominant victory, overlooking three previous narrow victories in the SEC that had them substantial underdogs in Atlanta. The Crimson Tide will face Cincinnati, the first Group of Five team to make the playoff field after the Bearcats defeated Houston in the American Athletic. Alabama has won all five games between the schools with its most-recent victory coming in 1990. The game will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas.

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The second semifinal at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida, will see No. 2 Michigan play No. 3 Georgia. The schools have only played twice with their last meeting in 1965.

Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) and defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) celebrate after the team's defeat of Georgia in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) and defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis (48) celebrate after the team's defeat of Georgia in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Notre Dame and Ohio State were fifth and sixth in the final rankings, just missing out on the playoff.

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This is the seventh appearance in the playoff for Alabama, which moves one ahead of Clemson for most overall selections since the system began in 2014. Georgia will be making its second trip to the semifinals. It's also the first time for Michigan.

While Alabama is in the field, notably absent are Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Three of the quartet had been in every playoff since 2015. Only one made it this season.

Both of the semifinals will take place on Dec. 31. The winners will meet in the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

The rest of the New Year's Six bowls were also announced. Utah and Ohio State will play in the Rose Bowl. Baylor faces Mississippi in the Sugar Bowl. The Peach Bowl features Michigan State and Pittsburgh and the Fiesta Bowl matches Oklahoma State and Notre Dame.

The committee's final Top 25 included six teams from the SEC, the most of any conference. The Big Ten and ACC each had four teams and the Big 12 had three.

Brigham Young finished No. 13, denying the Cougars an opportunity to be an at-large team. No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette and No. 24 San Diego State were the other Group of Five teams finishing in the rankings.

College Football Playoff committee Top 25

1. Alabama (12-1)

2. Michigan (12-1)

3. Georgia (12-1)

4. Cincinnati (13-0)

5. Notre Dame (11-1)

6. Ohio State (10-2)

7. Baylor (11-2)

8. Mississippi (11-2)

9. Oklahoma State (11-2)

10. Michigan State (10-2)

11. Utah (10-3)

12. Pittsburgh (11-2)

13. Brigham Young (10-2)

14. Oregon (10-3)

15. Iowa (10-3)

16. Oklahoma (10-2)

17. Wake Forest (10-3)

18. North Carolina State (9-3)

19. Clemson (9-3)

20. Houston (11-2)

21. Arkansas (8-4)

22. Kentucky (9-3)

23. Louisiana-Lafayette (12-1)

24. San Diego State (11-2)

25. Texas A&M (8-4)

Follow colleges reporter Erick Smith on Twitter @ericksmith

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College Football Playoff: Alabama beats out Michigan for No. 1 seed