We’ll get a championship rematch in the semifinals this season, which is just one part of what should be a tremendous Playoff.
After months of speculation, debate, and furious arguments, it’s finally time to play the games. The College Football Playoff takes place on New Year’s Day with the semifinal round, and we should have a pair of tremendous games ahead of us.
The first semifinal matchup is the Rose Bowl, pitting No. 3 Georgia against No. 2 Oklahoma. The Bulldogs spent part of the year at No. 1 in the Playoff rankings before falling to Auburn, but they easily beat the Tigers in a rematch to claim the SEC Championship. The Sooners are the Big 12 champs and feature the Heisman winner, Baker Mayfield.
This is the first time Georgia made the Playoff, while Oklahoma is making its second appearance. The Sooners will hope to do better than they did in 2016, when Clemson defeated them, 37-17.
Once that games wraps up, we head to the Superdome for the Sugar Bowl, featuring one of the most anticipated rematches in recent memory. Clemson shocked Alabama to win the national title in an instant classic, and the Tigers are looking to repeat this year after winning the ACC Championship and securing the No. 1 seed.
The Crimson Tide held the top spot nearly all season before losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, costing them a shot at the SEC title. Despite that setback, they still got in at No. 4 over the likes of Ohio State and Wisconsin, becoming the only team to appear in the Playoff all four years. Will Clemson be able to knock off Nick Saban’s empire for a second straight year? It should be an excellent game either way.
That all leads up to the National Championship game next week in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with the semifinal winners clashing for the right to lift the trophy.
- Clemson Tigers (12-1)
- Oklahoma Sooners (12-1)
- Georgia Bulldogs (12-1)
- Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1)
Schedule and results (all times Eastern)
Monday, Jan. 1
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.): No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Clemson, 5 p.m., ESPN/WatchESPN
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, La.): No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama, 8:45 p.m., ESPN/WatchESPN
Monday, Jan. 8
National Championship (Atlanta, Ga.): Rose Bowl winner vs. Sugar Bowl winner, 8 p.m., ESPN/WatchESPN
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