The Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, Georgia Bulldogs and the Cincinnati Bearcats will compete in the College Football Playoff, the selection committee announced on Sunday.
In the semifinal games scheduled for December 31, No. 1 Alabama (12-1) will face off against No. 4 Cincinnati (13-0) at the Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, while No. 2 Michigan (12-1) will play No. 3 Georgia (12-1) at the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The winners will square off in the national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on January 10 (8 p.m. ET).
Cincinnati, a member of the American Athletic Conference, is the first school from a non-Power Five conference to play in the CFP since its inception in 2014. The Power Five conferences consist of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big 12 Conference, the Big Ten Conference, the Pac-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama is making a CFP-best seventh appearance after winning the SEC Championship Game 41-24 over Georgia on Saturday. Under coach Nick Saban, the top-ranked Crimson Tide rolled past Ohio State last year in the national title game, earning Alabama its sixth title in 12 seasons.
Michigan dominated Iowa 42-3 to win the Big 10 championship on Saturday, the first for coach Jim Harbaugh. It will be playing in its first playoff.
Georgia lost its final game but had been the top team for most of the season and will be playing in its second playoffs.
The fifth-ranked team heading into the bowl season is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1).
Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freemen will make his coaching debut at the team’s upcoming bowl game. Freeman replaced Brian Kelly, who left the school to become head coach at Louisiana State University earlier this week.
Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) finished at No. 6.