In the semifinals scheduled for December 31, Alabama No. 1 (12-1) will face 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 battle each other in a 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 compete in the CFP since its founding in 2014. Power Five conferences include the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big Ten Conference, Partton Conference and Southeast Conference.
Alabama is having its seventh CFP best after winning the SEC 41-24 Championship Game against Georgia on Saturday. Under the guidance of coach Nick Saban, the first-placed Crimson Tide overcame Ohio State last year in the national championship game, giving Alabama its sixth title in 12 seasons.
Michigan dominated Iowa 42-3 to claim the Big 10 championship on Saturday, the first championship for coach Jim Harbaugh. It will play in its first playoff.
Georgia lost the last game but have been the lead for most of the season and will play in the second playoff.
The fifth-placed team heading into the bad season is Notre Dame Fighting Ireland (11-1).
Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freemen will make his coaching debut at the team’s upcoming game. Freeman has replaced Brian Kelly, who left school to become head coach at Louisiana State University earlier this week.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) finished in 6th place.