CFP semifinals: Alabama vs. Oklahoma, Clemson vs. Notre Dame

Detroit News staff and wires
Jalen Hurts

No. 1 Alabama will meet No. 4 Oklahoma, and No. 2 Clemson will face No. 3 Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff national semifinals on Dec. 29.

The final CFP rankings were announced Sunday. Georgia was No. 5 and Ohio State was No. 6. Michigan finished seventh.

The Clemson-Notre Dame game will be the Cotton Bowl at 4 p.m. and the Alabama-Oklahoma game will be the Orange Bowl at 8 p.m.

The national championship game is Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Alabama (13-0) preserved its undefeated season and No. 1 ranking by rallying past Georgia 35-28 in the SEC championship game on Saturday. Jalen Hurts, who was replaced at halftime of last season’s national championship game, came off the bench to spark the Crimson Tide by running for one TD and throwing for another after starting QB Tua Tagovailoa went out with an injury.

The Crimson Tide will face an Oklahoma (12-1) team that played itself into the final four following a midseaon loss to Texas. The Sooners won their final seven games, including Saturday's 39-27 triumph over the Longhorns in the Big 12 championship game.

Georgia entered the weekend as the No. 4 team in the CFP rankings, but the selection committee went with the Sooners over the two-loss Bulldogs.

One-loss Ohio State was also shut out of the playoff despite beating Michigan in the regular-season finale and Northwestern in the Big Ten championship game.

The Buckeyes' season was derailed by a 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20.

The other semifinal is a matchup of undefeated powers with ACC champion Clemson (13-0) facing Notre Dame (12-0). The Tigers earned their conference title with an easy 42-10 win over Pittsburgh. The Irish had the weekend off after concluding their regular season last week with a 24-17 victory over USC.

“Every combination was vetted, looking at their full body of work, their resumes side-by-side,” selection committee chairman Rob Mullens said. “In the end, what we decided was amongst the group of three, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, the committee voted that no one was unequivocally better than the other so then we leaned on the protocol. So we went with the one-loss conference champion.”


1. Alabama, 13-0

2. Clemson, 13-0

3. Notre Dame, 12-0

4. Oklahoma, 12-1

5. Georgia, 11-2

6. Ohio State, 12-1

7. Michigan, 10-2

8. UCF, 12-0

9. Washington, 10-3

10. Florida, 9-3

11. LSU, 9-3

12. Penn State, 9-3

13. Washington State, 10-2

14. Kentucky, 9-3

15. Texas, 9-4

16. West Virginia, 8-3

17. Utah, 9-4

18. Mississippi State, 8-4

19. Texas A&M, 8-4

20. Syracuse, 9-3

21. Fresno State, 11-2

22. Northwestern, 8-5

23. Missouri, 8-4

24. Iowa State, 8-4

25. Boise State, 10-3