There was no doubt about which teams would be at No. 1 and No. 2 when the College Football Playoff committee revealed the participants in this year’s semifinals.
Georgia, fresh off dominating LSU in the SEC championship game, stayed at No. 1, a position it held for the last four rankings before Sunday. Michigan completed an unbeaten by getting past Purdue to win its second consecutive Big Ten title and will be seeded second.
The suspense came in the final two positions because of some unexpected results on the final weekend. TCU and Southern California were third and fourth last week before losing their respective championship games.
It was the first loss for the Horned Frogs and was in overtime to No. 10 Kansas State – a team it already defeated. Ultimately, the Horned Frogs were rewarded for their unbeaten run through the Big 12 and were seeded third.
The Trojans were not so lucky. A second defeat at the hands of Utah cost them the Pac-12 championship and also opened the door for a contender to step through. That beneficiary was the Ohio State, which didn’t play Saturday after losing to Michigan last week but still improved one place into the coveted No. 4 position.
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Alabama, which was hoping to be elevated into the semifinals after being sixth last week, ultimately fell short due to its two losses and lack of quality wins. The Crimson Tide were fifth in the final rankings. Tennessee, another SEC team with two losses, was sixth.
With the seedings set, Georgia and Ohio State were assigned to play in the Peach Bowl. Michigan and TCU will face off in the Fiesta Bowl.
Both of the semifinals will take place on Dec. 31. The winners will meet in the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 9 in Inglewood, California.