The College Football Playoff final rankings for the four teams in the semifinals were revealed Sunday. Michigan will face Alabama and Washington will meet Texas. Unbeaten Florida State was left out.
The final College Football Playoff with four teams is set, and there was drama about which teams would be in the field before the format expands next season.
Michigan is the top seed after running through the Big Ten unbeaten, including victories against Ohio State and Iowa to close out the season. It’s the third consecutive appearance for the Wolverines, who overcame two separate suspensions of three games each to coach Jim Harbaugh. They’re ranked No. 1 in the US LBM Coaches Poll for the first time since Dec. 8, 1997.
No. 2 seed Washington won its way into the field with a second defeat of Oregon. After beating the Ducks in the regular season, the Huskies did it again in dramatic fashion in the Pac-12 title game to secure their second spot in the playoff. Their last time in was 2016, which was also the only other appearance for the Pac-12 in the 10 years of the four-team system.
The difficulty came with the final two spots. Texas and Alabama were one-loss champions of the Big 12 and SEC, respectively. The Longhorns had the edge on the Crimson Tide due to a road victory in Tuscaloosa in Week 2. The committee took both of them, and Florida State became the first unbeaten team in the Power Five left out of the semifinals. The Seminoles were hurt by the loss of quarterback Jordan Travis with a season-ending injury.
“That was the decision with Alabama at four. Florida State is a different team than they were through the first 11 weeks,” College Football Playoff committee chairman Boo Corrigan said. “Coach Norvell, their players, their fans, an incredible season. As you look at who they are as a team right now without Jordan Travis, without the offensive dynamic that he brings to it, they are a different team, and the committee voted Alabama four and Florida State five.”
Georgia fell from No. 1 to No. 6 after its loss to Alabama ended its 29-game winning streak.
With the seedings set, Michigan and Alabama will meet in the Rose Bowl. Washington and Texas will face off in the Sugar Bowl.
Both of the semifinals will take place on Jan. 1. The winners will meet in the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 8 in Houston.