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New No. 1 Alabama joins Michigan, Georgia, Cincinnati in College Football Playoff

Bulldogs, Wolverines bound for Orange Bowl semifinal; Bearcats, Crimson Tide going to Cotton Bowl
Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) celebrates his touchdown with Alabama tight end...
Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) celebrates his touchdown with Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)(AP)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 12:56 PM EST
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Alabama is the No. 1 team in the final College Football Playoff rankings and will face undefeated Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl, while second-ranked Michigan will take on No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl, potentially setting up a national championship game rematch between the Southeastern Conference champion and the Bulldogs.

The final College Football Playoff rankings and pairings were announced Sunday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the Crimson Tide (12-1) upset top-ranked Georgia (12-1) in the SEC Championship game to win their eighth conference crown since Nick Saban took over in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama will face the last remaining undefeated team in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Cotton Bowl, while Georgia will head to South Florida to face the Big Ten Conference champions at the Orange Bowl semifinal, both of which will be played on New Year's Eve.

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Alabama defensive...
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Alabama defensive back Jordan Battle (9) during the second half of the Southeastern Conference Championship game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta.

The winners of the Cotton and Orange bowls will play for the national championship Jan. 10 in Indianapolis.

If Alabama and Georgia meet again next month at Lucas Oil Stadium, it will be the second time the two teams have faced each other with a national championship on the line.

Georgia won the SEC in 2017 but lost to Alabama 26-23 in overtime of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman misses the catch in the end zone against Alabama...
Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman misses the catch in the end zone against Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II during the first half of the Southeastern Conference Championship game, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Atlanta.

This is Alabama's seventh playoff appearance in eight seasons since its inception.

Cincinnati (13-0) becomes the first Group of 5 team to make the playoff. The Bearcats defeated No. 21 Houston 35-20 in the American Athletic Conference title game.

The Wolverines (12-1) pounded No. 15 Iowa (No. 13 CFP) 42-3 to claim their first Big Ten title since 2004.

Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker (86) celebrates with teammates at the end of the Big Ten...
Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker (86) celebrates with teammates at the end of the Big Ten Conference Championship game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Michigan won 42-3.

Georgia will make its first Orange Bowl appearance since a 14-0 victory over Missouri on New Year's Day 1960.

Michigan's last Orange Bowl appearance was a 33-32 loss to Florida State in 2016.

The Bulldogs and Wolverines haven't played each other since Vince Dooley's Georgia team traveled to Michigan Stadium and won 15-7 in 1965.

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