College football playoff bracket sets Alabama against Cincinnati and Michigan ...

College football playoff bracket sets Alabama against Cincinnati and Michigan ...
College football playoff bracket sets Alabama against Cincinnati and Michigan ...

Alabama is the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff and will face No. 4 Cincinnati, while No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Georgia will square off on the road to the national championship.

The defending champion Crimson Tide and the Bearcats -- the first-ever Group of Five team to qualify for the playoff -- will meet in the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on New Year's Eve. 

The Wolverines will face the Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida later that same night.

The winners will meet January 10 in the College Football Playoff championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Scroll down for full 2021 bowl schedule 

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates the win against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates the win against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday

Will Pauling #19 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrates with fans after their 35-20 win over the Houston Cougars Saturday. the Bearcats will face the No. 1 Crimson Tide in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Eve

Will Pauling #19 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrates with fans after their 35-20 win over the Houston Cougars Saturday. the Bearcats will face the No. 1 Crimson Tide in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Eve

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with the trophy after the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 42-3 to win the Big Ten Championship game

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with the trophy after the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 42-3 to win the Big Ten Championship game

Head Coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs talks to William Poole #31 in the second quarter of the SEC Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday

Head Coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs talks to William Poole #31 in the second quarter of the SEC Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday

The College Football Playoff committee ranked Notre Dame (11-1) as No. 5, followed by No. 6 Ohio State (10-2), with both teams missing the cutoff for the four-team playoff.

Alabama won the Southeastern Conference title on Saturday with a 41-24 victory over previous No. 1 Georgia, ruining the Bulldog's previously undefeated record. 

Both teams finished the season with a 12-1 record. The Crimson Tide's only loss was a 41-38 decision at Texas A&M on October 9.

Cincinnati did achieve perfection, running its record to 13-0 with a 35-20 defeat of No. 21 Houston in the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday.

Cincinnati will now become the first school outside a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC) to be selected for the playoff since its inception in 2014.  

Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder, who finished his career 26-0 at home as a starter, threw three touchdowns on Saturday and Jerome Ford had scoring runs of 79 and 42 yards.

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) looks to pass from the pocket during the first half of the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Houston Saturday

Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) looks to pass from the pocket during the first half of the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Houston Saturday

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide goes back to pass during a game between Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide goes back to pass during a game between Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday

Quarterback Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the third quarter of the SEC Championship game on Saturday

Quarterback Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs rushes against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the third quarter of the SEC Championship game on Saturday

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara (12) warms up before the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara (12) warms up before the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game

Leading 14-13 at the half, the Bearcats scored 21 unanswered points in a 4:24 stretch of the third quarter against the Cougars (11-2). The spree started with scores 58 seconds apart to make it 28-13.

'We just want to play football,' Ridder told reporters. 'That's all we care about. Doesn't matter who, where, when - just put the ball down. We want to play.'

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell said his team has done an 'unbelievable job' the entire season handling expectations and distractions.

'More than anything, our guys are just incredibly excited to be challenged,' Fickell said. 'For us and the program, it's an incredible opportunity and a great measuring stick.'

The Bearcats had only two victories this season over Top 25 teams, but one of those was 24-13 at Notre Dame on October 2. 

That was the only loss this season for the Fighting Irish, who finished fifth in the CFP and was the first team out of the playoff. 

Cincinnati won the AAC title game Saturday 35-20 over Houston, which had an 11-game winning streak. The Bearcats are the last unbeaten team standing. 

Jerome Ford #24 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs the ball for a touchdown during the second half of the 2021 American Conference Championship against the Houston Cougars on Saturday

Jerome Ford #24 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs the ball for a touchdown during the second half of the 2021 American Conference Championship against the Houston Cougars on Saturday

Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce (12) catches a pass in the end zone against Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) in the second half during the American Athletic Conference championship game

Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce (12) catches a pass in the end zone against Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) in the second half during the American Athletic Conference championship game

After besting Houston to go 13-0 this year, Cincinnati becomes the first school outside a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC) to be selected for the playoff since its inception in 2014

After besting Houston to go 13-0 this year, Cincinnati becomes the first school outside a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC) to be selected for the playoff since its inception in 2014

'This will be a real challenge for us in every way, shape and form,' Alabama coach Nick Saban said of the Cotton Bowl matchup.

Alabama has won six national titles under Saban, three of those coming in the short CFP era. This is the fifth time the Crimson Tide is the No. 1 seed, and are the first No. 1 team in the Cotton Bowl since Texas in 1978.

In the SEC title game, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Crimson Tide to victory against the nation's No. 1 overall defense.

Young was the title game MVP and made Georgia's vaunted defense look like a scout team, surely bolstering his Heisman Trophy chances as he finished 26-of-44 without an interception. He rushed three times for 40 yards and a touchdown.

The Crimson Tide had been a betting favorite in 93 straight games, but was for once an underdog in the SEC title matchup, and Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said his team relished the challenge.

'The rat poison that you put

read more from dailymail.....

NEXT Social media blames People Magazine for jinxing Betty White with profile ahead ...