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Nobody is surprised, right? We all predicted this at the beginning of the season. Alabama will very likely be the top seed in the College Football Playoff when the new CFP Rankings are released and the matchups are announced on Sunday.

That is a result of a 41-24 dismantling of Georgia, which had been the most dominant team in college football this season so far, in the 2021 SEC Championship. Because of Georgia's regular season domination, it will still make the CFP and likely be the No. 3 seed.

Alabama is expected to go to the Cotton Bowl and face the only other team that was undefeated to start the weekend. Cincinnati completed a perfect 13-0 season with a win over Houston in the AAC Championship Game. The Bearcats are projected to be the No. 4 seed as the first team from a Group of Five conference to participate in the CFP.

Michigan won the Big Ten Championship Game by dismantling No. 13 Iowa. The Wolverines are expected to retain their No. 2 seed in the CFP, clinching a spot in the Orange Bowl semifinal against Georgia. Michigan was one of only four favorites to win their conference championship games this weekend.

Follow live bowl games updates as the playoff participants are named and the complete 2021-22 schedule is released.

College Football Playoff (official)

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Participants

Jan. 10

National Championship

Title game Semifinal winners

Dec. 31

Cotton Bowl
Arlington, Texas


(1) Alabama vs. (4) Cincinnati

Dec. 31

Orange Bowl
Miami Gardens, Fla.


(2) Michigan vs. (3) Georgia

Saturday got off to a roaring start when No. 5 Oklahoma State, previously projected as a playoff participant, came a half-yard short of winning the Big 12 Championship Game. Instead, No. 9 Baylor took the Big 12 title, eliminating the Cowboys from the CFP but clinching a spot for the Bears in a New Year's Six bowl. Baylor will represent the Big 12 in the Sugar Bowl with Oklahoma State likely ending up in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 11 Michigan State.

At one point Saturday, it looked like No. 5 Notre Dame could be headed to the playoff after the Oklahoma State loss. Alabama ruined that by taking down Georgia, so the Fighting Irish will likely find themselves in the Peach Bowl instead against ACC champion No. 15 Pittsburgh.

With the top two SEC teams projected to the CFP, No. 8 Ole Miss will likely take the SEC spot in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor.

On Friday, No. 17 Utah punched its ticket to the Rose Bowl with its second blowout of No. 10 Oregon in the last three weeks. The Utes will face No. 7 Ohio State in what will be Utah's first-ever trip to the Granddaddy of 'em All.

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 1

New Orleans

SEC vs. Big 12

Ole Miss vs. Baylor

Jan. 1

Pasadena, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Ohio State vs. Utah

Jan. 1

Glendale, Ariz.

At-large vs. At-large

Michigan State vs. Oklahoma State

Dec. 30


At-large vs. At-large

Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh

For those who think there are too many bowl games, ESPN begs to differ. The network, which controls most of the bowl schedule, worked with the NCAA this week to get a 42nd bowl game approved so that all of the bowl-eligible teams would have a game to play this postseason. The game is going to be played in Texas. That's all we know at this point.

Don't see your team? Check out the rest of Jerry Palm's final 2021-22 bowl projections.