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The college football regular season is finally in the books. After the most tumultuous preseason and regular season in history, every conference wrapped up its season on Saturday with championship games abound. Now it's time to decide a national champion with the College Football Playoff. Let's take a look at how the final week of the season shaped what we expect to see in the rankings on Sunday.

The No. 1 seed will be Alabama, which has been dominant all season long and is now the SEC champion after a 52-46 win over Florida. The Crimson Tide are projected to face Notre Dame in the first CFP semifinal. The Fighting Irish took it on the chin in the ACC Championship Game, suffering a 34-10 loss to Clemson that will drop them drop down to the No. 4 seed in this season's CFP.

Notre Dame gets the nod over Texas A&M due to its better wins, including the one earlier in the season over Clemson. Yes, the Tigers were short-handed in that game, but the CFP Selection Committee cannot assume, even with Saturday's result, that the outcome of that game would have been different if both teams were at full strength. Notre Dame also beat North Carolina on the road, while Texas A&M has wins over two teams with winning records -- Florida and unranked Auburn.

The Tigers will jump up to the No. 2 seed after that dominant performance. Clemson will face expected No. 3 Ohio State, which capped a relatively short undefeated season with a 22-10 grind-it-out win over Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.

College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Prediction

Jan. 11

National Championship

Title game Semifinal winners

Jan. 1

CFP semifinal
Arlington, Texas


(1) Alabama vs. (4) Notre Dame

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans


(2) Clemson vs. (3) Ohio State

Oklahoma won the Big 12 title 27-21 over Iowa State, avenging a loss to the Cyclones from earlier in the season. The Sooners are projected to head right back to Dallas to play in the Cotton Bowl against Florida, which will get into the New Year's Six despite being a three-loss team.

Oregon won the Pac-12 title on Friday night despite not even winning its division. The Ducks filled in for division winner Washington and beat USC in Los Angeles, 31-24. Oregon is predicted to play in the Fiesta Bowl against Iowa State, which is expected to remain ahead of Indiana in the final CFP Rankings. The Hoosiers were idle the last two weeks due to COVID-19 issues.

The Peach Bowl is expected to feature Georgia, which was off Saturday, going up against Group of Five representative Cincinnati. The Bearcats beat Tulsa 27-24 to win the AAC title and will be the highest-rated conference champion from the Group of Five. In fact, they are going to be rated highly enough to be an at-large team without the automatic berth.

Finally, in the Orange Bowl, the highest-rated ACC team remaining is North Carolina, so the Tar Heels will represent the league in that game. They are predicted to face Texas A&M, which is the highest-rated team left from either the SEC or the Big Ten.

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 2


ACC/ND vs. SEC/Big Ten

North Carolina vs. Texas A&M

Jan. 2

Glendale, Ariz.

At-large vs. At-large

Oregon vs. Iowa State

Jan. 1


At-large vs. At-large

Georgia vs. Cincinnati

Dec. 30

Arlington, Tex.

At-large vs. At-large

Oklahoma vs. Florida

Penn State, USC and Arizona State opted out of bowls Saturday, bringing the total number of such teams to 16. The Pac-12, which only has four bowls left after several cancellations, will not be able to fill them. The league only has three teams that are eligible and willing to participate. On top of that, the MAC is only allowing its top two teams to go to bowls, so the number of teams available for these games may mean some bowls have to be canceled for an inability to put together a matchup.

It also means that we may see some teams with poor records in bowl games. I have five teams in bowl games that are at least four games below .500 playing in the postseason.

Check out Jerry Palm's complete, final 2020 bowl projections by clicking here.