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The final edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings was released Sunday afternoon with a controversial top four that no doubt left one team (and its conference) immensely frustrated with the selection process. Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama emerged as the four teams vying for the CFP National Championship with Florida State missing the cut despite ending the season as an undefeated champion from a Power Five conference.

The No. 1 Wolverines will face the No. 4 Crimson Tide in the Rose Bowl semifinal, while the No. 2 Huskies will battle the No. 3 Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl semifinal. Texas is the 15th different team to advance to the CFP in the event's 10-year history.

Past the top four, though, the CFP Rankings have further significance. The top of the rankings determines the pool of teams eligible to be selected for the premier New Year's Six bowl games, and the highest-placed Group of Five team in the rankings earns an automatic New Year's Six bid. With the CFP Selection Committee apt to occasionally make changes on a whim, not much could be known for sure until the announcement came down Sunday afternoon.

SEC runner-up Georgia will take on ACC champion Florida State in the Orange Bowl, a game that sets up as a battle of the first two teams left out of the playoff. The two-time reigning national champion Bulldogs have won six straight bowl games, while the Seminoles enter with a 19-game winning streak seeking to prove that they should have been included in the CFP.

Two prominent Big Ten vs. SEC matchups will take place as well with Missouri playing Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl and Ole Miss facing Penn State in the Peach Bowl. The New Year's Six is rounded out by Oregon vs. Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl. The undefeated Flames finished No. 23 as the highest-rated team in the CFP Rankings after winning Conference USA, while the Ducks are seeking to end their season on a high note after twice being defeated by the playoff-bound Huskies this season.

Let's take a look at the College Football Playoff field and New Year's Six matchups before we get to the final CFP Rankings of the 2023 season. You can also check out the complete 2023-24 bowl schedule and follow our 2023 Bowl Games live announcements page.

College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Prediction

Jan. 8

National Championship
Title game Semifinal winners
Jan. 1
Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.
(1) Michigan vs. (4) Alabama

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans
Semifinal (2) Washington vs. (3) Texas

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 1

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz.

at-large vs. at-large

Oregon vs. Liberty

Dec. 30

Orange Bowl


Georgia vs. Florida State

Dec. 30

Peach Bowl

at-large vs. at-large

Ole Miss vs. Penn State

Dec. 29

Cotton Bowl
Arlington, Tex.

at-large vs. at-large

Missouri vs. Ohio State

College Football Playoff Rankings, Dec. 3

  1. Michigan (13-0)
  2. Washington (13-0)
  3. Texas (12-1)
  4. Alabama (12-1)
  5. Florida State (13-0)
  6. Georgia (12-1)
  7. Ohio State (11-1)
  8. Oregon (11-2)
  9. Missouri (10-2)
  10. Penn State (10-2)
  11. Ole Miss (10-2)
  12. Oklahoma (10-2)
  13. LSU (9-3)
  14. Arizona (9-3)
  15. Louisville (10-3)
  16. Notre Dame (9-3)
  17. Iowa (10-3)
  18. NC State (9-3)
  19. Oregon State (8-4)
  20. Oklahoma State (9-4)
  21. Tennessee (8-4)
  22. Clemson (8-4)
  23. Liberty (13-0)
  24. SMU (11-2)
  25. Kansas State (8-4)