ORLANDO -- After four months of regular season college football, the first College Football Playoff is here. Florida State, the defending national champions, will be the No. 3 seed and will take on No. 2-seeded Oregon in the first of two seminal games. Top-seeded Alabama will play Ohio State, the No. 4 seed, in the other semifinal.
The two winners will then meet in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 12.
But the top four teams aren't the only teams that will be playing bowl games this month and in January. Florida, Miami and the University of Central Florida were all selected for bowl games Sunday night.The matchups are as follows:Rose Bowl: FSU vs. OregonIn a heavyweight battle, Florida State (13-0) will have a chance to defend its national title when they take on Oregon (12-1) in the first of two semifinal games.
The Seminoles topped Georgia Tech, 37-35, in the ACC Championship game. FSU has the nation's longest winning streak at 29 games.
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Oregon routed Arizona, 51-13, in the Pac-12 title game. Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota accounted for five touchdowns (two passing, three rushing) against the Wildcats and is the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. FSU quarterback Jameis Winston won last year's Heisman Trophy.
When: 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 1Where: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CaliforniaBitCoin St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF vs. NC StateAlmost a year removed from its Fiesta Bowl victory, UCF (9-3) will take on N.C. State (7-5) in the BitCoin St. Petersburg Bowl."After a 9-3 season, we are very happy to go to the BitCoin St. Petersburg Bowl," UCF coach George O'Leary said Sunday in a statement. "Obviously, a bowl game is a great reward for the players, the program and the fanbase. We are very anxious to get to St. Petersburg and enjoy the bowl and its festivities. It will be a great experience for our players and fans."
This will be UCF's third bowl trip to Tropicana Field and its seventh bowl game in the last 10 seasons. N.C. State defeated Wake Forest and North Carolina in its final two games to become bowl eligible.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 26Where: St. Petersburg, FloridaBirmingham Bowl: Florida vs. East Carolina UniversityThe Florida Gators (6-5) will take on East Carolina University (8-4) in the Birmingham Bowl. This will be the final game before coach Jim McElwain takes over the Gators. East Carolina lost on a last-second Hail Mary to UCF in an American Athletic Conference showdown last week.
When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3Where: Birmingham, AlabamaDuck Commander Independence Bowl: Miami vs. South CarolinaMiami (6-6) will play South Carolina (6-6) in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27Where: Shreveport, LouisianaOutback Bowl: Auburn vs. WisconsinA year after losing in the BCS National Championship game, Auburn (8-4) will play Wisconsin (10-3) in the Outback Bowl. Wisconsin lost to Ohio State, 59-0, in the Big Ten title game.When: Noon Thursday, Jan. 1Where: Tampa, Florida