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New Year’s Six bowl game matchups announced

With the reveal of the final College Football Playoff top 25 rankings of the 2018 college football season, the New Year’s Six bowl games have officially been finalized.

As predicted in the 247Sports college football bowl projections, the matchups will look like this: Michigan Wolverines vs. Florida Gators in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Dec. 29 on ESPN at noon ET), Clemson Tigers vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (Dec. 29 on ESPN at 4 p.m. ET), Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl (Dec. 29 on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET), UCF Knights vs. LSU Tigers in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1 on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET), Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Washington Huskies in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual (Jan. 1 on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET) and Georgia Bulldogs vs. Texas Longhorns in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1 on ESPN at 8:45 p.m. ET).

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma will compete for the College Football Playoff trophy. The Crimson Tide and Oklahoma will face off in a semifinal at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, while Clemson and Notre Dame play the other semifinal at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Michigan (10-2) and Florida (9-3), which have only played each other four times in their histories, will play in a bowl game for the second time in the past three seasons. The teams met in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, which the Wolverines won 41-7, and Michigan also defeated the Gators 33-17 in the 2017 regular season opener. Florida will have a different head coach this time, though, as Dan Mullen has taken over for Jim McElwain. Ironically enough, McElwain spent the 2018 season as an assistant on the Michigan football staff.

UCF (12-0) will again get to test itself versus a SEC opponent after taking down Auburn in the Peach Bowl to end last season. The Knights will put a 25-game winning streak on the line at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., where they will face LSU (9-3) in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ohio State, the Big Ten champion, and Washington, the Pac-12 champion, will meet at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The Buckeyes (12-1) just missed the playoff behind No. 5 Georgia and No. 4 Oklahoma. Ohio State took down Northwestern in the Big Ten title game. Washington triumphed over Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game to earn its berth in the Rose Bowl. The Huskies enter the matchup with a 10-3 record.

Georgia (11-2), the SEC runner-up to Alabama, will conclude the New Year’s Day action in a clash with Texas. The Sugar Bowl will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Longhorns (9-4) also finished the season as a conference runner-up, as Oklahoma defeated Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. The programs have only played four times, with Texas winning in 1949, 1957 and 1958. However, Georgia won the most recent matchup in the 1984 Cotton Bowl.

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