ATLANTA -- Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington were selected by the College Football Playoff selection committee to play in the College Football Playoff on New Year's Eve.
The committee, made up of 12 people with some sort of college athletics or administrative experience, announced the playoff teams along with its final rankings on Sunday.
Alabama and Washington will play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 31 at 3 p.m. It is the first time in the bowl’s 50-year history that it will serve as a semifinal game since becoming part of the "New Year's Six."
The other national semifinal game is Clemson vs Ohio State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. at 7 p.m.
No. 1 Alabama continued its perfect season with a 56-16 beat-down against Florida in the SEC Championship on Saturday at the Georgia Dome to improve to 13-0. The Crimson Tide, the defending national champions, have been in the playoff every year since it began in 2014.
No. 2 Clemson (12-1) enters the playoff for a second consecutive year after falling to the Crimson Tide in last season's national championship. The Tigers held off the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC Championship on Saturday, winning 42- 35. Their only loss of the season came to Pitt.
No. 4 Washington (12-1) earned its spot in the playoff after routing Colorado in the PAC-12 championship on Friday, winning 41-10. The committee rewarded the conference champions despite them having one of the easiest schedules compared to those from the rest of the ranked teams. Washington likely passed the committee's "eye test" with flying colors thanks to its consistently explosive offense led by quarterback and likely Heisman Candidate Jake Browning.
No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) is the only playoff team that did not play in a conference title. The Buckeyes represent the BigTen, despite Penn State winning the conference championship on Saturday in a comeback-win against Wisconsin. Ohio State's only blemish this season came against the Nittany Lions. Ohio State won the national championship in 2015.
Penn State (11-2) was the first team out of the playoff, ranking at No. 5. Michigan (10-2) was ranked No. 6.
Conference champions are a key criterion that the committee takes into consideration when selecting the playoff teams. However, the committee's snub against Penn State, who won nine of its last 10 games including a win against the Buckeyes, may set a precedent of the "eye test" and record carrying more weight than a championship.
The winners of the playoff games will play for the College Football Playoff National Championship o Jan. 9, 2017 in Tampa. Fla.
Here are the remaining four "New Year's Six" games:
Capital One Orange Bowl (Dec. 30)
No. 11 Florida State vs. No. 6 Michigan
Rose Bowl Game (Jan. 2)
No. 9 USC vs. No. 5 Penn State
Goodyear Cotton Bowl (Jan. 2)
No. 15 Western Michigan vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2)
No. 14 Auburn vs. No. 7 Oklahoma