1 of 5 | Quarterback J.J. McCarthy and No. 1 Michigan will face No. 4 Alabama on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo
MIAMI, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Georgia Southern will battle Ohio to launch college football's bowl season Dec. 16 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Michigan-Alabama, Washington-Texas and Florida State-Georgia are among intriguing postseason matchups.
The 43-game bowl schedule, listed below, was finalized Saturday after conference championship weekend. The games will be played through Jan. 8, when the College Football Playoff National Championship Game is held at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Seven games will be held Dec. 16, starting with Georgia Southern and Ohio in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. That game will kick off at 11 a.m. EST and air on ESPN.
But the Michigan-Alabama duel will attract far more national attention, and could lead to a national championship.
"We're thrilled," Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters Sunday when asked about facing Alabama. "We're thrilled to be where we're at.
"We're thrilled to be playing Alabama, thrilled to be playing in the Rose Bowl because it's going to be competition. That's what this team lives for."
No. 16 Louisville will be the first team inside the Top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings to play a bowl game. The Cardinals will take on USC on Dec. 27 in the DirecTV Holiday Bowl.
No. 7 Ohio State and No. 9 Missouri will be the first Top 10 teams in the College Football Playoff rankings to start meet in the postseason. They will play Dec. 29 in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
The reigning champion No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs (12-1) will face the undefeated No. 5 Florida State Seminoles (13-0) on Dec. 30 in the Capital One Orange Bowl.
The Seminoles, who were snubbed in reaching the College Football Playoff semifinals, are 13.5-point underdogs.
"To be able to matchup with them, in [a game] I believe is between two of the best teams in college football this year, is going to be special," Seminoles coach Mike Norvell said.
No. 1 Michigan will meet No. 4 Alabama on Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl, the first College Football Playoff semifinal. That game will kick off at 5 p.m.
No. 2 Washington will then face No. 3 Texas at 8:45 p.m. in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the second semifinal. The winners from those two games will meet in the College Football Playoff finale at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 in Houston.
All College Football Playoff games will air on ESPN.
Myrtle Beach Bowl: Georgia Southern vs. Ohio at 11 a.m. on ESPN
Cricket Celebration Bowl: Howard vs. Florida A&M at noon on ABC
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Jacksonville State vs. Louisiana at 2:15 p.m. on ESPN
Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl: Miami University vs. Appalachian State at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Isleta New Mexico Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Fresno State at 5:45 p.m. on ESPN
LA Bowl: UCLA vs. Boise State at 7:30 p.m. on ABC
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: Cal vs. Texas Tech at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN
Famous Toastery Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN
Scooter's Coffee Frisco Bowl: UTSA vs. Marshall at 9 p.m. on ESPN
RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: South Florida vs. Syracuse at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. UCF at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN
Birmingham Bowl: Troy vs. Duke at noon on ABC
Camellia Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois at noon on ESPN
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: James Madison vs. Air Force at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Georgia State vs. Utah State at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
68 Ventures Bowl: South Alabama vs. Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. on ESPN
SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl: Utah vs. Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. on ABC
EasyPost Hawaii Bowl: Coastal Carolina vs. San Jose State at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN
Quick Lane Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Minnesota at 2 p.m. on ESPN
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Texas State vs. Rice at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Kansas vs. UNLV at 9 p.m. on ESPN
Military Bowl presented by GoBowling.com: Virginia Tech vs. Tulane at 2 p.m. on ESPN
Duke's Mayo Bowl: North Carolina vs. West Virginia at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN
DirecTV Holiday Bowl: Louisville vs. USC at 8 p.m. on Fox
TaxAct Texas Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State at 9 p.m. on ESPN
Wasabi Fenway Bowl: SMU vs. Boston College at 11 a.m. on ESPN
Bad Boy Bowers Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers vs. Miami at 2:15 p.m. on ESPN
Pop-Tarts Bowl: NC State vs. Kansas State at 5:45 p.m. on ESPN
Valero Alamo Bowl: Arizona vs. Oklahoma at 9:15 p.m. on ESPN
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Kentucky at noon on ESPN
Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Oregon State vs. Notre Dame at 2 p.m. on CBS
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa State at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Missouri vs. Ohio State at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Penn State at noon on ESPN
TransPerfect Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland at 2 p.m. on ABC
Capital One Orange Bowl: Georgia vs. Florida State at 4 p.m. on ESPN
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming at 4:30 p.m. on CW Network
ReliaQuest Bowl: Wisconsin vs. LSU at noon on ESPN2
Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: Iowa vs. Tennessee at 1 p.m. on ABC
Vrbo Fiesta Bowl: Liberty vs. Oregon at 1 p.m. on ESPN
CFP semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential: Alabama vs. Michigan at 5 p.m. on ESPN
CFP semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl: Texas vs. Washington at 8:45 p.m. on ESPN
CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN