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College Football Playoff: Alabama Will Play Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl

The Tide and the Spartans will clash with a spot in the national championship game on the line

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide will play the Michigan State Spartans in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31 for a spot in the national championship game, the College Football Playoff selection committee announced Sunday. The winner of that game will play the winner of the other semifinal, the Orange Bowl, which will feature the Clemson Tigers against the Oklahoma Sooners. The final game will be Jan. 11. All three games will be televised on ESPN.

It's an interesting match-up for Nick Saban and his team. Saban used to coach at Michigan State, and current Spartans coach Mark Dantonio was an assistant under Saban there. Alabama also gets a chance to beat a Big Ten team after Ohio State knocked them out of the playoffs last year, for whatever that is worth. (Not much.)

With the announcement, the SEC's match-ups for the New Year's Six bowls are basically set. Barring a major surprise, the Ole Miss Rebels will play the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Sugar Bowl, and no other conference teams will make a big money bowl.