With their thrilling 45-40 win over Clemson in last season’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the Alabama Crimson Tide won their fourth national title in seven years. Alabama didn’t let up this fall, and they capped off a perfect regular season and routed Florida 54-16 in the SEC Championship Game. As good as the Tide are now, their high-performing underclassmen mean they could be even better next year.
This year’s four playoff teams are announced Sunday, Dec. 4, beginning at 12pm ET on ESPN’s College Football Playoff: Top 25 Selection Show, with Alabama a lock for the No. 1 seed and Ohio State, Clemson and Washington the top candidates for the three remaining spots.
The year’s most outstanding player is awarded the Heisman Trophy Dec. 10 on ESPN, with Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, Clemson QB Deshaun Watson, Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Washington QB Jake Browning and San Diego State RB Donnel Pumphrey hoping for invites to New York City.
The NCAA has wisely put a three-year moratorium on new bowl games, since three of last season’s 41 bowl games included a team with a losing record. Bowl games start rolling out Dec. 17, but the only games with any real significance are on New Year’s Eve with the Peach and Fiesta Bowls serving as the playoff semifinals on ESPN. The National Championship game is Jan. 9 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., also on ESPN.
ESPN saw ratings drop for last season’s semifinal games on New Year’s Eve, prompting the College Football Playoff to change some future semifinal dates to be either on a Saturday or a holiday when the audience isn’t working or partying.
College Football Postseason Highlights
Dec. 4 — Playoff Selection Show, ESPN
Dec. 10 — 2016 Heisman Trophy Presentation, ESPN
Dec. 29 — Valero Alamo Bowl, ESPN
Dec. 30 — Hyundai Sun Bowl, CBS
Capital One Orange Bowl, ESPN
Dec. 31 — Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, ABC
Jan. 2 — Outback Bowl, ABC
Rose Bowl, ESPN
Allstate Sugar Bowl, ESPN
College Football Playoff
Dec. 31 — Semifinal: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, ESPN
Semifinal: Fiesta Bowl, ESPN
Jan. 9 — National Championship (Tampa, Fla.), ESPN