College Football Playoff Championship 2017: Dates, TV Schedule, Live-Stream Info

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 3, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02:  Kelly Bryant #2 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes in the third quarter during the ACC Football Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ohio State fans may not be happy, but the College Football Playoff selection committee has made its decision.

Clemson is the No. 1 seed in the four-team bracket, with Oklahoma and Georgia next up at No. 2 and No. 3. Alabama beat out Ohio State for the No. 4 spot despite not having a conference championship to its name.

The countdown is now on to January 1, when the two playoff semifinals will be played at the Rose and Sugar Bowls. Seven days later, the national champion will be determined at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

        

College Football Playoff Info

Rose Bowl

Date: January 1, 2018

Time: 5 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN 

         

Sugar Bowl

Date: January 1, 2018

Time: 8:45 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN 

          

National Championship Game

Date: January 8, 2018

Time: 8 p.m. ET 

TV: ESPN 

Live Stream: Watch ESPN 

          

National Semifinal Previews 

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Alabama 

For the third year in a row, the Clemson Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide will meet in the College Football Playoff. But this time, the two will meet in the semifinal. Since Clemson is the No. 1 seed, it had the chance to choose where it would play.

As Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports noted, Dabo Swinney, who played and was an assistant at Alabama at the start of his coaching career, will take on the Crimson Tide with some historical significance surrounding the meeting: 

The Tigers come into the national semifinal with arguably the best resume in college football, one that includes six wins over ranked opponents. They also have a ferocious defense that stifled Miami (FL) in the ACC Championship Game to finish off an incredible regular season in which the team limited opponents to single digits on five occasions. 

As for Alabama, it crept into the playoff by way of Ohio State's victory over Wisconsin and because it only had one loss on its resume. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit believed the committee made a statement when it chose the Tide over the Buckeyes: 

Committee chairman Kirby Hocutt gave the reasoning for the selection of Alabama over Ohio State, per Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News: 

Nick Saban's team will have plenty to prove as it not only looks to avenge last year's defeat in the National Championship to Clemson but fend off the critics who believed it should've been out of the playoff with its loss to Auburn. 

Even though they will enter the Sugar Bowl without a win since November 18, the Crimson Tide will come prepared, and quarterback Jalen Hurts could be the difference-maker. Throughout his time as the starter, Hurts has shown he can deliver in clutch moments, with the win over Mississippi State on November 11 being the latest example.

         

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Georgia

The opening bout of the playoff doubleheader on New Year's Day will see a first: Oklahoma vs. Georgia.

There are all sorts of intriguing matchups in the showdown between the Big 12 and SEC champions, one of which being Heisman Trophy favorite Baker Mayfield going up against the dominant Georgia defense led by Roquan Smith.

Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman is one of many excited for that matchup: 

Mayfield ended the regular season with 4,340 passing yards and 41 touchdowns, and Georgia hasn't gone up against a passing threat like that during SEC play.

Just like Clemson's defensive unit, the Bulldogs have given up single-digit point totals in five contests this season, including in their SEC Championship triumph over Auburn. 

While Mayfield poses a challenge, so too will Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02:  Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to pass against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second quarter during Big 12 Championship at AT&T Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty I
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Sooners have shown they are susceptible to conceding points in a conference that encourages shootouts. The only teams the Sooners held under 10 points were UTEP and Kansas. 

The contrast in styles should present us with a fantastic opener to the playoff.

If you're looking for an early X-factor, keep an eye on Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, who may be counted on to make some big throws in critical situations if Michel and Chubb can't make an impact. 

         

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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