College Football Playoff Set with Alabama-Notre Dame, Clemson-Ohio State Games

Trevor Lawrence (16) of the Clemson University Tigers during the 2020 CFP National Championship (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)
Clemson's Trevor Lawrence will play Ohio State in the College Football Playoff (Image credit: ESPN)

College football set its New Year’s Day playoff lineup this weekend as more post season bowl games were cancelled due to concerns revolving around the pandemic.

Top-ranked Alabama will face fourth-ranked Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl and second-ranked Clemson will battle third-ranked Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The winners will play in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 11. ESPN will air all three games.

The weekend playoffs announcement comes as several other college bowl games were cancelled, as a number of teams from major conferences have chosen not to play in the postseason due to concerns surrounding the pandemic.

ESPN Events Sunday cancelled the upcoming TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl, one of 16 post season college football bowl games now canceled. Currently, 28 bowl games are scheduled to be played beginning tonight (Dec. 21) with the Myrtle Beach Bowl featuring North Texas against Appalachian State.

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl,” said Mark Meadows, executive director in a statement. “As the inventory of available teams lessened, our ability to stage the game was compromised. We will direct our focus to next year’s bowl, and look forward to staging the game in the 2021 season.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.