New Year’s Day bowl lineup includes 2 CFP semifinals

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The College Football Playoff still has a semifinal game called the Rose Bowl, but it has been relocated to Texas. No. 1 Alabama takes on No. 4 Notre Dame today in the game that was moved because of COVID-19 restrictions in its traditional home of Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide are trying to get in the championship game for the fifth time in six seasons. Notre Dame lost its only previous CFP appearance 30-3 to Clemson two years ago. The Tide and Irish last played eight seasons ago. Alabama won 42-14 in the BCS national title game.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — No. 3 Ohio State will be going for its first victory over No. 2 Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl. Tonight’s game is a semifinal rematch from last season, when Clemson defeated Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Clemson also has beaten Ohio State in three previous meetings that all occurred in bowl games since 1978. Clemson is making its fifth straight playoff appearance and has won two national titles in that span. Ohio State won its last national championship in the 2014 season when the CFP format debuted.

ATLANTA (AP) — American Athletic Conference champion Cincinnati will be playing to complete its first undefeated season of the modern era when the No. 6 Bearcats play No. 11 Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Cincinnati, which is 9-0, will try to show it deserved stronger consideration for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Georgia is trying to close with four straight wins since naming JT Daniels its starting quarterback. Daniels will be challenged by a Cincinnati defense which has 15 interceptions. The Bulldogs are 7-2 and trying to build momentum for 2021. The Bearcats are led by dual-threat quarterback Desmond Ridder.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Northwestern looks to rebound from a loss to playoff-bound Ohio State in the Big 10 Conference championship game when the 15th-ranked Wildcats face Auburn in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. Tigers quarterback Bo Nix will be facing a Northwestern defense that ranks fifth nationally in fewest points allowed at 15.5 points a game. Auburn fired coach Gus Malzahn in mid-December and replaced him on an interim basis with defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Boise State’s Bryan Harsin was hired as the new Tigers coach three days before Christmas.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has made his future plans official by formally announcing that he’s declining an opportunity to return to school and entering the NFL draft. No one thought Trask would stick around following a record-breaking season that included being named a Heisman Trophy finalist. Even coach Dan Mullen made it clear he was moving forward with Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson at the position. Nonetheless, Trask made his announcement in a 2 minute, 19 second video released on social media. Defensive tackle Kyree Campbell also turned pro, and fellow D-lineman Zachary Carter decided to return for his senior season.