NEW ORLEANS — The following is New Year’s Day college football schedule on Monday, which includes the semi-finals of the College Football Playoff.
Five games are listed on the schedule for today, but without a doubt, the two highlighted fixtures are the Rose Bowl and Allstate Sugar Bowl, as the winner of each of the semis advanced to the title-game.
In Pasadena, California, starting at 5:00 pm ET, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Georgia will face off in the Rose Bowl.
Following that game at 8:45 pm, defending champion and No. 1 Clemson battles with No. 4 Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which is also a repeat of last year’s CFP championship game.
Live coverage of the Rose Bowl will be on ESPN and live stream is on WatchESPN.
The Sooners head into their game with a slight concern to starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield.
A few days ago, Mayfield revealed that he woke up with flu-like symptoms and became sick over the Christmas break.
Up to two days ago, he was still battling with the flu, but the senior who has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns, as well as running for 310 yards and five scores this season, remains optimistic.
Meanwhile, Georgia comes into this game full of confidence after beating Auburn and Alabama to the SEC title.
After losing to Auburn in the regular season fixture when they were No. 1, the Bulldogs (12-1) returned to beat the Tigers when it mattered in the SEC championship game, and second-year head coach Kirby Smart believes his team will be ready for Mayfield and the powerhouse Oklahoma offense, which is putting up 44.9-point per game.
At the same time though, the former Alabama coordinator isn’t expecting an easy go.
“It’s a different style,” Smart said of Oklahoma’s offense.
“They do a tremendous job of throwing the ball down the field, up-tempo, do a really good job of that. … Baker Mayfield is the great equalizer because he extends that time, and he makes those plays go longer where you have to cover longer.”
At the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, top-ranked Clemson will renew its rivalry with SEC powerhouse Alabama, live on ESPN and WatchESPN.
The last time these two programs met it ended in dramatic fashion after the Tigers outscored Crimson Tide 21-7 in the fourth quarter to seal a 35-31 victory in the College Football Playoff championship game last year.
Another gruesome encounter is expected on New Year’s Day as both sets of players and coaching staffs strongly believe their respective program is number one in the country.
Alabama got the nod over Ohio State for the final CFP slot, but the Crimson Tide are expected to welcome back a few key players who were being bothered by injuries.
In fact, with the expectations that a fully strengthened Alabama team will run out on Monday night, ESPN’s Football Power Index is backing Nick Saban’s ball club to get the better of the Dabo Swinney coached Tigers.
In other college football bowl games on the schedule for New Year’s Day, No. 7 Auburn and the undefeated No. 12 UCF will face-off for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the Citrus Bowl sees No. 14 Notre Dame and No. 17 LSU battling, while Michigan and South Carolina will go head-to-head for the Outback Bowl
College Football Bowl Games on New Year’s Day
Monday, January 1
Michigan vs. South Carolina
Raymond James Stadium
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
No. 12 UCF vs. No. 7 Auburn
12:30 p.m., ESPN, WatchESPN
Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton’s
No. 14 Notre Dame vs. No. 17 LSU
1 p.m., ABC, WatchESPN
Camping World Stadium
College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma
5 p.m., ESPN, WatchESPN
College Football Playoff at the Allstate Sugar Bowl
No. 4 Alabama vs. No. 1 Clemson
8:45 p.m., ESPN, WatchESPN