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Michigan gets Alabama, Washington faces Texas in CFP semis

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The College Football Playoff semis are officially set, with No. 1 Michigan facing No. 4 Alabama and No. 2 Washington squaring off against No. 3 Texas.

The Crimson Tide's upset win over top-ranked Georgia on Saturday was enough to see them jump Florida State and grab the final playoff spot. That leaves the Seminoles on the outside looking in, marking the first time an undefeated Power 5 conference champion has been left out of the field.

While Florida State finished the campaign 13-0, the loss of star quarterback Jordan Travis in Week 13 significantly hampered the offense.

Rose Bowl: No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama

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Team: No. 1 Michigan
Record: 13-0
Conference champion: Yes
Average scoring margin: 27.3 points
Opponents' combined record: 83-75
Points per game: 36.6 (15th nationally)
Points allowed per game: 9.4 (1st nationally)
Best wins: 24-15 at Penn State, 30-24 vs. Ohio State

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Team: No. 4 Alabama
Record: 12-1
Conference champions: Yes
Average scoring margin: 14.4 points
Opponents' combined record: 98-60
Points per game: 35 (22nd nationally)
Points allowed per game: 18.3 (17th nationally)
Best wins: 27-24 vs. Georgia, 24-10 vs. Ole Miss, 42-28 vs. LSU

Despite loads of adversity - the majority of which was self-inflicted - Michigan polished off a perfect season by thumping Iowa in the Big Ten title game on Saturday. The Wolverines seemed undeterred by the absence of Jim Harbaugh, winning all six games without their head coach including a third straight rivalry win over Ohio State.

Michigan is once again led by its standout defense, ranking first in the nation and allowing less than 10 points per game. That will be tested by the dual threat presented by Jalen Milroe at the quarterback position for Alabama. The Michigan offense features a punishing rushing attack behind one of the nation's top offensive lines, with Blake Corum leading the way at a whopping 24 touchdowns on the season.

Harbaugh and the Wolverines will be hoping for a change in performance in the semifinals after falling in the game in each of the last two years.

The most controversial pick of the final four was undoubtedly Alabama, who were rewarded for ending Georgia's 29-game winning streak in the SEC title game. The Crimson Tide have improved substantially since a Week 2 loss at home to Texas, with the development of Milroe flipping the script. Alabama would not be in the field without an incredible 4th-and-31 touchdown in the dying seconds against Auburn to keep it at just one loss.

While there is plenty of offensive talent in this contest, neither team has been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks. Michigan is averaging just 27 points per game in the last four, while Alabama has failed to surpass that number in the last two contests.

Sugar Bowl: No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas

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Team: No. 2 Washington
Record: 13-0
Conference champions: Yes
Average scoring margin: 14.1 points
Opponents' combined record: 75-70
Points per game: 37.7 (12th nationally)
Points allowed per game: 23.6 (50th nationally)
Best wins: 37-34 vs. Oregon, 34-31 vs. Oregon, 31-24 at Arizona

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Team: No. 3 Texas
Record: 12-1
Conference champions: Yes
Average scoring margin: 17.8 points
Opponents' combined record: 91-66
Points per game: 36.1 (16th nationally)
Points allowed per game: 17.5 (11th nationally)
Best wins: 34-24 at Alabama, 40-14 vs. Kansas, 49-21 vs. Oklahoma State

Explosive offense will be all over the field in the Sugar Bowl matchup between Washington and Texas. Both teams score at least 36 points per contest and are led by prolific quarterbacks in Michael Penix and Quinn Ewers. Kalen DeBoer and Steve Sarkisian are among the top offensive coaches in the country and should have plenty of time to scheme up quality plays for the New Year's Day contest.

The Huskies capped a perfect season with a second win over Oregon on the schedule Friday, scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter to claim the Pac-12 title. Penix is surrounded by plenty of offensive firepower, with Rome Odunze leading a trio of future NFL receivers and Dillon Johnson emerging in the run game.

Ewers is coming off the best game of his career, breaking the Big 12 title game record with 452 yards passing and four touchdowns on Saturday. While Xavier Worthy is the standout option in the passing attack, Adonai Mitchell and Ja'Tavion Sanders both topped the 100-yard receiving mark in the win over Oklahoma State.

There's also an interesting subplot to the game for Sarkisian, as he was Washington's head coach from 2009-13 before bolting for in-conference rival USC.

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