How the College Football Playoff Teams Match Up

The College Football Playoff begins on Friday, with Alabama and Cincinnati playing in the Cotton Bowl and Michigan and Georgia facing off in the Orange Bowl.

img alt="Alabama meets Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl Friday." src="https://static01.nyt.com/images/2021/12/31/multimedia/31cfb-explain1/31cfb-explain1-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75auto=webpdisable=upscale"/>
On Friday, Alabama and Cincinnati will meet at the Cotton Bowl. Credit... Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

Dec. 31, 2021

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Before Georgia defensive back Chris Smith sat down for his virtual Orange Bowl news conference, a blue disposable mask covered the lower half of his face.

The College Football Playoff is clear in its message: Even though professional leagues may have to adjust their schedules due to Covid-19 outbreaks the College Football Playoff will not allow playoff games to be delayed. No champion will be chosen this season if a team cannot play in the January national title game.