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Bob Leverone, Associated Press
Clemson's Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates his touchdown against North Carolina during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015.

Top-seeded Clemson will play No. 4 Oklahoma at the Orange Bowl and No. 2 Alabama gets No. 3 Michigan State at the Cotton Bowl in the New Year's Eve semifinals of the College Football Playoff.

The selection committee revealed the pairings for its second playoff Sunday, a day after the top teams eliminated any controversy about who should be in the final four. The only real debate was the order.

Clemson (13-0) has been No. 1 since the committee began its rankings the first week of November, and committee chairman Jeff Long said that the Tigers were clearly No. 1 in the final rankings. As the top seed, the Tigers get to play as close to home as possible. The Tigers and Sooners (11-1) met in Russell Athletic Bowl last season and Clemson won 40-6.

"Last year's game, people will talk about that, but it really doesn't mean anything," Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said in an interview with ESPN.

Clemson and Oklahoma have split four meetings, dating back to 1963.

Alabama (12-1) began its season at AT&T Stadium in North Texas against a Big Ten team (Wisconsin) and returns to face another in Michigan State (12-1). The Tide and Spartans have played only once, with Alabama winning the Capital One Bowl 49-7 after the 2010 season.

Oklahoma was No. 3 last week after it finished its regular season as the Big 12 champion, but Michigan State's Big Ten championship game victory over previously unbeaten Iowa pushed the Spartans past the Sooners in the end.

Long said bumping Michigan State past Oklahoma had nothing to do with avoiding the possibility of having the Sooners play close to home in the Dallas area.

And that was it for drama, if you could call it that. A big difference from last season, when the committee had to choose from Ohio State, Baylor and TCU, and ticked off the Big 12 by jumping the Buckeyes past Bears and Frogs in the final rankings.

This year, Oklahoma was so sure of its spot that coach Bob Stoops and quarterback Baker Mayfield did not even attend the Sooners watch party in Norman. Both were traveling. The Sooners last won a national title in 2000, Stoops' second season in Norman.

At Clemson, Swinney came through on his promise to throw a pizza party in Memorial Stadium. Thousands were in attendance to feast on the Tigers' success and pepperoni. Clemson is looking for its first national championship since 1981.

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the Tide is preparing for a second straight playoff appearance, it was just another Sunday. The players were allowed to sleep in for the announcement.

"What I tell our players ... is guys, you really should be happy and you should be excited about what you have been able to accomplish and winning the SEC championship, but now I have a question for you: What do you want to do now?" said Tide coach Nick Saban, who has led Alabama to three national championships and coached at Michigan State from 1995-99.

Michigan State has one AP national championship to its credit, back in 1952.

2015-16 bowl schedule

(Subject to Change)
All Times MST
Saturday, Dec. 19
Celebration Bowl
Atlanta

NC A&T (9-2) vs. Alcorn State (9-3), 10 a.m.

New Mexico Bowl
Albuquerque

Arizona (6-6) vs. New Mexico (7-5), noon (ESPN)

Las Vegas Bowl

BYU (9-3) vs. Utah (9-3), 1:30 p.m. (ABC)

Camelia Bowl
Montgomery, Ala.

Ohio (8-4) vs. Appalachian State (9-2), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Cure Bowl
Orlando, Fla.

San Jose State (5-7) vs. Georgia State (6-6), 5 p.m. (CBSSN)

New Orleans Bowl

Louisiana Tech (8-4) vs. Arkansas State (8-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday, Dec. 21
Miami Beach Bowl

South Florida (8-4) vs. Western Kentucky (11-2), 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Tuesday, Dec. 22
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Boise

Akron (7-5) vs. Utah State (6-6), 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Boca Raton (Fla.) Bowl

Temple (10-3) vs. Toledo (9-2), 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, Dec. 23
Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego

Northern Illinois (8-5) vs. Boise State (8-4), 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

GoDaddy Bowl
Mobile, Ala.

Bowling Green (10-3) vs. Georgia Southern (8-3), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Thursday, Dec. 24
Bahamas Bowl
Nassau

Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs. Western Michigan (7-5), 10 a.m. (ESPN)

Hawaii Bowl
Honolulu

Cincinnati (7-5) vs. San Diego State (10-3), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, Dec. 26
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Bowl

Marshall (9-3) vs. UConn (6-6), 9 a.m. (ESPN)

Sun Bowl
El Paso, Texas

Miami (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4), noon (CBS)

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Washington (6-6) vs. Southern Mississippi (9-4), 1:20 p.m. (ESPN)

Pinstripe Bowl
Bronx, N.Y.

Duke (7-5) vs. Indiana (6-6), 1:30 p.m. (ABC)

Independence Bowl
Shreveport, La.

Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulsa (6-6), 3:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Foster Farms Bowl
Santa Clara, Calif.

Nebraska (5-7) vs. UCLA (8-4), 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday, Dec. 28
Military Bowl
Annapolis, Md.

Navy (9-2) vs. Pittsburgh (8-4), 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Quick Lane Bowl
Detroit

Central Michigan (7-5) vs. Minnesota (5-7), 3 p.m. (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Dec. 29
Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, Texas

Air Force (8-5) vs. California (7-5), noon (ESPN)

Russell Athletic Bowl
Orlando, Fla.

North Carolina (11-2) vs. Baylor (9-3), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Arizona Bowl
Tucson

Nevada (6-6) vs. Colorado State (7-5), 5:30 p.m. (TBA)

Texas Bowl
Houston

Texas Tech (7-5) vs. LSU (8-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Wednesday, Dec. 30
Birmingham (Ala.) Bowl

Auburn (6-6) vs. Memphis (9-3), 10 a.m. (ESPN)

Belk Bowl
Charlotte, N.C.

NC State (7-5) vs. Mississippi St. (8-4), 1:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Music City Bowl
Nashville, Tenn.

Louisville (7-5) vs. Texas A&M (8-4), 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Holiday Bowl
San Diego

Wisconsin (9-3) vs. Southern Cal (8-5), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Thursday, Dec. 31
Peach Bowl
Atlanta

Houston (12-1) vs. Florida State (10-2), 10 a.m. (ESPN)

Orange Bowl (Playoff Semifinal)
Miami Gardens, Fla.

Clemson (13-0) vs. Oklahoma (11-1), 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Cotton Bowl Classic (Playoff Semifinal)
Arlington, Texas

Alabama (12-1) vs. Michigan State (12-1), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, Jan. 1
Outback Bowl
Tampa, Fla.

Northwestern (10-2) vs. Tennessee (8-4), 10 a.m. (ESPN2)

Citrus Bowl
Orlando, Fla.

Michigan (9-3) vs. Florida (10-3), 11 a.m. (ABC)

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz.

Notre Dame (10-2) vs. Ohio State (11-1), 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.

Iowa (12-1) vs. Stanford (11-2), 3 p.m. (ESPN)

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans

Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. Mississippi (9-3), 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, Jan. 2
TaxSlayer Bowl
Jacksonville, Fla.

Penn St. (7-5) vs. Georgia (9-3), 10 a.m. (ESPN)

Liberty Bowl
Memphis, Tenn.

Kansas St. (6-6) vs. Arkansas (7-5), 1:20 p.m. (ESPN)

Alamo Bowl
San Antonio

Oregon (9-3) vs. TCU (10-2), 4:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Cactus Bowl
Phoenix

West Virginia (7-5) vs. Arizona State (6-6), 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Monday, Jan. 11
College Football Championship Game
Glendale, Ariz.

Orange Bowl winner vs. Cotton Bowl winner, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday, Jan. 23
East-West Shrine Classic
At St. Petersburg, Fla.

East vs. West, 2 p.m. (NFLN)

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
At Carson, Calif.

National vs. American, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)

Saturday, Jan. 30
Senior Bowl
At Mobile, Ala.

North vs. South, 12:30 p.m. (NFLN)