The College Football Playoff rotates its national semifinal games annually over a three-year cycle.
While it is understood that the College Football Playoff rotates its national semifinal games every year between the six New Year’s Six bowls, it can be a little tricky to remember what two marquee bowl games are part of the playoff each year.
As currently constituted, the six New Year’s Six bowls are the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach, Rose and Sugar Bowls. The Rose and the Sugar are paired together. The same thing applies to the Orange and the Cotton, as well as the Fiesta and the Peach. Though there are some conference affiliations tied to many of these bowls, that goes out the window when it comes to the playoff.
So with the 2022 College Football Playoff only a few weeks away, what games are the national semifinals this season and where will the national championship be played at?
College Football Playoff: List of games for 2021 college season
For the 2021 college season, the two national semifinal games are the Capital One Orange Bowl and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The Orange Bowl will be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, while the Cotton Bowl will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. An ACC team is not required to be in the Orange Bowl, as it is part of the playoff this bowl season.
Though the national semifinal games rotate, the national championship is set at a predetermined neutral-site location. For this college season, the national title bout will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Jan. 10, 2022. This is the home stadium of the NFL‘s Indianapolis Colts, as well as the location where the Big Ten Championship game is held annually.
The winners of the Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl will square off in the national championship in Indianapolis in early January.