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College Football Playoff Semifinals to be announced in first 30 minutes; followed by Top 25 rankings and New Year’s Six lineup
More than 15 hours of analysis across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network & ESPN Radio
The countdown to the end of the season culminates Sunday, Dec. 4, during the College Football Playoff: Top 25 Selection Show (noon-4 p.m. ET) – ESPN’s exclusive announcement of the teams participating in the two Playoff Semifinals – the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, to be unveiled at approximately 12:30 p.m. Additionally, teams selected for the other four New Year’s Six bowls (Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual), the final Top 25 rankings and start times for the semifinal games will be announced close to 2:30 p.m.
Rece Davis will host the noon, four-hour show with analysts Joey Galloway, Kirk Herbstreit, Danny Kanell and David Pollack from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios. Additional analysis throughout the show will include Paul Finebaum, Chris Fowler and Jesse Palmer via satellite. Davis will conduct his weekly interview with College Football Playoff Committee Chair Kirby Hocutt, who will appear twice, at approximately 12:40 p.m. and after the four New Year’s Six bowl matchups are announced.
The discussion and analysis will continue with Championship Drive: Who’s In on ESPN2 from 6-8:30 p.m. and on ESPN from 8:30-11 p.m. The 6 p.m. show will feature host Chris Cotter with Kanell, Mark May and Todd McShay, while the later show will include host Adnan Virk, along with analysts Mack Brown, May and McShay.
SportsCenter and segments within the day’s programming from reporters on various college campuses for instant reaction and interviews with coaches include Kaylee Hartung (Alabama), Tom Rinaldi (Ohio State), Marty Smith (Clemson), Molly McGrath (Washington or Colorado), Gene Wojciechowski (Michigan), Holly Rowe (Penn State), Allison Williams (Wisconsin) and Shelley Smith (Oklahoma or Oklahoma State).
Additional SportsCenter Coverage
SportsCenter on the Road will get viewers ready for the big announcement with anchor Matt Barrie co-hosting and reporting Saturday and Sunday from the Gaylord in Grapevine, Texas, the location of the College Football Playoff selection committee meetings. Sara Walsh in the studio and Barrie in Texas will co-host SportsCenter from 7-9 a.m. on Saturday, with Barrie joined on the set by analyst Rod Gilmore and ESPN.com senior writer/College Football Playoff analyst Heather Dinich. Barrie also will report from Grapevine between 9 a.m. and noon. On Sunday, Barrie, Gilmore and Dinich will again be on the set in Grapevine, with Barrie and Walsh co-hosting SportsCenter between 9 a.m. and the start of the selection program at noon.
ESPNU begins the day with four hours of coverage during College Football Sunday from 8 a.m.-noon, leading into the exclusive announcement on ESPN. The show is hosted by Matt Schick with analysts Kevin Carter and Jason Sehorn. Several ESPN reporters from around campus sites will be integrated into the show.
Championship Drive: Bowl Selection Show Presented by Capital One airs from 4-6 p.m. with host Brendan Fitzgerald, along with analysts Charles Arbuckle and Tom Luginbill. They will provide analysis of the teams selected for the non-New Year’s Six bowls.
SEC Now: Bowl Special airs on SEC Network at 6 p.m. for a two-hour program focusing on the conference’s position in the College Football Playoff Top 25 rankings and the national landscape. Hosts Dari Nowkhah and Peter Burns are joined in-studio by Chris Doering, Greg McElroy and Booger McFarland.
Coverage throughout Selection Day includes:
- College Football Playoff Selection Preview (7- 9 a.m.), hosted by Mike Golic Jr. Mel Kiper Jr., will host a special Sunday edition to preview the announcement
- College Football Playoff Selection Day Show (noon-1 p.m.), hosted by Dave Rothenberg, will offer commentary and discussion of the possible inclusions, plus a simulcast of the ESPN telecast of the announcement of the semifinal teams
- Max & The Coach with Tom Waddle (1-4 p.m.) – hosts Max Bretos, Jonathan Coachman and Tom Waddle will provide discussion and reactions to the selections
- ESPN Radio’s College GameDay (7-10 p.m.) – hosted by Brad Edwards and Mike Golic Jr., the show will recap the day, with college football analyst Trevor Matich joining the show each hour
The @ESPNCFB Twitter handle –featured at the top of the app for all users – will engage with fans and center the conversation using the #CFPReveal hashtag. Quotes, highlights and real-time data will be front and center from the handle and interaction with ESPN’s analysts.
Heading into Selection Day, ESPN.com will have coverage from the ACC, Big Ten, SEC title games and Bedlam, as well as a final look at the College Football Playoff contenders from Heather Dinich, bowl predictions, Mark Schlabach’s Eliminator and more.
On Selection Day, Ryan McGee’s look at how the four teams made the playoff, a first look at each semifinal and the rest of the New Year’s Six matchups, an overview of every bowl game and Adam Rittenberg’s bowl predictions. Various reporters on campus sites, as well as Dinich at the CFP offices in Grapevine, Texas.
|Date||Time (ET)||Show / Commentators||Network|
|Sun, Dec 1||8 a.m.-noon||College Football Sunday
Matt Schick, Kevin Carter, Jason Sehorn
|Noon-4 p.m.||College Football Playoff: Top 25 Selection Show
Rece Davis, Joey Galloway, Kirk Herbstreit, Danny Kanell, David Pollack, with Paul Finebaum, Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer via satellite
|4-6 p.m.||Championship Drive: Bowl Selection Show Presented by Capital One
Brendan Fitzgerald, Charles Arbuckle, Tom Luginbill
|6-8:30 p.m.||Championship Drive: Who’s In Presented by Chick-fil-A
Chris Cotter, Danny Kanell, Mark May, Todd McShay
|6-8 p.m.||SEC Now: Bowl Special
Dari Nowkhah, Peter Burns with Paul Finebaum, Chris Doering, Greg McElroy, Booger McFarland
|8:30-11 p.m.||Championship Drive: Who’s In Presented by Capital One
Adnan Virk, Mack Brown, Mark May, Todd McShay
College Football Playoff Schedule
The New Year’s Six begins on Friday, Dec. 30, with the Capital One Orange Bowl (8 p.m.) and continues on Saturday, Dec. 31, with the College Football Playoff Semifinals: the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (3 p.m. or 7 p.m. ET) and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (3 p.m. or 7 p.m.). A tripleheader Monday, Jan. 2, will conclude the third year of the premier bowl series: Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (1 p.m.), the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual (5 p.m.) and the Allstate Sugar Bowl (8:30 p.m.). Each of the New Year’s Six games will be televised on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and heard on ESPN Radio.
The season will conclude with the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 9, on ESPN, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes.
ESPN and the College Football Playoff
ESPN has an exclusive 12-year agreement through 2026 with the College Football Playoff to televise the national championship game and semifinals, as well as the four bowl games comprising the New Year’s Six rotation to host the semifinals. In 2015, the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship garnered the most-watched and highest-rated telecast in the history of cable television. All games are featured across ESPN platforms including ESPN, ESPN Radio, and via WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox LIVE. Additionally, ESPN can distribute the matchups on numerous platforms and around the world via ESPN International.