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Michigan football ranked No. 2 in final CFP poll, will play No. 3 Georgia in Orange Bowl semifinal

Wolverines earn first playoff bid after securing Big Ten championship

Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker (86) celebrates with teammates at the end of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Michigan won 42-3. (Darron Cummings, The Associated Press 2021)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan is the No. 2 team in the final College Football Playoff rankings and will play No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl semifinal.

The Orange Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

The Wolverines are coming off a 42-3 drubbing of No. 13 Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. Combined with the dominant 42-27 win over Ohio State the week prior, Jim Harbaugh’s team finished the season with a bang.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates with his team after the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Michigan won 42-3. (The Associated Press 2021)

Georgia, like Michigan, went 12-1 this season. The Bulldogs spent most of the year ranked No. 1 in every major poll until Saturday’s loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game.

While the resume is highlighted by wins over Clemson and Arkansas, Georgia’s most impressive trait this season was its sheer dominance defensively. Before the Alabama game, the Bulldogs were averaging less than seven points allowed per game.

Georgia beat a very good Arkansas team 37-0 and two solid SEC East teams -- Kentucky and Tennessee -- by a combined score of 71-30.

There’s no question Georgia is one of the top teams in the country.

Michigan also earned its spot in that tier. Before knocking off Ohio State and Iowa by a combined 84-30 score, the Wolverines picked up impressive road wins at Wisconsin and Penn State, and beat decent teams like Northern Illinois and Maryland by 53 and 41 points apiece.

These two programs have met twice previously: a 26-0 Michigan win in 1957 and a 15-7 Georgia win in 1965. Both of those games were played in Ann Arbor.

Michigan will be a healthy underdog when the two teams meet Dec. 31 in Miami. The winner of the Orange Bowl will play the winner of the Cotton Bowl -- No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Cincinnati -- in the national championship in Indianapolis.

Hassan Haskins #25 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (2021 Getty Images)

About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.