[UPDATED] Michigan will face Alabama in the Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1 it was announced on Sunday.
Undefeated Michigan was ranked first in the final College Football Playoff rankings released on Sunday. Alabama was ranked fourth.
This year’s game will be a College Football Playoff semifinal game.
“We are excited to host a College Football Playoff Semifinal, which will also be the first-ever matchup of Michigan and Alabama in a Rose Bowl Game,” said Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Alex Aghajanian. “We are thrilled to welcome two storied football programs to Pasadena for ‘The Granddaddy of Them All.’”
This year’s Rose Bowl Game will be the sixth meeting of Michigan and Alabama in history. The two winningest teams in college football history have played five times with four of those matchups coming in bowl games. Alabama leads the all-time series against Michigan, 3-2.
Michigan won its third consecutive Big Ten Championship with a 26-0 victory over Iowa on Saturday. The Wolverines finished the season with a perfect 13-0 overall record and 9-0 mark in conference play. Michigan has played in 20 Rose Bowl Games with an 8-12 record, most recently the 2007 edition of The Granddaddy of Them All. Overall, Michigan is 21-29 in 50 bowl games.
Alabama won 11 consecutive games on its way to the SEC Championship. The Crimson Tide defeated Georgia on Saturday, 27-24, to finish the season 12-1 with an 8-0 record in the SEC. Alabama has a 5-1-1 record in seven trips to the Rose Bowl Game, among their nation-leading 70 bowl game appearances and 42 bowl wins.
Pre-game festivities on January 1 will begin at 1 p.m. PT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Michigan last played in the Grandaddy of Them All 15 years ago.
The matchup is good news for stadium officials as the fanbase of the respective teams travel well and should bring a good crowd to the game.
The game will undergo changes next year.
In 2025 the Rose Bowl Game will transition from a College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinal game into one of CFP’s quarterfinal games.
This change is part of the expansion of the CFP from a four-team to a 12-team playoff format for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 system. Under the new system, the six highest-ranked conference champions, along with the six highest-ranked other teams, will compete in the playoffs.
The Rose Bowl Game, played since 1902, is the oldest currently operating bowl game and one of the most prestigious in college football. Traditionally, it was played between the champions of the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference. However, the game has deviated from this format at times as part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and the current College Football Playoff.
The semifinal games will rotate annually among six bowl games: the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Vrbo Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the Rose Bowl Game.
The decision to expand the playoffs from a four-team format to a 12-team format was initially announced in September 2022, with plans to implement the change in the 2026 season. However, following further discussions, the CFP decided to introduce the new format earlier, starting in the 2024-2025 season.