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Alabama Crimson Tide receives the number four ranking and will join Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia in the college football playoff.
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Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke runs for a touchdown against Maryland on November 18. (Photo: Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

The state of Michigan returns to California and not to Florida after all.

The Spartans number 19 will occupy the No. 21 Washington State in the Holiday Bowl on December 28 in San Diego.

MSU (9-3) never played in the Holiday Bowl before. The Spartans are 5-2 against the Pumas Pac-12 (9-3), who defeated MSU 23-21 the last time they met in 1977.

Several bowl badysts projected the Spartans to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando or Outback Bowl in Tampa. However, those Florida bowl games seem to have gone in different directions.

Because Wisconsin is in the Orange Bowl due to contractual obligations with the Big Ten, the Citrus Bowl could not select a Big Ten team and instead has Notre Dame vs. LSU. Michigan got a place in the Outback Bowl, where the Wolverines will face South Carolina.

MSU defeated U-M this season, 14-10, in Ann Arbor. The Spartans remained in 16th place in the University Football Playoffs ranking, where they spent the last three weeks in the committee ranking. The Wolverines (8-4) have not been clbadified since losing in Wisconsin on November 18.

The State of Washington is ranked 18th in the committee ranking, while South Carolina, as UM, is not ranked.

The Spartans "The last trip to California was for the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2014.

The first teams of the national semifinals were revealed on Sunday afternoon by ESPN: No. 1 Clemson vs. No 4 Alabama at the Sugar Bowl, No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Georgia at the Rose Bowl.

►More: Alabama makes CFP about the state of Ohio and people are crazy

The Buckeyes were No. 5 in the final ranking of college football, while Wisconsin was No. 6.

It is the first time in the four-year history of the college football tie that The Big Ten does not have a representative, Ohio State played in 2014 and 2016, while MSU was in the semifinals of 2015. The Buckeyes won the championship the first year, but those two programs were also excluded in the semifinals in the last two years. for a combined score of 69-0.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari @ freepress. com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari .

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