The fourth annual College Football Playoff starts Jan. 1, 2018 with two semifinals games that will determine who will face off for the national championship a week later. The CFP National Championship is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 8 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The two semifinals games will be played at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl in Pasadena, California and New Orleans, Louisiana respectively. The Rose Bowl kicks off the 2018 CFP with a 5 p.m. ET starting time, followed by the Sugar Bowl at 8:45 p.m. ET. Both semifinal games will be broadcasted on ESPN.

The national championship game will kick off at 8 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. That game will also be available via ESPN.

2018 CFP schedule:
BOWL GAME DATE LOCATION
Rose Bowl Game (Semifinals) Jan. 1, 2018 | 5 p.m. ET on ESPN [Get tickets] Pasadena, Calif.
Sugar Bowl (Semifinals) Jan. 1, 2018 | 8:45 p.m. ET on ESPN New Orleans, La.
CFP National Championship Jan. 8, 2018 | 8 p.m. ET on ESPN Atlanta, Ga.

The complete 2017-18 college football bowl season begins Dec. 16 with the Celebration Bowl, also being played in Atlanta. Click here to see this upcoming year's bowl schedule and TV listings.

Four schools are selected to the postseason College Football Playoff, which has determined the FBS national champion since 2014. A selection committe ranks the programs based on performance in conference play and championship games, strength of schedule and other factors. The first CFP top 25 rankings of 2017 debut midway through the season and will be updated and released each week until the end of the regular season and conference championships.

Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington comprised last year's four-team field. Clemson defeated Alabama in the championship game 35-31 on a last-second touchdown pass in a rematch of the 2015 CFP title match.

RELATED: Where did past CFP finalists start the season in AP poll?

Below is the list of previous CFP champions since the Playoff's conception in 2014:

CFP history:
YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP SCORE LOCATION
2016 Clemson Alabama 35-31 AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
2015 Alabama Clemson 45-40 University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale. Ariz.
2014 Ohio State Oregon 42-20 Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, Fla.

Alabama has appeared in all three Playoffs while Clemson and Ohio State have twice made the field. Florida State, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington round out the programs to have appeared in the CFP.