The College Football Playoff begins on Thursday with semifinal action, as the second-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide take on the third-ranked Michigan St. Spartans in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl.

Kickoff time is scheduled for 7 pm (central time) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The winner will face the Clemson/Oklahoma winner in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, scheduled for January 11 in Glendale, Arizona.

Alabama, champions of the SEC, is currently 12-1, with their only defeat taking place back on September 19, to the Ole Miss Rebels, 43-37.

Offensively, Alabama is averaging 34.1 points, 422.5 total yards, 208.2 rushing yards, and 214.3 passing yards per game, while allowing 14.4 points, 258.2 total yards, 74.0 rushing yards, and 184.2 passing yards a contest, defensively.

The Crimson Tide is led by junior running back Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, who has rushed for 1,986 yards and 23 touchdowns this season.

Michigan St., champions of the Big Ten, will enter the contest with a record of 12-1, with their only loss coming to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 39-38, back on November 7.

The Spartans are averaging 32.1 points per game, along with 396.8 yards, including 236.1 passing yards and 160.7 rushing yards, while allowing 20.5 points, 342.9 total yards, including 229.8 passing yards and 113.1 rushing yards.

Michigan St. is paced by senior quarterback Connor Cook, who has thrown for 2,924 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Alabama leads the all-time series, 1-0, defeating Michigan St., 49-7, back in 2011, in the only previous meeting.