It's official: Michigan State gets Alabama in the College Football Playoff

Published Dec. 6, 2015 1:04 p.m. ET

Michigan State's spot in the second College Football Playoff was all but assured by a win in the Big Ten championship game over Iowa, but now the Spartans' first-round opponent is known: Alabama. 

The Spartans and Crimson Tide will face off in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 31. 

Alabama received the No. 2 seed behind Clemson while MSU is No. 3 -- ahead of Oklahoma. 

MSU has only played Alabama once, a 49-7 loss in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2011. 

The Spartans are headed to the Cotton Bowl for the second straight year. They beat Baylor 42-41 last season by outscoring the Bears 21-0 in the fourth quarter.