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A new number one atop College Football Playoff rankings?
0:53 | College Football
A new number one atop College Football Playoff rankings?
Tuesday November 4th, 2014

Our latest bowl projections feature the same College Football Playoff field as last week, albeit with a twist.

After Florida State’s 42-31 comeback win over Louisville on Thursday night, the Seminoles are looking more and more like the No. 1 team in the country. That’s where we have them slotted this week, and that’d likely give the ‘Noles the Sugar Bowl spot in the semifinal, with No. 2 Mississippi State heading out to Pasadena. The rest of the New Year’s Six, however, look quite different than our projections from a week ago.

BECHT: Bubble Watch: Sizing up contenders' playoff résumés

Before moving forward, a quick reminder on how this all works. The selection committee fills the two semifinal bowls based on its final rankings. It then rounds out the four non-playoff New Year’s Six bowls, while fulfilling certain contractual obligations, such as pitting an ACC team against an SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame team in the Orange Bowl. The remaining teams are then fed into each league’s contract bowls. If a league doesn’t produce enough bowl-eligible teams, bowls can invite replacement teams from other leagues.

This season the ACC, Big Ten and SEC have each pooled a select number of bowls together and will decide where to place teams. While the Big 12 and Pac-12 use a more straightforward method -- the Pac-12’s No. 2 choice would go to the Alamo Bowl, the No. 3 to the Holiday Bowl, etc. -- the process for the other three Power Five leagues is less structured. For instance, the ACC’s No. 2 choice will go to the Russell Athletic Bowl, but teams Nos. 3-6 can land anywhere among the Sun, Belk, Music City/Taxslayer or Pinstripe bowls.

Keep in mind, “Pac-12 No. 2” doesn't mean the Pac-12’s second-place team. Fan travel and geographical location factor into bowl selection as much as conference standings. Thus, leagues aren't obligated to fill bowls based on records.

STAPLES: Best/worst playoff scenarios for Power Five leagues

New Year's Six Bowls
 
Bowl Date Location Matchup Pick
Peach Dec. 31 Atlanta TBD vs. TBD Auburn vs. E. Carolina
Fiesta Dec. 31 Glendale, Ariz. TBD vs. TBD Ole Miss vs. Kansas State
Orange Dec. 31 Miami ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND Duke vs. Alabama
Cotton Jan. 1 Arlington, Texas TBD vs. TBD Notre Dame vs. Mich. St.
Rose (semifinal) Jan. 1 Pasadena, Calif. TBD vs. TBD Miss. State vs. Oregon
Sugar (semifinal) Jan. 1 New Orleans TBD vs. TBD Florida State vs. TCU
Other Bowls
 
Bowl Date Location Matchup Pick
New Orleans Dec. 20 New Orleans MWC vs. Sun Belt Colo. State vs. Ark. State
New Mexico Dec. 20 Albuquerque, N.M. MAC vs. MWC La. Tech vs. Nevada
Las Vegas Dec. 20 Las Vegas MWC vs. Pac-12 Boise State vs. Stanford
Idaho Potato Dec. 20 Boise, Idaho MAC vs. MWC NIU vs. San Diego State
Camellia Dec. 20 Montgomery, Ala. MAC vs. Sun Belt W. Michigan vs. S. Ala.
Miami Beach Dec. 22 Miami AAC vs. BYU Memphis vs. BYU
Boca Raton Dec. 23 Boca Raton, Fla. C-USA vs. MAC Rice vs. C. Michigan
Poinsettia Dec. 23 San Diego MWC vs. Navy Utah State vs. Navy
Bahamas Dec. 24 Nassau, Bahamas C-USA vs. MAC Middle Tenn. vs. Akron
Hawaii Dec. 24 Honolulu C-USA vs. MWC UTEP vs. Air Force
Heart of Dallas Dec. 26 Dallas Big Ten vs. C-USA Minnesota vs. Marshall
Quick Lane Dec. 26 Detroit ACC vs. Big Ten Pittsburgh vs. Rutgers
Bitcoin Dec. 26 St. Petersburg AAC vs. ACC Houston vs. Virginia
Military Dec. 27 Annapolis, Md. AAC vs. ACC UCF vs. UNC
Sun Dec. 27 El Paso, Texas ACC vs. Pac-12 Louisville vs. Arizona
Independence Dec. 27 Shreveport, La. ACC vs. SEC NC State vs. Washington*
Pinstripe Dec. 27 Bronx, N.Y. ACC vs. Big Ten BC vs. Maryland
Holiday Dec. 27 San Diego Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Wisconsin vs. USC
Liberty Dec. 29 Memphis Big 12 vs. SEC WVU vs. Tennessee
Russell Athletic Dec. 29 Orlando, Fla. ACC vs. Big 12 Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Texas Dec. 29 Houston Big 12 vs. SEC Okla. St. vs. Texas A&M
Music City Dec. 30 Nashville ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC Miami vs. Georgia
Belk Dec. 30 Charlotte, N.C. ACC vs. SEC Ga. Tech vs. S. Carolina
San Francisco Dec. 30 Santa Clara, Calif. Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Iowa vs. UCLA
Citrus Jan. 1 Orlando, Fla. Big Ten vs. SEC Nebraska vs. LSU
Outback Jan. 1 Tampa, Fla. Big Ten vs. SEC Ohio State vs. Missouri
Armed Forces Jan. 2 Fort Worth, Texas AAC vs. Army Cincinnati vs. Cal*
TaxSlayer Jan. 2 Jacksonville, Fla. ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC Penn State vs. Arkansas
Alamo Jan. 2 San Antonio Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Baylor vs. Arizona State
Cactus Jan. 2 Tempe, Ariz. Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Ohio* vs. Utah
Birmingham Jan. 3 Birmingham, Ala. AAC vs. SEC Temple vs. Florida
GoDaddy Jan. 4 Mobile, Ala. MAC vs. Sun Belt BGSU vs. UL-Laf.

* -- Replacement team

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