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#DearAndy: First Top 10 team to drop 2 games?
2:10 | College Football
#DearAndy: First Top 10 team to drop 2 games?
Monday August 31st, 2015

The first season of the College Football Playoff showed that just about anything can happen in this new postseason system. Ohio State made the top four in exactly one set of rankings from the selection committee—the last one—and went on to win the national championship. The Big 12 was the closest of any conference to landing two teams in the four-team bracket, but neither Baylor nor TCU made the field. The playoff committee’s ambiguous selection process and fluidity at the top of its rankings made predicting bowl destinations a crapshoot.

This season 40 bowls make up the 2015 postseason: the New Year’s Six Bowls, which include the two playoff semifinals, and 34 lower-tier bowls. Before moving forward, here’s a quick reminder on how this all works:

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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 the Big Ten against the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl. The committee is required to place the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion in a New Year’s Six 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.

Like last season, the ACC, Big Ten and SEC each pool a select number of bowls together and 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, the Pac-12’s No. 2 bowl doesn't automatically take the conference’s second-place team. Fan travel, location and matchup considerations all factor into bowl selection as much as conference standings. Leagues aren't obligated to fill bowls based on records.

**Preseason bowl projections based on predicted finishes in SI.com’s conference primers.**

New Year's Six Bowls
Bowl Date Location Matchup Pick
Orange (semifinal) Dec. 31 Miami TBD vs. TBD Auburn vs. Oregon
Cotton (semifinal) Dec. 31 Arlington, Texas TBD vs. TBD Ohio State vs. Baylor
Peach Dec. 31 Atlanta TBD vs. TBD Georgia vs. Clemson
Fiesta Jan. 1 Glendale, Ariz. TBD vs. TBD Notre Dame vs. Boise State
Rose Jan. 1 Pasadena, Calif. Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Michigan State vs. USC
Sugar Jan. 1 New Orleans SEC vs. Big 12 Alabama vs. TCU

• SI.COM'S 2015 PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM: Who's best of the best?

Other Bowls
bowl date location matchup pick
New Orleans Dec. 19 New Orleans MWC vs. Sun Belt Air Force vs. Georgia Southern
New Mexico Dec. 19 Albuquerque, N.M. C-USA vs. MWC Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State
Las Vegas Dec. 19 Las Vegas MWC/BYU vs. Pac-12 BYU vs. Utah
Cure Dec. 19 Orlando, Fla. AAC vs. Sun Belt UCF vs. Arkansas State
Camellia Dec. 19 Montgomery, Ala. MAC vs. Sun Belt Bowling Green vs. Appalachian State
Miami Beach Dec. 21 Miami AAC vs. C-USA Temple vs. Marshall
Idaho Potato Dec. 22 Boise, Idaho MAC vs. MWC Akron vs. San Jose State
Boca Raton Dec. 22 Boca Raton, Fla. AAC vs. MAC East Carolina vs. Northern Illinois
Poinsettia Dec. 23 San Diego MWC vs. Army Fresno State vs. Washington*
GoDaddy Dec. 23 Mobile, Ala. MAC vs. Sun Belt Toledo vs. Louisiana Lafayette
Bahamas Dec. 24 Nassau, Bahamas C-USA vs. MAC Rice vs. Western Michigan
Hawaii Dec. 24 Honolulu AAC vs. MWC/BYU Memphis vs. Utah State
Heart of Dallas Dec. 26 Dallas Big 12 vs. C-USA Texas Tech vs. Western Kentucky
St. Petersburg Dec. 26 St. Petersburg, Fla. AAC vs. C-USA Houston vs. Louisiana Tech
Sun Dec. 26 El Paso, Texas ACC vs. Pac-12 Georgia Tech vs. Arizona
Independence Dec. 26 Shreveport, La. ACC vs. SEC Duke vs. Florida
Foster Farms Dec. 26 Santa Clara, Calif. Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Minnesota vs. UCLA
Pinstripe Dec. 26 Bronx, N.Y. ACC vs. Big Ten Louisville vs. Maryland
Quick Lane Dec. 28 Detroit ACC vs. Big Ten Miami vs. Kentucky*
Military Dec. 28 Annapolis, Md. AAC vs. ACC Navy vs. NC State
Arizona Dec. 29 (tentative) Tucson, Ariz. MWC vs. C-USA Nevada vs. Southern Miss
Russell Athletic Dec. 29 Orlando, Fla. ACC vs. Big 12 Florida State vs. Texas
Texas Dec. 29 Houston Big 12 vs. SEC Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
Armed Forces Dec. 29 Fort Worth, Texas Big Ten vs. MWC Iowa vs. Colorado State
Music City Dec. 30 Nashville ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas
Holiday Dec. 30 San Diego Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Belk Dec. 30 Charlotte, N.C. ACC vs. SEC Pittsburgh vs. South Carolina
Birmingham Dec. 30 Birmingham, Ala. AAC vs. SEC Cincinnati vs. Missouri
Outback Jan. 1 Tampa, Fla. Big Ten vs. SEC Penn State vs. Tennessee
Citrus Jan. 1 Orlando, Fla. Big Ten vs. SEC Nebraska vs. LSU
Liberty Jan. 2 Memphis Big 12 vs. SEC Kansas State vs. Mississippi State
TaxSlayer Jan. 2 Jacksonville, Fla. ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC Michigan vs. Ole Miss
Alamo Jan. 2 San Antonio Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Oklahoma vs. Arizona State
Cactus Jan. 2 Phoenix, Ariz. Big 12 vs. Pac-12 West Virginia vs. Cal

*Replacement team

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