Bowl projections: Predicting the playoff, every bowl game after Week 5
- Washington and Clemson move into the projected College Football Playoff field after their big wins in Week 5, causing a cascade of changes throughout the bowl matchups.
Two changes at the top of these bowl projections caused a cascade of shifts down the list. Stanford and Florida State, two teams projected to make the College Football Playoff in last week’s slate of bowl projections, fell. Although the Cardinal could play their way back into a playoff berth—with some help from a Washington setback—Florida State is out of the mix.
Those shifts, along with the fluid hierarchy in the Big 12, lead to swings throughout the projected bowl matchups this week. Here is where things stand heading into Week 6.
But first, a reminder about how the college football postseason works. The playoff selection committee will choose the teams for the two playoff semifinals—the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl this year—and the four other marquee bowls that are part of the New Year’s Six. The highest ranked Group of Five conference champion must play in one of those six games, and other games, such as the Rose Bowl, have conference tie-ins.
The remaining bowl games are also governed by agreements with the 10 FBS conferences, though if a league doesn’t produce enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill all of its tie-ins, that bowl can select another conference’s representative. In some cases, leagues will pool together their bowl tie-ins to create more flexibility. The Music City Bowl, for example, can choose either an ACC or Big Ten team to face an SEC opponent.
And lastly, just because a bowl may be designated to have a particular order of selection among a conference’s teams doesn’t mean it has to adhere exactly to the standings. The Alamo Bowl’s second choice among Pac-12 teams, for example, does not require it to choose the No. 2 available team from the Pac-12 standings or from the playoff committee’s rankings. Other factors, such as location, the matchup, the size of a school’s fan base and the willingness of that fan base to travel, can influence bowls’ decisions.
New Year's Six bowls
|Peach (semifinal)||Dec. 31||Atlanta||TBD vs. TBD||Alabama vs. Washington|
|Fiesta (semifinal)||Dec. 31||Glendale, Ariz.||TBD vs. TBD||Ohio State vs. Clemson|
|Orange||Dec. 30||Miami||ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND||Louisville vs. Tennessee|
|Cotton||Jan. 2||Arlington, Texas||TBD vs. TBD||Houston vs. Wisconsin|
|Rose||Jan. 2||Pasadena, Calif.||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||Michigan vs. Stanford|
|Sugar||Jan. 2||New Orleans||SEC vs. Big 12||Texas A&M vs. Baylor|
|New Mexico||Dec. 17||Albuquerque, N.M,||C-USA vs. MW||Louisiana Tech vs. Air Force|
|Las Vegas||Dec. 17||Las Vegas||MW vs. Pac-12||Boise State vs. Arizona State|
|Camellia||Dec. 17||Montgomery, Ala.||MAC vs. Sun Belt||Eastern Michigan vs. New Mexico State|
|Cure||Dec. 17||Orlando, Fla.||AAC vs. Sun Belt||Temple vs. Appalachian State|
|New Orleans||Dec. 17||New Orleans||Sun Belt vs. C-USA||Georgia Southern vs. Southern Miss|
|Miami Beach||Dec. 19||Miami||AAC vs. MAC||Cincinnati vs. Ohio|
|Boca Raton||Dec. 20||Boca Raton, Fla.||AAC vs. C-USA||Tulane vs. Middle Tennessee|
|Poinsettia||Dec. 21||San Diego||BYU vs. MW||Army* vs. Wyoming|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Dec. 22||Boise, Idaho||MAC vs. MW||Toledo vs. San Diego State|
|Bahamas||Dec. 23||Nassau, Bahamas||AAC vs. MAC||Tulsa vs. Central Michigan|
|Armed Forces||Dec. 23||Fort Worth, Texas||Big 12 vs. Navy||Texas vs. Navy|
|Dollar General||Dec. 23||Mobile, Ala.||MAC vs. Sun Belt||Western Michigan vs. Troy|
|Hawaii||Dec. 24||Honolulu||C-USA vs. MW||Western Kentucky vs. Utah State|
|St. Petersburg||Dec. 26||St. Petersburg, Fla.||ACC vs. AAC||Georgia Tech vs. South Florida|
|Quick Lane||Dec. 26||Detroit||ACC vs. Big Ten||Notre Dame vs. Maryland|
|Independence||Dec. 26||Shreveport, La.||ACC vs. SEC||Wake Forest vs. Akron*|
|Heart of Dallas||Dec. 27||Dallas||Big Ten vs. C-USA||Kansas State* vs. Old Dominion|
|Military||Dec. 27||Annapolis, Md.||ACC vs. AAC||NC State vs. Memphis|
|Holiday||Dec. 27||San Diego||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||Minnesota vs. UCLA|
|Cactus||Dec. 27||Phoenix||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||Texas Tech vs. Cal|
|Pinstripe||Dec. 28||New York||ACC vs. Big Ten||Pitt vs. Iowa|
|Russell Athletic||Dec. 28||Orlando, Fla.||ACC vs. Big 12||Florida State vs. TCU|
|Foster Farms||Dec. 28||Santa Clara, Calif.||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||Penn State vs. USC|
|Texas||Dec. 28||Houston||Big 12 vs. SEC||Oklahoma State vs. Missouri|
|Birmingham||Dec. 29||Birmingham, Ala.||AAC vs. SEC||Ball State* vs. Kentucky|
|Belk||Dec. 29||Charlotte, N.C.||ACC vs. SEC||UNC vs. Ole Miss|
|Alamo||Dec. 29||San Antonio||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||Oklahoma vs. Utah|
|Arizona||Dec. 30||Tucson, Ariz.||MW vs. Sun Belt||New Mexico vs. South Alabama|
|Liberty||Dec. 30||Memphis, Tenn.||Big 12 vs. SEC||West Virginia vs. LSU|
|Sun||Dec. 30||El Paso, Texas||ACC vs. Pac-12||Virginia Tech vs. Colo.|
|Music City||Dec. 30||Nashville, Ten..||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||Indiana vs. Georgia|
|TaxSlayer||Dec. 31||Jacksonville, Fla.||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||Miami vs. Auburn|
|Citrus||Dec. 31||Orlando, Fla.||Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC||Nebraska vs. Arkansas|
|Outback||Jan. 2||Tampa, Fla.||Big Ten vs. SEC||Michigan State vs. Florida|