Preseason bowl projections: Who's headed to the playoff, all other bowls?

Wednesday August 27th, 2014

No one knows how the College Football Playoff will ultimately unfold in its first season. The same could be said for the 32 bowl games that won’t be filled by the playoff selection committee.

Projecting bowl matchups is set to be a unique challenge in 2014. There is no limit to how many teams a conference can land in the four-team playoff and six New Year’s Bowls. Four SEC teams could hypothetically headline the entire playoff bracket. That’s why the selection committee’s decision-making will have a direct impact on the rest of the postseason, as will conferences placing their own teams within league-specific bowl pools.

So, difficulties aside, we’ve given bowl projections our best shot. First, a quick note: Some leagues might fail to field enough bowl-eligible teams to fill their quotas in our projection, so an asterisk denotes a replacement team.

STAFF: 2014 preseason Crystal Ball: SI's picks for the playoff, Heisman, more

date

bowl

location

matchup

Dec. 31

Peach

Atlanta

Ohio State (at-large) vs. Marshall (Group of Five)

Dec. 31

Fiesta

Glendale, Ariz.

Auburn (at-large) vs. Baylor (at-large)

Dec. 31

Orange

Miami

Clemson (ACC) vs. South Carolina (SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame)

Jan. 1

Cotton

Arlington, Texas

Oklahoma (at-large) vs. Oregon (at-large)

Jan. 1

Rose (semifinal)

Pasadena, Calif.

No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 UCLA

Jan. 1

Sugar (semifinal)

New Orleans

No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Michigan State

STAFF: SI's experts fill out their brackets for the College Football Playoff

date

bowl

location

matchup

Dec. 20

New Orleans

New Orleans

Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt) vs. Colorado State (Mountain West)

Dec. 20

Idaho Potato

Boise, Idaho

San Diego State (Mountain West) vs. Northern Illinois (MAC)

Dec. 20

Royal Purple

Las Vegas

Boise State (Mountain West) vs. Washington (Pac-12)

Dec. 20

New Mexico

Albuquerque, N.M.

Nevada (Mountain West) vs. UTSA (C-USA)

Dec. 20

Camellia

Montgomery, Ala.

Akron (MAC) vs. Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Dec. 22

Miami Beach

Miami

UCF (American) vs. BYU (BYU)

Dec. 23

Poinsettia

San Diego

Utah State (Mountain West) vs. Navy (Navy)

Dec. 23

Boca Raton

Boca Raton, Fla.

Florida Atlantic (C-USA) vs. Ball State (MAC)

Dec. 24

Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

Middle Tennessee (C-USA) vs. Toledo (MAC)

Dec. 24

Hawaii

Honolulu

Fresno State (Mountain West) vs. Rice (C-USA)

Dec. 26

Bitcoin

St. Petersburg, Fla.

East Carolina (American) vs. Boston College (ACC)

Dec. 26

Heart of Dallas

Dallas

Buffalo* (Big Ten/Big 12) vs. North Texas (C-USA)

Dec. 26

Quick Lane

Detroit

Pittsburgh (ACC) vs. Utah* (Big Ten)

Dec. 27

Military

Annapolis, Md.

Duke (ACC) vs. South Florida (American)

Dec. 27

Independence

Shreveport, La.

Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. Washington State* (SEC)

Dec. 27

Pinstripe

New York, N.Y.

Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Northwestern (Big Ten)

Dec. 27

Sun

El Paso, Texas

Notre Dame (ACC) vs. Arizona (Pac-12)

Dec. 27

Holiday

San Diego, Calif.

Iowa (Big Ten) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)

Dec. 29

Russell Athletic

Orlando

Miami (ACC) vs. Oklahoma State (Big 12)

Dec. 29

Liberty

Memphis, Tenn.

Kansas State (Big 12) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)

Dec. 29

Texas

Houston

TCU (Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)

Dec. 30

Belk

Charlotte, N.C.

North Carolina (ACC) vs. Mississippi State (SEC)

Dec. 30

Fight Hunger

Santa Clara, Calif.

Minnesota (Big Ten) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)

Dec. 30

Music City

Nashville

Louisville (ACC/Big Ten) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC)

Jan. 1

Capital One

Orlando

Nebraska (ACC/Big Ten) vs. LSU (SEC)

Jan. 1

Outback

Tampa

Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. Florida (SEC)

Jan. 2

Armed Forces

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston (American) vs. Ohio* (Army/Big 12)

Jan. 2

Alamo

San Antonio

Texas (Big 12) vs. USC (Pac-12)

Jan. 2

TaxSlayer

Jacksonville, Fla.

Michigan (Big Ten/ACC) vs. Georgia (SEC)

Jan. 2

Cactus

Tempe, Ariz.

Iowa State (Big 12) vs. Oregon State (Pac-12)

Jan. 3

Birmingham

Birmingham, Ala.

Missouri (SEC) vs. Cincinnati (American)

Jan. 4

GoDaddy

Mobile, Ala.

Bowling Green (MAC) vs. South Alabama (Sun Belt)

SI.com's complete 2014 college football preview coverage

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