Bowl Projections: Picks for the College Football Playoff, other bowls after Week 9 of the 2014 season.
The inaugural College Football Playoff rankings will be unveiled on Tuesday night, which should shed a little light on the selection committee’s decision-making. That’s the first step in introducing this year’s revamped postseason.
As we mentioned in our preseason projections, predicting the bowl lineup is hardly an exact science. Much of the committee’s process remains unknown, plus there are retooled conference bowl pools to consider. And, of course, plenty will change between now and Championship Saturday.
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.
|Peach||Dec. 31||Atlanta||TBD vs. TBD||Ole Miss vs. E. Carolina|
|Fiesta||Dec. 31||Glendale, Ariz.||TBD vs. TBD||Auburn vs. Baylor|
|Orange||Dec. 31||Miami||ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND||Clemson vs. Alabama|
|Cotton||Jan. 1||Arlington, Texas||TBD vs. TBD||Notre Dame vs. Mich. St.|
|Rose (semifinal)||Jan. 1||Pasadena, Calif.||TBD vs. TBD||Florida State vs. Oregon|
|Sugar (semifinal)||Jan. 1||New Orleans||TBD vs. TBD||Miss. State vs. TCU|
|New Orleans||Dec. 20||New Orleans||Sun Belt vs. MWC||UL-Laf. vs. Colo. State|
|Idaho Potato||Dec. 20||Boise, Idaho||MWC vs. MAC||San Diego State vs. NIU|
|Royal Purple||Dec. 20||Las Vegas||MWC vs. Pac-12||Boise State vs. California|
|New Mexico||Dec. 20||Albuquerque, N.M.||MWC vs. C-USA||Nevada vs. Middle Tenn.|
|Camellia||Dec. 20||Montgomery, Ala.||MAC vs. Sun Belt||Ohio vs. S. Alabama|
|Miami Beach||Dec. 22||Miami||American vs. BYU||Houston vs. BYU|
|Poinsettia||Dec. 23||San Diego||MWC vs. Navy||Utah State vs. Navy|
|Boca Raton||Dec. 23||Boca Raton, Fla.||C-USA vs. MAC||Rice vs. Toledo|
|Bahamas||Dec. 24||Nassau, Bahamas||C-USA vs. MAC||La. Tech vs. Akron|
|Hawaii||Dec. 24||Honolulu, Hawaii||MWC vs. C-USA||Air Force vs. UAB|
|Bitcoin||Dec. 26||St. Petersburg||American vs. ACC||Memphis vs. Virginia|
|Heart of Dallas||Dec. 26||Dallas||Big Ten/Big 12 vs. C-USA||Minnesota vs. UTEP|
|Quick Lane||Dec. 26||Detroit||ACC vs. Big Ten||E. Michigan* vs. Rutgers|
|Military||Dec. 27||Annapolis, Md.||American vs. ACC||UCF vs. Georgia Tech|
|Independence||Dec. 27||Shreveport, La.||ACC vs. SEC||NC State vs. Washington*|
|Pinstripe||Dec. 27||New York||ACC vs. Big Ten||BC vs. Maryland|
|Sun||Dec. 27||El Paso, Texas||ACC vs. Pac-12||Louisville vs. Arizona State|
|Holiday||Dec. 27||San Diego||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||Penn State vs. USC|
|Russell Athletic||Dec. 29||Orlando||ACC vs. Big 12||Duke vs. Kansas State|
|Liberty||Dec. 29||Memphis, Tenn.||Big 12 vs. SEC||West Virginia vs. Georgia|
|Texas||Dec. 29||Houston||Big 12 vs. SEC||Okla. State vs. Missouri|
|Belk||Dec. 30||Charlotte, N.C.||ACC vs. SEC||UNC vs. Kentucky|
|San Francisco||Dec. 30||Santa Clara, Calif.||Big Ten vs. Pac-12||Iowa vs. Stanford|
|Music City||Dec. 30||Nashville, Tenn.||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||Miami vs. Tennessee|
|Citrus||Jan. 1||Orlando||ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC||Nebraska vs. Texas A&M|
|Outback||Jan. 1||Tampa, Fla.||Big Ten vs. SEC||Ohio State vs. LSU|
|Armed Forces||Jan. 2||Fort Worth, Texas||American vs. Army||Cincinnati vs. Utah*|
|Alamo||Jan. 2||San Antonio, Texas||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||Oklahoma vs. UCLA|
|TaxSlayer||Jan. 2||Jacksonville, Fla.||Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC||Wisc. vs. So. Carolina|
|Cactus||Jan. 2||Tempe, Ariz.||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||W. Michigan* vs. Arizona|
|Birmingham||Jan. 3||Birmingham, Ala.||SEC vs. American||Texas State* vs. Marshall*|
|GoDaddy||Jan. 4||Mobile, Ala.||MAC vs. Sun Belt||BGSU vs. UL-Monroe|
* -- Replacement team