Bowl Projections: Alabama poised to make College Football Playoff push?

1:20 | College Football
Would Mississippi State stay in top four with loss to Alabama?
Tuesday November 11th, 2014

There is another change at the top of SI.com’s bowl projections.

Alabama, which controls its destiny in the College Football Playoff race after edging LSU 20-13 in overtime on Saturday, could upend Mississippi State this week and defeat Auburn on Nov. 29. That would be enough to push the Crimson Tide into a semifinal spot at No. 2. Meanwhile, if Baylor and TCU both win out -- a distinct possibility -- the Bears would get the nod for a playoff berth, at least in these projections, thanks to a 61-58 head-to-head win over the Horned Frogs on Oct. 11. Baylor destroyed Oklahoma 48-14 in Norman on Saturday, but it still must host Kansas State on Dec. 6.

STAPLES: Could the selection committee have a style bias?

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.

Bowl

DATE

LOCATION

MATCHUP

PICK

Peach

Dec. 31

Atlanta

TBD vs. TBD

Auburn vs. Colo. State

Fiesta

Dec. 31

Glendale, Ariz.

TBD vs. TBD

Ariz. State vs. Mich. St.

Orange

Dec. 31

Miami

ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND

Duke vs. Miss. State

Cotton

Jan. 1

Arlington, Texas

TBD vs. TBD

TCU vs. Ohio State

Rose (semifinal)

Jan. 1

Pasadena, Calif.

TBD vs. TBD

Alabama vs. Baylor

Sugar (semifinal)

Jan. 1

New Orleans

TBD vs. TBD

Florida State vs. Oregon

bowl

date

Location

Matchup

Pick

New Orleans

Dec. 20

New Orleans

MWC vs. Sun Belt

Temple* vs. Ark. State

New Mexico

Dec. 20

Albuquerque, N.M.

C-USA 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

BGSU vs. SDSU

Camellia

Dec. 20

Montgomery, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Toledo vs. So. Alabama

Miami Beach

Dec. 22

Miami

AAC vs. BYU

Memphis vs. BYU

Boca Raton

Dec. 23

Boca Raton, Fla.

C-USA vs. MAC

Rice vs. Ohio

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

California* vs. Marshall

Quick Lane

Dec. 26

Detroit

ACC vs. Big Ten

Pitt vs. W. Kentucky*

Bitcoin

Dec. 26

St. Petersburg

AAC vs. ACC

Cincinnati vs. Virginia

Military

Dec. 27

Annapolis, Md.

AAC vs. ACC

UCF vs. Miami

Sun

Dec. 27

El Paso, Texas

ACC vs. Pac-12

Louisville vs. Utah

Independence

Dec. 27

Shreveport, La.

ACC vs. SEC

NC State vs. UAB*

Pinstripe

Dec. 27

Bronx, N.Y.

ACC vs. Big Ten

BC vs. Maryland

Holiday

Dec. 27

San Diego

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Minnesota vs. Arizona

Liberty

Dec. 29

Memphis

Big 12 vs. SEC

West Virginia vs. Georgia

Russell Athletic

Dec. 29

Orlando, Fla.

ACC vs. Big 12

Notre Dame vs. Okla.

Texas

Dec. 29

Houston

Big 12 vs. SEC

Okla. St. vs. Texas A&M

Music City

Dec. 30

Nashville

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Clemson vs. Tennessee

Belk

Dec. 30

Charlotte, N.C.

ACC vs. SEC

Ga. Tech vs. So. Carolina

San Francisco

Dec. 30

Santa Clara, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Iowa vs. USC

Citrus

Jan. 1

Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Wisconsin vs. Ole Miss

Outback

Jan. 1

Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Nebraska vs. LSU

Armed Forces

Jan. 2

Fort Worth, Texas

ACC vs. Army

Houston vs. W. Michigan*

TaxSlayer

Jan. 2

Jacksonville, Fla.

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Penn State vs. Missouri

Alamo

Jan. 2

San Antonio

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Kansas State vs. UCLA

Cactus

Jan. 2

Tempe, Ariz.

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

C. Michigan* vs. Wash.

Birmingham

Jan. 3

Birmingham, Ala.

AAC vs. SEC

Florida vs. E. Carolina

GoDaddy

Jan. 4

Mobile, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

NIU vs. UL-Lafayette

* -- Replacement team

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