Bowl Projections: Is Ohio State now a College Football Playoff contender?

0:52 | College Football
Could Mississippi State stay in college football top 4?
Tuesday November 18th, 2014

Is Ohio State suddenly a viable College Football Playoff threat? After Week 12 of the 2014 college football season, that appears to be the case.

The Buckeyes fell out of the playoff conversation for much of the year following a 35-21 home loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 6, but they might have a better case than people expect by season’s end. If one-loss Ohio State wins out, that would mean its résumé features a Big Ten title -- perhaps over a solid Wisconsin team -- and a win over a top-10 Michigan State. The question is how that’d compare to the résumés of one-loss TCU or Baylor, neither of which would play in a league title game. As a result, Ohio State could look better to the selection committee.

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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

Georgia vs. Colo. State

Fiesta

Dec. 31

Glendale, Ariz.

TBD vs. TBD

Baylor vs. Mich. State

Orange

Dec. 31

Miami

ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND

Ga. Tech vs. Miss. State

Cotton

Jan. 1

Arlington, Texas

TBD vs. TBD

TCU vs. UCLA

Rose (semifinal)

Jan. 1

Pasadena, Calif.

TBD vs. TBD

Oregon vs. Florida State

Sugar (semifinal)

Jan. 1

New Orleans

TBD vs. TBD

Alabama vs. Ohio State

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. W. Michigan

Poinsettia

Dec. 23

San Diego

MWC vs. Navy

Utah State vs. Navy

Bahamas

Dec. 24

Nassau, Bahamas

C-USA vs. MAC

MTSU vs. C. Michigan

Hawaii

Dec. 24

Honolulu

C-USA vs. MWC

UTEP vs. Air Force

Heart of Dallas

Dec. 26

Dallas

Big Ten vs. C-USA

Rutgers vs. Marshall

Quick Lane

Dec. 26

Detroit

ACC vs. Big Ten

Va. Tech vs. W. Kentucky*

Bitcoin

Dec. 26

St. Petersburg

AAC vs. ACC

Cincinnati vs. Buffalo*

Military

Dec. 27

Annapolis, Md.

AAC vs. ACC

UCF vs. BC

Sun

Dec. 27

El Paso, Texas

ACC vs. Pac-12

Louisville vs. Utah

Independence

Dec. 27

Shreveport, La.

ACC vs. SEC

NC State vs. Arkansas

Pinstripe

Dec. 27

Bronx, N.Y.

ACC vs. Big Ten

Notre Dame vs. Maryland

Holiday

Dec. 27

San Diego

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Minnesota vs. USC

Liberty

Dec. 29

Memphis

Big 12 vs. SEC

West Virginia vs. Missouri

Russell Athletic

Dec. 29

Orlando, Fla.

ACC vs. Big 12

Duke vs. Kansas State

Texas

Dec. 29

Houston

Big 12 vs. SEC

Texas 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

Miami vs. So. Carolina

San Francisco

Dec. 30

Santa Clara, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Iowa vs. Arizona

Citrus

Jan. 1

Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Outback

Jan. 1

Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Nebraska vs. Ole Miss

Armed Forces

Jan. 2

Fort Worth, Texas

ACC vs. Army

Houston vs. Cal*

TaxSlayer

Jan. 2

Jacksonville, Fla.

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Penn State vs. LSU

Alamo

Jan. 2

San Antonio

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Oklahoma vs. Ariz. St.

Cactus

Jan. 2

Tempe, Ariz.

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Ohio* vs. Washington

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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