Who will make the College Football Playoff this season? Who's headed to the rest of the bowl games? Here are our full bowl projections.

By Zac Ellis
August 31, 2015

The first season of the College Football Playoff showed that just about anything can happen in this new postseason system. Ohio State made the top four in exactly one set of rankings from the selection committee—the last one—and went on to win the national championship. The Big 12 was the closest of any conference to landing two teams in the four-team bracket, but neither Baylor nor TCU made the field. The playoff committee’s ambiguous selection process and fluidity at the top of its rankings made predicting bowl destinations a crapshoot.

This season 40 bowls make up the 2015 postseason: the New Year’s Six Bowls, which include the two playoff semifinals, and 34 lower-tier bowls. Before moving forward, here’s a quick reminder on how this all works:

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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 the Big Ten against the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl. The committee is required to place the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion in a New Year’s Six 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.

Like last season, the ACC, Big Ten and SEC each pool a select number of bowls together and 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, the Pac-12’s No. 2 bowl doesn't automatically take the conference’s second-place team. Fan travel, location and matchup considerations all factor into bowl selection as much as conference standings. Leagues aren't obligated to fill bowls based on records.

**Preseason bowl projections based on predicted finishes in SI.com’s conference primers.**

Bowl

Date

Location

Matchup

Pick

Orange (semifinal)

Dec. 31

Miami

TBD vs. TBD

Auburn vs. Oregon

Cotton (semifinal)

Dec. 31

Arlington, Texas

TBD vs. TBD

Ohio State vs. Baylor

Peach

Dec. 31

Atlanta

TBD vs. TBD

Georgia vs. Clemson

Fiesta

Jan. 1

Glendale, Ariz.

TBD vs. TBD

Notre Dame vs. Boise State

Rose

Jan. 1

Pasadena, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan State vs. USC

Sugar

Jan. 1

New Orleans

SEC vs. Big 12

Alabama vs. TCU

• SI.COM'S 2015 PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM: Who's best of the best?

bowl

date

location

matchup

pick

New Orleans

Dec. 19

New Orleans

MWC vs. Sun Belt

Air Force vs. Georgia Southern

New Mexico

Dec. 19

Albuquerque, N.M.

C-USA vs. MWC

Middle Tennessee State vs. San Diego State

Las Vegas

Dec. 19

Las Vegas

MWC/BYU vs. Pac-12

BYU vs. Utah

Cure

Dec. 19

Orlando, Fla.

AAC vs. Sun Belt

UCF vs. Arkansas State

Camellia

Dec. 19

Montgomery, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Bowling Green vs. Appalachian State

Miami Beach

Dec. 21

Miami

AAC vs. C-USA

Temple vs. Marshall

Idaho Potato

Dec. 22

Boise, Idaho

MAC vs. MWC

Akron vs. San Jose State

Boca Raton

Dec. 22

Boca Raton, Fla.

AAC vs. MAC

East Carolina vs. Northern Illinois

Poinsettia

Dec. 23

San Diego

MWC vs. Army

Fresno State vs. Washington*

GoDaddy

Dec. 23

Mobile, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Toledo vs. Louisiana Lafayette

Bahamas

Dec. 24

Nassau, Bahamas

C-USA vs. MAC

Rice vs. Western Michigan

Hawaii

Dec. 24

Honolulu

AAC vs. MWC/BYU

Memphis vs. Utah State

Heart of Dallas

Dec. 26

Dallas

Big 12 vs. C-USA

Texas Tech vs. Western Kentucky

St. Petersburg

Dec. 26

St. Petersburg, Fla.

AAC vs. C-USA

Houston vs. Louisiana Tech

Sun

Dec. 26

El Paso, Texas

ACC vs. Pac-12

Georgia Tech vs. Arizona

Independence

Dec. 26

Shreveport, La.

ACC vs. SEC

Duke vs. Florida

Foster Farms

Dec. 26

Santa Clara, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Minnesota vs. UCLA

Pinstripe

Dec. 26

Bronx, N.Y.

ACC vs. Big Ten

Louisville vs. Maryland

Quick Lane

Dec. 28

Detroit

ACC vs. Big Ten

Miami vs. Kentucky*

Military

Dec. 28

Annapolis, Md.

AAC vs. ACC

Navy vs. NC State

Arizona

Dec. 29 (tentative)

Tucson, Ariz.

MWC vs. C-USA

Nevada vs. Southern Miss

Russell Athletic

Dec. 29

Orlando, Fla.

ACC vs. Big 12

Florida State vs. Texas

Texas

Dec. 29

Houston

Big 12 vs. SEC

Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Armed Forces

Dec. 29

Fort Worth, Texas

Big Ten vs. MWC

Iowa vs. Colorado State

Music City

Dec. 30

Nashville

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Virginia Tech vs. Arkansas

Holiday

Dec. 30

San Diego

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Wisconsin vs. Stanford

Belk

Dec. 30

Charlotte, N.C.

ACC vs. SEC

Pittsburgh vs. South Carolina

Birmingham

Dec. 30

Birmingham, Ala.

AAC vs. SEC

Cincinnati vs. Missouri

Outback

Jan. 1

Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Penn State vs. Tennessee

Citrus

Jan. 1

Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Nebraska vs. LSU

Liberty

Jan. 2

Memphis

Big 12 vs. SEC

Kansas State vs. Mississippi State

TaxSlayer

Jan. 2

Jacksonville, Fla.

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Michigan vs. Ole Miss

Alamo

Jan. 2

San Antonio

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Oklahoma vs. Arizona State

Cactus

Jan. 2

Phoenix, Ariz.

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

West Virginia vs. Cal

*Replacement team

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