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  • Washington and Clemson move into the projected College Football Playoff field after their big wins in Week 5, causing a cascade of changes throughout the bowl matchups.
By Colin Becht
October 04, 2016

Two changes at the top of these bowl projections caused a cascade of shifts down the list. Stanford and Florida State, two teams projected to make the College Football Playoff in last week’s slate of bowl projections, fell. Although the Cardinal could play their way back into a playoff berth—with some help from a Washington setback—Florida State is out of the mix.

Those shifts, along with the fluid hierarchy in the Big 12, lead to swings throughout the projected bowl matchups this week. Here is where things stand heading into Week 6.

But first, a reminder about how the college football postseason works. The playoff selection committee will choose the teams for the two playoff semifinals—the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl this year—and the four other marquee bowls that are part of the New Year’s Six. The highest ranked Group of Five conference champion must play in one of those six games, and other games, such as the Rose Bowl, have conference tie-ins.

The remaining bowl games are also governed by agreements with the 10 FBS conferences, though if a league doesn’t produce enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill all of its tie-ins, that bowl can select another conference’s representative. In some cases, leagues will pool together their bowl tie-ins to create more flexibility. The Music City Bowl, for example, can choose either an ACC or Big Ten team to face an SEC opponent.

And lastly, just because a bowl may be designated to have a particular order of selection among a conference’s teams doesn’t mean it has to adhere exactly to the standings. The Alamo Bowl’s second choice among Pac-12 teams, for example, does not require it to choose the No. 2 available team from the Pac-12 standings or from the playoff committee’s rankings. Other factors, such as location, the matchup, the size of a school’s fan base and the willingness of that fan base to travel, can influence bowls’ decisions.

College Football
Washington leaps into top five of Power Rankings after Week 5

New Year's Six bowls

Bowl

Date

Location

Matchup

Pick

Peach (semifinal)

Dec. 31

Atlanta

TBD vs. TBD

Alabama vs. Washington

Fiesta (semifinal)

Dec. 31

Glendale, Ariz.

TBD vs. TBD

Ohio State vs. Clemson

Orange

Dec. 30

Miami

ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND

Louisville vs. Tennessee

Cotton

Jan. 2

Arlington, Texas

TBD vs. TBD

Houston vs. Wisconsin

Rose

Jan. 2

Pasadena, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan vs. Stanford

Sugar

Jan. 2

New Orleans

SEC vs. Big 12

Texas A&M vs. Baylor

bowl

date

location

matchup

pick

New Mexico

Dec. 17

Albuquerque, N.M,

C-USA vs. MW

Louisiana Tech vs. Air Force

Las Vegas

Dec. 17

Las Vegas

MW vs. Pac-12

Boise State vs. Arizona State

Camellia

Dec. 17

Montgomery, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Eastern Michigan vs. New Mexico State

Cure

Dec. 17

Orlando, Fla.

AAC vs. Sun Belt

Temple vs. Appalachian State

New Orleans

Dec. 17

New Orleans

Sun Belt vs. C-USA

Georgia Southern vs. Southern Miss

Miami Beach

Dec. 19

Miami

AAC vs. MAC

Cincinnati vs. Ohio

Boca Raton

Dec. 20

Boca Raton, Fla.

AAC vs. C-USA

Tulane vs. Middle Tennessee

Poinsettia

Dec. 21

San Diego

BYU vs. MW

Army* vs. Wyoming

Famous Idaho Potato

Dec. 22

Boise, Idaho

MAC vs. MW

Toledo vs. San Diego State

Bahamas

Dec. 23

Nassau, Bahamas

AAC vs. MAC

Tulsa vs. Central Michigan

Armed Forces

Dec. 23

Fort Worth, Texas

Big 12 vs. Navy

Texas vs. Navy

Dollar General

Dec. 23

Mobile, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Western Michigan vs. Troy

Hawaii

Dec. 24

Honolulu

C-USA vs. MW

Western Kentucky vs. Utah State

St. Petersburg

Dec. 26

St. Petersburg, Fla.

ACC vs. AAC

Georgia Tech vs. South Florida

Quick Lane

Dec. 26

Detroit

ACC vs. Big Ten

Notre Dame vs. Maryland

Independence

Dec. 26

Shreveport, La.

ACC vs. SEC

Wake Forest vs. Akron*

Heart of Dallas

Dec. 27

Dallas

Big Ten vs. C-USA

Kansas State* vs. Old Dominion

Military

Dec. 27

Annapolis, Md.

ACC vs. AAC

NC State vs. Memphis

Holiday

Dec. 27

San Diego

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Minnesota vs. UCLA

Cactus

Dec. 27

Phoenix

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Texas Tech vs. Cal

Pinstripe

Dec. 28

New York

ACC vs. Big Ten

Pitt vs. Iowa

Russell Athletic

Dec. 28

Orlando, Fla.

ACC vs. Big 12

Florida State vs. TCU

Foster Farms

Dec. 28

Santa Clara, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Penn State vs. USC

Texas

Dec. 28

Houston

Big 12 vs. SEC

Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

Birmingham

Dec. 29

Birmingham, Ala.

AAC vs. SEC

Ball State* vs. Kentucky

Belk

Dec. 29

Charlotte, N.C.

ACC vs. SEC

UNC vs. Ole Miss

Alamo

Dec. 29

San Antonio

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Oklahoma vs. Utah

Arizona

Dec. 30

Tucson, Ariz.

MW vs. Sun Belt

New Mexico vs. South Alabama

Liberty

Dec. 30

Memphis, Tenn.

Big 12 vs. SEC

West Virginia vs. LSU

Sun

Dec. 30

El Paso, Texas

ACC vs. Pac-12

Virginia Tech vs. Colo.

Music City

Dec. 30

Nashville, Ten..

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Indiana vs. Georgia

TaxSlayer

Dec. 31

Jacksonville, Fla.

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Miami vs. Auburn

Citrus

Dec. 31

Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC

Nebraska vs. Arkansas

Outback

Jan. 2

Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Michigan State vs. Florida

*Replacement team

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