• 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

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)