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  • Stanford escaped Eugene with its New Year’s Six bowl hopes—and much more—still intact. Will Penn State or Ohio State be similarly lucky next weekend? Here's how the bowl picture looks after Week 4.
By Eric Single
September 24, 2018

The SEC and Big 12’s big measuring stick games between conference title contenders don’t arrive until October and November, and Clemson may be so much better than its competition that the Tigers may not even get a test on championship weeked in Charlotte. That leaves the Big Ten and the Pac-12 to provide us with some of the most revealing games of the first month of the season when it comes to league races and potential playoff positioning. Last Saturday, Stanford somehow escaped Oregon with a win that sets the Cardinal on a collision course with Washington for supremacy out west, with the winner possibly headed for playoff consideration and the loser still harboring Rose Bowl hopes. Week 5 is headlined by Ohio State–Penn State, in a battle of what look to be the Big Ten’s two best teams. As the calendar flips to October, we should have a marginally clearer picture of what the top tier of 40% of the Power 5 looks like, from which the rest of the postseason picture falls into place.

Below, a look at all 39 projected matchups and the updated College Football Playoff field through three weeks of the 2018 season. An asterisk (*) denotes that an at-large team is filling a spot left vacant by the conference under contract with that bowl.

Dec. 15

New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Mountain West vs. Conference USA
Utah State vs. Southern Miss

AutoNation Cure Bowl, Orlando (2:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
American vs. Sun Belt
UAB* vs. Coastal Carolina

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Pac-12 vs. Mountain West
Washington State vs. Boise State

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Montgomery, Ala. (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Sun Belt vs. MAC
Troy vs. Northern Illinois

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Sun Belt vs. Conference USA
Arkansas State vs. Louisiana Tech

Dec. 18

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
American vs. Conference USA
Cincinnati vs. FIU

Dec. 19

Frisco Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
American vs. MAC/at-large
Houston vs. Toledo

Dec. 20

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Tampa (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
American vs. ACC/Conference USA
USF vs. Florida State

Dec. 21

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, Nassau (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Conference USA vs. MAC
Florida Atlantic vs. Buffalo

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Boise (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Mountain West vs. MAC
Fresno State vs. Eastern Michigan

Dec. 22

Birmingham Bowl (Noon ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. American
Vanderbilt vs. Memphis

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. American
Arizona State* vs. Navy

Dollar General Bowl, Mobile, Ala. (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Akron vs. Georgia Southern

Hawai'i Bowl, Honolulu (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Mountain West vs. Conference USA
Hawai’i vs. Marshall

Dec. 26

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, Dallas (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. Conference USA
Northwestern vs. North Texas

Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. ACC
Indiana vs. Wake Forest

Cheez-It Bowl, Phoenix (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Pac-12
Iowa State vs. Utah

Dec. 27

Walk-On's Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La. (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC
Appalachian State* vs. Boston College

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, New York (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. ACC
Maryland vs. NC State

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, Houston (9 p.m., ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. SEC
TCU vs. Texas A&M

Dec. 28

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Nashville (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
South Carolina vs. Virginia Tech

Camping World Bowl, Orlando (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. ACC
Texas Tech vs. Miami

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, Tucson (5:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
Mountain West vs. Sun Belt
San Diego State vs. BYU*

Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Pac-12
Texas vs. Oregon

Dec. 29

Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (Noon ET, ABC)
SEC vs. ACC
Kentucky vs. Duke

Dec. 31

San Francisco Bowl, Santa Clara, Calif. (3 p.m. ET, Fox)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Minnesota vs. Cal

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. (Noon ET, ESPN)
ACC vs. American
Virginia vs. Army*

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Memphis (3:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. SEC
Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, San Diego (7 p.m. ET, FS1)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Michigan vs. Colorado

TaxSlayer Bowl, Jacksonville, Fla, (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
Florida vs. Iowa

Hyundai Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas (2 p.m. ET, CBS)
ACC vs. Pac-12
Syracuse vs. USC

Jan. 1

Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla. (Noon ET, ESPN2)
Big Ten vs. SEC
Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (1 p.m. ET, ABC)
SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
Auburn vs. Wisconsin

New Year's Six Bowls

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta (Dec. 29, Noon ET, ESPN)
At-large vs. At-large
LSU vs. Washington

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz. (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN)
At-large vs. At-large
Notre Dame vs. UCF

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual, Pasadena, Calif. (Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Penn State vs. Stanford

Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. Big 12
Georgia vs. West Virginia

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, Texas (Dec. 29, 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
CFP semifinalist vs. CFP semifinalist
Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, Fla. (Dec. 29, 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
CFP semifinalist vs. CFP semifinalist
Ohio State vs. Clemson

College Football Playoff National Championship, Santa Clara (Jan. 7, 8 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinal winner vs. CFP semifinal winner

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)