Bowl Projections: The Big 12 Loses a Playoff Spot but Gains a New Year's Six Bid

With Oklahoma unseated as Big 12 favorites, the league can still hope for a strong showing in the New Year's Six, even if its playoff odds took a hit.
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In their three College Football Playoff meetings—one semifinal and two national title games—Clemson and Alabama have played in Glendale, Tampa and New Orleans. In the wake of Oklahoma's shootout loss to Texas and Notre Dame's latest impressive win over a Top 25 opponent, the post-Week 6 bowl projections pit the Tigers and Crimson Tide against each other in Arlington at the Cotton Bowl semifinal.

That isn't the only ripple effect of the Red River Showdown involving the Lone Star State. The last remaining undefeated Big 12 team is West Virginia, although the Mountaineers' schedule doesn't truly kick into gear until November, when they close with Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. At that point the league seems poised to cannibalize its own playoff chances with such a deep crop of teams good enough to beat any other conference foe. Can the famously inconsistent Mountaineers get enough from their senior core down the stretch to run the table? The Longhorns are the only other team with a perfect Big 12 record, and their West Virginia game is bookended by road trips to Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, which marks their toughest remaining stretch. That season-opening loss to Maryland may loom larger and larger if Tom Herman’s team is able to build off Saturday’s upset and play for a conference title.

Below, a look at all 39 projected matchups and the updated College Football Playoff field through six 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
Nevada vs. Southern Miss

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

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Pac-12 vs. Mountain West
USC vs. Utah 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
Ohio vs. FIU

Dec. 19

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

Dec. 20

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

Dec. 21

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

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

Dec. 22

Birmingham Bowl (Noon ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. American
Missouri vs. Temple

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

Dollar General Bowl, Mobile, Ala. (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Buffalo 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 Responders Bowl, Dallas (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. Conference USA
Arizona State* vs. North Texas

Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. ACC
Minnesota vs. Virginia

Cheez-It Bowl, Phoenix (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Pac-12
Baylor vs. Cal

Dec. 27

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

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
Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Dec. 28

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

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

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

Dec. 29

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

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, Tucson (1:15 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
Mountain West vs. Sun Belt
San Diego State vs. Navy

Dec. 31

Redbox Bowl, Santa Clara, Calif. (3 p.m. ET, Fox)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Northwestern vs. Stanford

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

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

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
South Carolina vs. Indiana

Hyundai Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas (2 p.m. ET, CBS)
ACC vs. Pac-12
Boston College vs. Washington State

Jan. 1

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

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

New Year's Six Bowls

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta (Dec. 29, Noon ET, ESPN)
At-large vs. At-large
Oklahoma vs. Penn State

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

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

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. Clemson

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. Notre Dame

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