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Bowl Projections: Syracuse, Kentucky, West Virginia in Position for Special Seasons

November is college football's month of maximum unpredictability, and while we've learned a lot in nine weeks, Week 10's games will give us the first true picture of who the selection committee will spend Thanksgiving weekend watching closely. Here's our latest projection for all 39 bowl matchups.

This week the calendar turns to November, bringing new urgency to conference and playoff races and putting Week 10's biggest games under an intense spotlight. The results of Week 9 have turned Georgia-Kentucky and West Virginia–Texas into pivotal battles for spots in the SEC and Big 12 title games: Next Saturday’s winner in Lexington will represent the SEC East in Atlanta, while the loser between the Longhorns and Mountaineers will fall from the Big 12’s three-way tie for first place that both teams share with Oklahoma. For now, let’s celebrate Mark Stoops’s death-defying run to 7–1 and Will Grier’s recovery from two nightmarish starts and see what the postseason looks like if Kentucky and West Virginia keep themselves steered toward 10 wins or more this season.

Separate recognition this week goes to Syracuse, which beat NC State 51–41 to become bowl eligible for the first time in five years, a major step forward in year three under Dino Babers. The Orange have been projected to reach a bowl in this space for weeks now, but Cuse fans can at last start scrutinizing their possible destinations a little more carefully.

Week 9’s Top 10: Georgia Finds Redemption in the SEC East

Below, a look at all 39 projected bowl 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. Toledo*

AutoNation Cure Bowl, Orlando (2:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
American vs. Sun Belt
Army* vs. Georgia Southern

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

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

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

Dec. 18

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
American vs. Conference USA
Coastal Carolina* vs. Marshall

Dec. 19

Frisco Bowl (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
American vs. MAC/at-large
Temple vs. Air Force

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
FIU vs. Buffalo

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Boise (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Mountain West vs. MAC
Boise State vs. Northern Illinois

Dec. 22

Birmingham Bowl (Noon ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. American
Eastern Michigan* vs. Memphis

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

Dollar General Bowl, Mobile, Ala. (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Western Michigan vs. Arkansas State

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

Dec. 26

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

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

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

Dec. 27

Walk-On's Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La. (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Cal* vs. Duke

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, New York (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. ACC
Purdue vs. Virginia Tech

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, Houston (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. SEC
Texas Tech vs. Missouri

Dec. 28

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

Camping World Bowl, Orlando (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. ACC
Iowa State vs. Virginia

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

Dec. 29

Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (Noon ET, ABC)
South Carolina vs. NC State

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

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. Cincinnati

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

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

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

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

Jan. 1

Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla. (Noon ET, ESPN2)
Big Ten vs. SEC
Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

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

New Year's Six Bowls

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

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

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

Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. Big 12
LSU 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
Clemson vs. Notre Dame

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