Bowl Projections: Playoff Picture Holds Steady as Championship Week Approaches

Our latest college football bowl projection forecasts all 40 matchups, including the College Football Playoff and full New Year's Six.
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The top seven spots in the College Football Playoff rankings remained the same on Tuesday, with LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia comprising the top four spots. The projected Playoff picture held firm as well. Oregon remains the fourth team in the bracket in this week’s projections, standing in prime position to earn a rare Pac-12 Playoff bid if LSU can beat Georgia in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs winning in Atlanta could send the Playoff discussion into a tailspin. Utah emerging as the Pac-12 champ could raise similar conversation. But the storm of controversy has yet to hit. We may have to wait until December to begin the Playoff debates.

Check out Sports Illustrated’s latest crop of bowl projections below:

Dec. 20

Bahamas Bowl, Nassau (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Conference USA vs. MAC
Southern Miss vs. Miami (OH)

Frisco Bowl (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
American vs. Sun Belt
Tulane vs. Arkansas State

Dec. 21

Celebration Bowl, Atlanta (12 p.m. ET, ABC)
MEAC vs. SWAC
Florida A&M vs. Alcorn State

New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Conference USA vs. MWC
Western Kentucky vs. Wyoming

Cure Bowl, Orlando (2:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
American vs. Sun Belt
Temple vs. Louisiana Lafayette

Boca Raton Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
MAC vs. American
Western Michigan vs. UCF

Camellia Bowl, Montgomery (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Buffalo vs. Coastal Carolina

Las Vegas Bowl (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
Pac-12 vs. SEC or Big Ten or MWC
Oregon State vs. Boise State

New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Conference USA vs. Sun Belt
UAB vs. Georgia State

Dec. 23

Gasparilla Bowl, Tampa (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Conference USA vs. American
Florida Atlantic vs. Navy

Dec. 24

Hawai'i Bowl, Honolulu (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MWC or BYU vs. American
Hawaii vs. BYU

Dec. 26

Independence Bowl, Shreveport (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Marshall vs. Boston College

Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Michigan State vs. North Carolina

Dec. 27

Military Bowl, Annapolis (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)
American vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Army vs. Florida State

Pinstripe Bowl, Bronx (3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Indiana vs. Wake Forest

Texas Bowl, Houston (6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. SEC
Texas vs. Mississippi State

Holiday Bowl, San Diego (8 p.m. ET, FS1)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Michigan vs. Washington

Cheez-It Bowl, Phoenix (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Pac-12
TCU vs. Arizona State

Dec. 28

Camping World Bowl, Orlando (12 p.m. ET, ABC)
Big 12 vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Iowa State vs. Virginia Tech

Dec. 30

First Responder Bowl, Dallas (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Conference USA
Texas Tech vs. Louisiana Tech

Music City Bowl, Nashville (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten or Notre Dame
Tennessee vs. Miami

Redbox Bowl, Santa Clara (4 p.m. ET, FOX)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Illinois vs. Cal

Dec. 31

Belk Bowl, Charlotte (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC
Kentucky vs. Pitt

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, El Paso (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Pac-12 vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Washington State vs. Louisville

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

Arizona Bowl, Tucson (4:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN)
MWC vs. Sun Belt
Utah State vs. Appalachian State

Alamo Bowl, San Antonio (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Pac-12
Baylor vs. USC

Jan. 1

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

Outback Bowl, Tampa (1 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big Ten vs. SEC
Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Jan. 2

Birmingham Bowl (3 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. American
Syracuse vs. SMU

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Jacksonville (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten or Notre Dame
Texas A&M vs. Iowa

Jan. 3

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Boise (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. MWC
Central Michigan vs. Nevada

Jan 4

Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth (11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MWC vs. Big Ten
Air Force vs. Fresno State

Jan. 6

Mobile Alabama Bowl (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Ohio vs. Georgia Southern

New Year's Six Bowls

Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington (Dec. 28, noon, ESPN)
At-large vs. At-large
Memphis vs. Notre Dame

Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens (Dec. 30, 8 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame
Virginia vs. Georgia

Rose Bowl Game, Pasadena (Jan. 1, 5 p.m., ESPN)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Minnesota vs. Utah

Sugar Bowl, New Orleans (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m., ESPN)
SEC vs. Big 12
Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl, Glendale (Dec. 28, 4 or 8 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinalist vs. CFP semifinalist
Ohio State vs. Clemson

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta (Dec. 28, 4 or 8 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinalist vs. CFP semifinalist
LSU vs. Oregon

College Football Playoff National Championship, New Orleans (Jan. 13, 8 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinal winner vs. CFP semifinal winner