Bowl Projections: Playoff Debate Set for Championship Weekend

Our latest college football bowl projection forecasts all 40 matchups, including the College Football Playoff and full New Year's Six slate.
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Alabama’s loss to Auburn last week has set the stage for a pretty clear set of options entering Championship Weekend. A Georgia win over LSU to win the SEC would still likely keep the Tigers in the top four, leaving Joe Burrow & Co. alongside Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia in the playoff bracket. If LSU wins Saturday, a fierce debate could ensue.

Utah has the pole position for a playoff spot given a Georgia loss, entering the weekend at No. 5 in the committee rankings. But the Utes could be jumped if Oklahoma wins in convincing fashion over No. 7 Baylor on Saturday. And don’t count the Bears out just yet. A win for Matt Rhule’s squad combined with losses by Georgia and Utah would send Baylor to its first playoff appearance in school history. Championship Weekend will have no shortage of intrigue.

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
Charlotte vs. Buffalo

Frisco Bowl (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
American vs. Sun Belt
Florida International vs. Troy

Dec. 21

Celebration Bowl, Atlanta (12 p.m. ET, ABC)
MEAC vs. SWAC
North Carolina A&T 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
Liberty vs. Georgia State

Boca Raton Bowl (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
MAC vs. American
Miami (OH) vs. Tulane

Camellia Bowl, Montgomery (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Western Michigan vs. Georgia Southern

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

New Orleans Bowl (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Conference USA vs. Sun Belt
Southern Miss vs. Appalachian State

Dec. 23

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

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
Florida Atlantic vs. SMU

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
Navy vs. Louisville

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

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

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

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

Dec. 28

Camping World Bowl, Orlando (12 p.m. ET, ABC)
Big 12 vs. ACC or Notre Dame
Texas vs. Notre Dame

Dec. 30

First Responder Bowl, Dallas (12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Conference USA
UAB vs. Central Michigan

Music City Bowl, Nashville (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC or Big Ten or Notre Dame
Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest

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

Dec. 31

Belk Bowl, Charlotte (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. ACC
Mississippi State vs. Virginia Tech

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

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

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

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

Jan. 1

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

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

Jan. 2

Birmingham Bowl (3 p.m. ET, ESPN)
SEC vs. American
Boston College vs. Temple

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

Jan. 3

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

Jan 4

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

Jan. 6

Mobile Alabama Bowl (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt
Kent State vs. Arkansas State

New Year's Six Bowls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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