College Football Playoff, Bowl Projections Before Selection Committee Picks Top 4

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  Derrick Henry #27 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the
TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29: Derrick Henry #27 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the ball in the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

This weekend will be a memorable one in the world of college football, as a 12-person selection committee will unveil the four teams that will play in the very first College Football Playoff.

There's been a lot of discussion as to why Florida State slipped to No. 4 in the latest rankings, how TCU is ahead of Baylor despite losing to the Bears and whether Arizona can get into the top four with two losses if the Wildcats beat Oregon again.

As we look ahead to Championship Saturday and the final week of the season (with the exception of the great Navy-Army game the following Saturday), let's take a look at how the College Football Playoff could look in its first season as well as how the rest of the postseason could shake out in my latest bowl projections.

Below is how I slotted all of the teams for each and every bowl game. Yes, all 39 of them.

And, as always, these projections are subject to change — especially because it's still not entirely clear how the College Football Playoff will ultimately come together and it's common for some conferences to not always be able to fill all of their bowl tie-ins.


* Replacement team for a conference that cannot fill its bowl slot.

— If bowl-eligible, Army will play in the Armed Forces Bowl, Navy will play in the Poinsettia Bowl and BYU will play in the Miami Beach Bowl.

Note: One team from the so-called Group of Five (American Athletic, MAC, Mountain West, Conference USA and Sun Belt) will get chosen for either the Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowl.

The College Football Playoff

Semifinal—Jan. 1 Rose (Pasadena): No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 3 Florida State

Semifinal—Jan. 1 Sugar (New Orleans): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 TCU

Championship—Jan. 12 (Arlington): The winners of the two semifinals meet

The CFP Selection Committee bowl games

Dec. 31 Peach (Atlanta): Ohio State (At-Large) vs. Mississippi State (At-Large)

Dec. 31 Orange (Miami): Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. Michigan State (Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame)

Dec. 31 Fiesta (Glendale): Arizona (At-Large) vs. Boise State (At-Large)

Jan. 1 Cotton (Arlington): Baylor (At-Large) vs. Wisconsin (At-Large)

The rest of the bowl slate

Dec. 20 New Orleans (New Orleans): Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt) vs. *Temple (MWC)

Dec. 20 Idaho Potato (Boise): Utah State (MWC) vs. Western Michigan (MAC)

Dec. 20 Las Vegas (Las Vegas): Colorado State (MWC No. 1) vs. Utah (Pac-12 No. 6)

Dec. 20 New Mexico (Albuquerque): Air Force (MWC) vs. UTEP (C-USA)

Dec. 20 Camellia (Montgomery): Central Michigan (MAC) vs. South Alabama (Sun Belt/ACC)

Dec. 22 Miami Beach (Miami): Memphis (American) vs. BYU (BYU)

Dec. 23 Poinsettia (San Diego): San Diego State (MWC) vs. Navy (Navy)

Dec. 23 Boca Raton (Boca Raton): Marshall (C-USA) vs. Toledo (MAC)

Dec. 24 Bahamas (Nassau): Rice (C-USA) vs. Bowling Green (MAC)

Dec. 24 Hawaii (Honolulu): Fresno State (MWC) vs. Western Kentucky (C-USA)

Dec. 26 Quick Lane (Detroit): Boston College (ACC Nos. 7-9/MAC) vs. Illinois (Big Ten Nos. 8-9/MAC)

Dec. 26 Bitcoin (St. Petersburg): UCF (American) vs. NC State (C-USA/ACC No. 10)

Dec. 26 Zaxby’s (Dallas): Rutgers (Big Ten Nos. 8-9/Big 12) vs. Louisiana Tech (C-USA)

Dec. 27 Military (Annapolis): Virginia Tech (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Cincinnati (American)

Dec. 27 Independence (Shreveport): Pitt (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Texas A&M (SEC Nos. 9-10/C-USA)

Dec. 27 Pinstripe (New York): Duke (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Penn State (Big Ten Nos. 5-7)

Dec. 27 Sun (El Paso): North Carolina (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12 No. 5)

Dec. 27 Holiday (San Diego): Iowa (Big Ten Nos. 2-4) vs. USC (Pac-12 No. 3)

Dec. 29 Russell Athletic (Orlando): Louisville (ACC No. 2) vs. Kansas State (Big 12 No. 3)

Dec. 29 Liberty (Memphis): West Virginia (Big 12 No. 5) vs. Tennessee (SEC Nos. 3-8)

Dec. 29 Texas (Houston): Texas (Big 12 No. 4) vs. LSU (SEC Nos. 3-8)

Dec. 30 Belk (Charlotte): Notre Dame (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Georgia (SEC Nos. 3-8)

Dec. 30 Foster Farms (Santa Clara): Nebraska (Big Ten Nos. 5-7) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 No. 4)

Dec. 30 Music City (Nashville): Miami, FL (ACC Nos. 3-6/Big Ten) vs. South Carolina (SEC Nos. 3-8)

Jan. 1 Citrus (Orlando): Clemson (ACC No. 2) vs. Missouri (SEC No. 2)

Jan. 1 Outback (Tampa): Minnesota (Big Ten Nos. 2-4) vs. Auburn (SEC Nos. 3-8)

Jan. 2 Armed Forces (Fort Worth): Houston (American) vs. *Florida (Army/Big 12 No. 7)

Jan. 2 Alamo (San Antonio): Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 2) vs. UCLA (Pac-12 No. 2)

Jan. 2 TaxSlayer (Jacksonville): Maryland (ACC/Big Ten Nos. 5-7) vs. Ole Miss (SEC Nos. 3-8)

Jan. 2 Cactus (Tempe): *Nevada (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Washington (Pac-12 No. 7)

Jan. 3 Birmingham (Birmingham): Arkansas (SEC Nos. 9-10) vs. East Carolina (American)

Jan. 4 GoDaddy (Mobile): Northern Illinois (MAC No. 1) vs. Arkansas State (Sun Belt)

Dave Miller, the college football editor for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.



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