Bahamas Bowl (December 16, 11 AM ET, ESPN, Conference USA vs. MAC):
FIU vs. Bowling Green
New Orleans Bowl (December 16, 2:15 PM ET, ESPN, Conference USA vs. Sun Belt):
Liberty vs. Georgia State
There is a very real possibility that Liberty goes 12-0 and misses the New Year’s Six. Their strongest non-conference win would be a win over either Bowling Green or Old Dominion and their best Conference USA win would be over Western Kentucky. The consolation would be a game against Sun Belt frontrunner, Georgia State in the New Orleans Bowl.
Cure Bowl (Orlando, FL) (December 16, 3:30 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
FAU vs. South Alabama
New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM) (December 16, 5:45 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. Group of Five):
Wyoming vs. Western Kentucky
Western Kentucky looks like a 10-win team and Wyoming could be on the outside looking in for the New Year’s Six. The New Mexico Bowl could have a Group of Five New Year’s Six feel to it if ESPN plays its card right. Wyoming has not appeared in the New Mexico Bowl since 2011 and WKU has never appeared.
LA Bowl (December 16, 7:30 PM ET, ABC, Mountain West #1 vs. PAC-12 #6):
Air Force vs. Colorado
Should Fresno State go to the New Year’s Six, Air Force takes their place in the LA Bowl. This would be just the third meeting between the Centennial State rivals since 1974.
Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) (December 16, 9:15 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #7 vs. Big 12 #7):
Kansas vs. Washington State
Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 18, 2:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Coastal Carolina vs. Toledo
Frisco Bowl (Frisco, TX) (December 19, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Rice vs. Texas State
Boca Raton Bowl (December 21, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Ohio vs. Troy
Gasparilla Bowl (December 22, 6:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):
Florida vs. USF
Florida and USF have met just three times on the gridiron. Florida’s loss to Kentucky bumps them all the way down to their 2021 bowl destination.
Birmingham Bowl (December 23,12:00 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):
Tulsa vs. Missouri
Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, AL) (December 23, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sun Belt vs. MAC):
Eastern Michigan vs. Appalachian State
Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, TX) (December 23, 3:30 PM ET, ABC, Army/Mountain West/AAC vs. Big 12 #7):
Army vs. TCU
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, ID) (December 23, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. MAC):
Utah State vs. Western Michigan
Despite only being four hours away from Boise, the Aggies have not appeared in the Potato Bowl since 2015. Sending the Aggies to Boise will help a bowl that consistently struggles with attendance. Last season, the Potato Bowl matchup of San Jose State-Eastern Michigan only drew 10,122 fans.
68 Ventures Bowl (Mobile, AL) (December 23, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Louisiana Tech vs. Louisiana
Louisiana Tech enters this week’s bowl projections with their first appearance in Mobile’s Bowl. As members of the WAC, Louisiana Tech missed out on the 68 Ventures Bowl when the conference had a tie-in from 1999-2000.
More importantly, this would be the 88th meeting between these two rivals in a series that dates back to 1910. However, the two have met just twice since 2004.
Las Vegas Bowl (December 23, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #3 vs. Big Ten #4):
Minnesota vs. UCLA
1963 Rose Bowl rematch anybody??
Hawaii Bowl (December 23, 10:30 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. AAC):
Boise State vs. UTSA
Believe it or not, the Mountain West bowl picture starts in Hawaii. Obviously, traveling to the islands is a major undertaking for any athletic department, so the Mountain West looks to benefit the teams with their selection. Teams who have appeared recently and those that play road games at Hawaii during the season are virtually eliminated. As a result, do not expect San Jose State, Nevada, Colorado State, Air Force, or San Diego State to play in this game.
Boise State-UTSA is an intriguing matchup between one Group of Five blueblood and a rising Group of Five powerhouse. ESPN loves pairing UTSA in these type of games as the Roadrunners played 2021 Mountain West champion San Diego State in the 2021 Frisco Bowl and 2022 Sun Belt champion Troy in last year’s Cure Bowl.
Quick Lane Bowl (December 26, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, MAC vs. Big Ten #8):
Central Michigan vs. UNLV
Death, taxes, and the Big Ten not being able to send a team to the Quick Lane Bowl. A Big Ten school has not appeared in the Quick Lane Bowl since 2018.
For now, UNLV takes their place as a 6-6 at-large out of the Mountain West. This will be there first Bowl since 2013 and second bowl of the millennium.
First Responder Bowl (December 26, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/Big 12):
West Virginia vs. Marshall
This would be the 13th playing of the Friends of Coal Bowl and first meeting between the two schools since 2012.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl (December 26, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Big Ten vs. Big 12 #6):
Nebraska vs. BYU
Military Bowl (Annapolis, MD) (December 27, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):
Memphis vs. Wake Forest
Navy’s loss to USF puts Memphis in the Military Bowl to carry the AAC flag against the ACC. These two schools met in the 2018 Birmingham Bowl with Wake winning 37-34.
Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, NC)(December 27, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. SEC):
Duke vs. Kentucky
Duke is the North Carolina team of the year for the Mayo Bowl, having not appeared in the bowl since 2012, back when it was the Belk Bowl.
A Duke win over Notre Dame on Saturday could shake up my bowl projections immensely.
Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA) (December 27, 8:00 PM ET, FOX, PAC-12 #4 vs. ACC):
Clemson vs. Utah
Notre Dame’s win over Duke gives them a clear path to the New Year’s Six and takes them out of the Holiday Bowl. Clemson replaces them as the next biggest brand name available.
Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) (December, 27, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big 12 #4):
Texas A&M vs. Houston
Fenway Bowl (Boston, MA) (December 28, 11:00 AM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):
Syracuse vs. SMU
These two future ACC schools will meet in Fenway with SMU having one of the stronger resumes in the AAC.
Pinstripe Bowl (Bronx, NY) (December 28, 2:15 PM ET, ACC vs. Big Ten):
Boston College vs. Rutgers
Pop Tarts Bowl (Orlando, FL) (December 28, 5:45 PM ET, ACC vs. Big 12 #3):
Miami vs. UCF
The Pop Tarts Bowl choosing the obvious popular geographic pick could send solid teams like Kansas State and brand-names such as Oklahoma down the Big 12 bowl selection order. However, a UCF-Miami matchup is too easy to pass up. The Knights’ fight for bragging rights in Florida draws fans in as the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl featuring Florida and UCF drew a sellout crowd.
Alamo Bowl: (San Antonio, TX) (December 28, 9:15 PM ET, PAC-12 #2 vs. Big 12 #2):
Oregon State vs. Oklahoma
With preseason dark horse Texas Tech losing to West Virginia, Oklahoma takes their place in an awkward scenario for the Alamo Bowl. It’s unlikely that the Alamo Bowl passes on the Sooners because of prestige and proximity. However, it would be Oklahoma’s second Alamo Bowl in three years.
Gator Bowl: (Jacksonville, FL) (December 29, 12:00 PM ET, SEC vs. ACC)
LSU vs. NC State
Sun Bowl: (El Paso, TX) (December 29, 2:00 PM ET, ACC vs. PAC-12 #5):
Louisville vs. Oregon State
In a weakened ACC, Louisville could find itself in the Sun Bowl with an 8-9 win resume. This would be their first appearance in El Paso’s bowl.
Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN) (December 29, 3:30 PM ET, SEC vs. Big 12 #5):
Kansas State vs. Tennessee
Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) (December 30, 2:00 PM ET, SEC vs. Big Ten):
Mississippi State vs. Wisconsin
Arizona Bowl (Tucson, AZ) (December 30, 4:30 PM ET, Barstool, MAC vs. Mountain West):
Miami (OH) vs. San Diego State
Reliaquest Bowl (Tampa, FL) (January 1, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big Ten #3):
Iowa vs. Ole Miss
The Tigers’ New Year’s Six hopes are likely dashed. Having appeared in the Citrus Bowl last year. The Tigers get bumped down to the Reliaquest Bowl.
Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ABC, SEC vs. Big Ten #2):
Alabama vs. Maryland
A 9-3 Maryland team likely gets the nod for the Citrus Bowl over a 10-2 or 9-3 Iowa due to their high-flying pass offense and Iowa’s more recent appearance in the Citrus Bowl.
New Year’s Six:
Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX) (December 29, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN)
Notre Dame vs. Washington
Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) (December 30, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN)
Penn Statw vs. Oregon
Orange Bowl (Miami, FL) (December 30, 4:00 PM ET)
North Carolina vs. Ohio State
Ohio State’s dramatic win over Notre Dame puts them in the New Year’s Six. At worst, Ohio State looks like a 2-loss team. The playoff discussion will get interesting if there are multiple one-loss teams in both the Big Ten and PAC-12.
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ESPN)
USC vs. Fresno State
Fresno State has a better resume than Tulane with two Power Five wins. Wins over Purdue and Arizona State could give the Bulldogs the edge over Tulane or whoever wins the American.
College Football Playoff Semifinals
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) (January 1, 5:00 PM ET, ESPN)
#2 Michigan vs. #3 Texas
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) (January 1, 8:45 PM ET, ESPN)
#1 Georgia vs. #4 Florida State