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 13-0 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):
UNLV vs. Western Kentucky
LA Bowl (December 16, 7:30 PM ET, ABC, Mountain West #1 vs. PAC-12 #6):
Wyoming vs. Utah
This is the consolation for the Mountain West runner-up should Air Force strike New Year's Six gold. Washington State may have the better overall record, but to avoid a repeat appearance, Utah will take their place.
Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) (December 16, 9:15 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #7 vs. Big 12 #7):
TCU vs. Washington State
Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 18, 2:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Georgia Southern vs. Toledo
Frisco Bowl (Frisco, TX) (December 19, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Tulsa vs. Texas State
Boca Raton Bowl (December 21, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN Group of Five vs. Group of Five):
Ohio vs. USF
Gasparilla Bowl (December 22, 6:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):
NC State vs. Tulane
Tulane could end a 12-1 season away from the New Year’s Six if Air Force finishes undefeated or Wyoming goes 12-1 with a win over Texas Tech. ESPN would provide a consolation in a solid six or seven-win ACC team in NC State.
Birmingham Bowl (December 23,12:00 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):
SMU vs. Troy
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):
Fresno State vs. Texas Tech
Fresno State’s loss to Wyoming may have been the most devastating for any team in the New Year’s Six race. If Air Force goes 12-0, Wyoming would get the second Mountain West Championship Game spot since the Bulldogs don’t play Air Force this year.
If Air Force or Wyoming goes to the New Year’s Six, Fresno State likely will not play in the LA Bowl after playing last year. ESPN will then set Fresno State up with a clash against a Big 12 team in Texas.
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):
Iowa vs. UCLA
Wisconsin's 2021 appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl sends the Badgers to the Music City Bowl as flexibility in the Big Ten's bowl situation is limited.
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 types 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. Minnesota
The Quick Lane Bowl can thank Notre Dame, the Big Ten, and the Reliaquest Bowl for this one. If a Big Ten team makes the Orange Bowl in an SEC team's place, the Reliaquest Bowl can then select an ACC school. giving the conference a defacto extra spot. This takes a Big Ten team out of the Reliaquest Bowl and allows them to fill the Quick Lane Bowl spot for the first time since 2018. Unfortunately, no fresh matchup here as this was the 2015 Quick Lane Bowl matchup.
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 the 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. Iowa State
Long live the Big 8! Nebraska leads the all-time series 86-18-2. but there have been no meetings since Nebraska's departure from the Big 12 in 2010.
Military Bowl (Annapolis, MD) (December 27, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):
Navy vs. Wake Forest
Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, NC)(December 27, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. SEC):
Duke vs. Florida
Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA) (December 27, 8:00 PM ET, FOX, PAC-12 #4 vs. ACC):
Clemson vs. Oregon State
Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) (December, 27, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big 12 #4):
Texas A&M vs. BYU
Fenway Bowl (Boston, MA) (December 28, 11:00 AM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):
Syracuse vs. Memphis
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):
North Carolina vs. Kansas State
Alamo Bowl: (San Antonio, TX) (December 28, 9:15 PM ET, PAC-12 #2 vs. Big 12 #2):
USC vs. Kansas
I do not see a 10-2 PAC-12 team making the New Year's Six. Consequently, USC gets the Alamo Bowl spot based on their performances against inferior teams and games against Washington, Oregon, UCLA, and Notre Dame.
Gator Bowl: (Jacksonville, FL) (December 29, 12:00 PM ET, SEC vs. ACC)
LSU vs. North Carolina
Sun Bowl: (El Paso, TX) (December 29, 2:00 PM ET, ACC vs. PAC-12 #5):
Clemson vs. Colorado
Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN) (December 29, 3:30 PM ET, SEC vs. Big 12 #5):
Oklahoma State vs. Kentucky
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):
Notre Dame vs. Tennessee
Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ABC, SEC vs. Big Ten #2):
Ole Miss 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)
Texas vs. Penn State
Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) (December 30, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN)
Washington vs. Alabama
Orange Bowl (Miami, FL) (December 30, 4:00 PM ET)
Louisville vs. Ohio State
Louisville, North Carolina, and Florida State do not play each other in the regular season. The result? There is potential for three 12-0 teams in the ACC. I do not think this scenario plays out, but it’s hard to believe the Committee will leave a one-loss ACC team out of the New Year’s Six. Leaving the door open for NC State. At worst, Ohio State looks like a 2-loss team. The playoff discussion will get interesting if multiple one-loss teams exist in both the Big Ten and PAC-12.
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ESPN)
Oregon vs. Air Force
Talk about a contrast in styles. Two wins over a 10-3 Wyoming team with wins over Texas Tech and 11-1 Fresno State could be enough for the Falcons to play their way into the New Year’s Six.
12-1 Tulane’s best win would be against a 10-3 Memphis team with no Power Five wins or a win over a 10-3 SMU team with a win over a hypothetical 9-3 Memphis to their name.
This also is a rematch of the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl, which Oregon won 41-13.
College Football Playoff Semifinals
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) (January 1, 5:00 PM ET, ESPN)
#2 Michigan vs. #3 Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) (January 1, 8:45 PM ET, ESPN)
#1 Georgia vs. #4 Florida State