College football writer
Selection Sunday is almost upon us, and despite all the attention on this weekend’s College Football Playoff, there are a full 82 teams that will have their postseason destination set when the Chiefs hit the pillows on December 4
There are two big dominoes to watch out for with the 2022 New Year’s Six that will in turn affect the rest of the lineup down to the ones played on random December nights.
The first comes Friday when No. 4 USC takes on No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game (8 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). Should the Trojans win, they will advance to the College Football Playoff semifinal against No. 2 Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl (if No. 3 TCU loses in the Big 12 Championship Game) or in the Peach Bowl against No. 1 Georgia (if they win the Horned Frogs). Should the Utes win, USC would automatically be slated for Pasadena against Penn State, as Ohio State would advance to the playoffs against the Bulldogs in Atlanta.
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If USC wins, the question then becomes what the Rose Bowl will do. History would say the Tournament of Roses would advance to invite OSU as the top-ranked Big Ten team. However, the selection process allows them to take Penn State and send the Buckeyes to South Florida.
Then there’s the minor case of not having enough teams eligible for each spot. Appalachian State and Army could potentially finish 6-6, but with two wins each against FCS teams, they are unranked. Buffalo must beat Akron on Saturday to join the bowl-eligible ranks, and New Mexico State must win out and receive an NCAA waiver to do the same. There is a chance that several 5-7 teams will make a push for the postseason, starting with Rice and followed by UNLV, Auburn and Michigan State.
Also, keep in mind that many conferences and television networks have flexibility built into their bowl contracts these days, so the third-place team in a league is no longer guaranteed a specific bowl trip as before As a result, be prepared for some mayhem on Sunday as the announcements start rolling out.
So who goes where? Diving into the bowl selection process, here’s a projection of where every team from one through 82 gets a ticket to the most wonderful time of the year for college football fans everywhere.
* You have accepted the bowl invitation.
NEW YEAR SIX
Orange (December 30): Clemson vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl (December 31): Kansas State vs. Alabama
Fiesta Bowl (Semifinal, December 31): Michigan vs. TCU
Peach Bowl (Semifinal, December 31): Georgia vs. USC
Cotton Bowl (January 2): Tennessee vs. UCF
Rose Bowl (January 2): Penn State vs. Washington
OTHER BOT GAMES
Bahamas Bowl (December 16): UAB* vs. Miami (OH)*
Cure Bowl (December 16): Coastal Carolina vs. BYU
Fenway Bowl (December 17): Louisville vs. East Carolina
New Mexico Bowl (December 17): San Jose State vs. New Mexico State
LA Bowl (December 17): Washington State vs. Boise State
Lendingtree Bowl (December 17): Rice vs. Bowling Green
Las Vegas Bowl (December 17): Oregon State vs. Mississippi State
Frisco Bowl (December 17): Fresno State vs. SMU
Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 19): Marshall vs. UConn
Idaho Potato Bowl (December 20): Utah State vs. Toledo
Boca Raton Bowl (December 20): Houston vs. Georgia Southern
New Orleans Bowl (December 21): UTSA vs. South Alabama
Armed Forces Bowl (December 22): Air Force vs. Cincinnati
Independence Bowl (December 23): North Texas vs. Louisiana
Gasparilla Bowl (December 23): Southern Miss vs. Liberty
Hawaii Bowl (December 24): San Diego State* vs. Middle Tennessee*
Quick Lane Bowl (December 26): Maryland vs. Ohio
Camellia Bowl (December 27): Western Kentucky vs. Buffalo
Bowl of first responders (December 27): Baylor vs. Troy
Birmingham Bowl (December 27): Arkansas vs. Memphis
Guaranteed rate bowl (December 27): Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin
Military Bowl (December 28): Pitt vs. Tulane
Liberty Bowl (December 28): Kansas vs. Missouri
Holiday Bowl (December 28): Utah vs. North Carolina
Texas Bowl (December 28): Texas Tech vs. Florida
Striped bowl (December 29): Minnesota vs. Syracuse
Cheez-It Bowl (December 29): Oklahoma vs. Florida State
Alamo Bowl (December 29): Texas vs. UCLA
Duke’s Mayo Bowl (December 30): Iowa vs. Duke
Sun Bowl (December 30): Oregon vs. Wake Forest
Gator Bowl (Dec. 30): NC State vs. Kentucky
Arizona Bowl (December 30): Wyoming vs. Eastern Michigan
Music City Bowl (December 31): Illinois vs. Ole Miss
ReliaQuest Bowl (January 2): Notre Dame vs. South Carolina
Citrus Bowl (January 2): Purdue vs. LSU
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Bryan Fischer is a college football writer for FOX Sports. He has been covering college athletics for nearly two decades at outlets including NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NFL.com among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.
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