College Football Bowl Projections: Ohio State or Penn State to the Rose Bowl?

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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.

Pac-12 Championship Preview

Pac-12 Championship Preview

Joel Klatt previews the Pac-12 Championship game, sharing his thoughts on Utah’s challenge to stop USC’s Caleb Williams.

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.


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


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 among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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