Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dabo Swinney
- We're just a week away from bowl games being set for the 2018-19 college football postseason.
- There are, once again, more bowl-eligible teams than spots, meaning a few teams will get left out.
- The College Football Playoff picture got a little cloudier with Ohio State's win over Michigan, but it sets up some drama for championship weekend.
Ready for college football bowl season? We are too.
In anticipation of those bowl announcements, we’re projecting the participants in all 39 games. We’re also projecting the point spread in these hypothetical matchups using The Action Network power ratings.
2018 College Football Bowl Projections
Our playoff projections changed for the first time in three weeks because of Michigan’s loss to Ohio State. The Wolverines are now eliminated, while the Buckeyes are very much alive.
College Football Playoff Projections
You can read about our playoff projections in more detail here. The most likely scenario is Alabama and Clemson winning, with Ohio State getting the slight nod over Oklahoma for the fourth spot (Notre Dame has already locked up its bid, by all accounts), assuming both the Sooners and Buckeyes win.
College Football New Year’s Six Bowls
Things could get real messy with LSU’s loss to Texas A&M. Should the Tigers drop out of the top 12 in Tuesday’s rankings, every SEC team will get bumped down a bowl game.
But the committee has been favorable to the Tigers so far, despite two losses. And it can hopefully see that LSU got screwed on Saturday night.
Michigan will likely still go to the Rose Bowl, because the selection committee has been adamant in the past that this spot will go to the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the College Football Playoff Top 25 should the league champion reach the playoff. We’ll assume Ohio State does for now.
Washington State vs. Penn State vs. Texas will be an interesting debate for an at-large bid, but we’ll see how far the committee drops Wazzu after its home loss to Washington.
Every Other 2018 Bowl Game Projection
A bunch of five-win teams pulled off upsets on Saturday, meaning we’ve got more bowl-eligible teams than spots. Right now, there are 81 bowl-eligible teams for 78 spots, and Virginia Tech could make it 82 next week with a win over Marshall.
As for who gets left out, it’s anyone’s guess. Right now, there are no spots for Wyoming, Miami Ohio and Nevada, and Virginia Tech could be added to the mix next week.
College Football Bowl Tie-Ins for 2018-19
College Football Playoff
- Cotton Bowl semifinal (Arlington, Texas)
- Orange Bowl semifinal (Miami)
New Year’s Six
- Sugar (New Orleans): Big 12 vs. SEC
- Rose (Pasadena, Calif.): Big Ten vs. Pac-12
- Peach (Atlanta): At-large vs. at-large
- Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.): At-large vs. at-large
The highest-ranked Group of 5 team will go to either the Peach or Fiesta Bowl, depending on geography.
Every Other Bowl
BYU was supposed to be tied to the Poinsettia Bowl, but that no longer exists. The Cougars do have a deal with ESPN that guarantees they’ll play in a bowl if eligible.
Liberty has a deal with the Cure Bowl, as well, but it might be tough for the Flames to get to six qualifying wins — even if the Flames beat New Mexico State and Norfolk State, they’ll have two FCS wins, and only one counts toward the six-win threshold.
- Citrus Bowl (Orlando): SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
- Outback Bowl (Tampa): Big Ten vs. SEC
- Gator Bowl (Jacksonville): SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
- Holiday Bowl (San Diego): Big Ten vs. Pac-12
- Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Big 12 vs. SEC
- Military Bowl (Annapolis): ACC vs. American
- Alamo Bowl (San Antonio): Big 12 vs. Pac-12
- Arizona Bowl (Tucson): Mountain West vs. Sun Belt
- Camping World Bowl (Orlando): Big 12 vs. ACC
- Sun Bowl (El Paso): ACC vs. Pac-12
- Belk Bowl (Charlotte): SEC vs. ACC
- Music City Bowl (Nashville): SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
- Texas Bowl (Houston): Big 12 vs. SEC
- Pinstripe Bowl (New York City): Big Ten vs. ACC
- Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.): SEC vs. ACC
- Cactus Bowl (Tempe): Big 12 vs. Pac-12
- Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit): Big Ten vs. ACC
- Heart of Dallas Bowl: Big Ten vs. Conference USA
- San Francisco Bowl: Big Ten vs. Pac-12
- Hawaii Bowl: Mountain West vs. Conference USA
- Dollar General Bowl (Mobile): MAC vs. Sun Belt
- Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth): Big 12 vs. American
- Birmingham Bowl: SEC vs. American
- Potato Bowl (Boise): Mountain West vs. MAC
- Bahamas Bowl: Conference USA vs. MAC
- Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa): American vs. Conference USA
- Frisco Bowl (Texas): American vs. at-large
- Boca Raton Bowl: American vs. Conference USA
- New Orleans Bowl: Sun Belt vs. Conference USA
- Cure Bowl (Orlando): American vs. Sun Belt
- Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.): Sun Belt vs. MAC
- Las Vegas Bowl: Pac-12 vs. Mountain West
- New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque): Mountain West vs. Conference USA