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Forecasting All 39 Bowl Matchups Ahead of the First College Football Playoff Rankings – Sports Illustrated

Tuesday night’s release of the year’s first College Football Playoff rankings will reset the playoff race in the eyes of a broader audience, but the committee attempts to limit its evaluations to what each team has shown so far, leaving the chaos ahead in November to shape future rankings. For that reason, Alabama and Georgia may be higher in the committee’s first top four than either could expect to be after one takes a loss in the SEC championship game. This projected look at the bowl schedule, on the other hand, attempts to factor in those conference title games and final orders of finish ahead of time, which is why the Tide and Bulldogs bookend the playoff field despite similarly strong résumés, and why the Big Ten sits on the outside looking in despite a handful of teams who deserve playoff consideration.

Below, the latest look at the projected (but far from official) matchups for all 39 bowl games leading up to the College Football Playoff national championship in Atlanta on Jan. 8.

Saturday, Dec. 16

R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, New Orleans (1 p.m., ESPN)
Sun Belt vs. C-USA

Arkansas State vs. Southern Mississippi

AutoNation Cure Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (2:30 p.m., CBSSN)
AAC vs. Sun Belt

Central Michigan vs. Georgia State

Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas (3:30 p.m., ABC)
​MWC vs. Pac-12

Boise State vs. Arizona State

Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Albuquerque (4:30 p.m., ESPN)
C-USA vs. MWC

North Texas vs. San Diego State

Raycom Media Camelia Bowl, Montgomery, Ala. (8 p.m., ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt

Akron vs. Troy

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Boca Raton Bowl, Boca Raton, Fla. (7 p.m., ESPN)
AAC vs. C-USA

Western Michigan vs. UAB

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Frisco Bowl, Frisco, Texas (8 p.m., ESPN)
AAC vs. C-USA/MAC/MWC/BYU

Houston vs. Western Kentucky

Thursday, Dec. 21

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, St. Petersburg, Fla. (8 p.m., ESPN)
C-USA vs. AAC

Marshall vs. South Florida

Friday, Dec. 22

Bahamas Bowl, Nassau, Bahamas (12:30 p.m., ESPN)
C-USA vs. MAC

Florida Atlantic vs. Northern Illinois

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Boise (4 p.m., ESPN)
MAC vs. MWC

Ohio vs. Colorado State

Saturday, Dec. 23

Birmingham Bowl, Birmingham, Ala. (12 p.m., ESPN)
AAC vs. SEC

Memphis vs. Vanderbilt

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Fort Worth, Texas (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Army vs. C-USA

Army vs. UTSA

Dollar General Bowl, Mobile, Ala. (7 p.m., ESPN)
MAC vs. Sun Belt

Toledo vs. Appalachian State

Sunday, Dec. 24

Hawaii Bowl, Honolulu, (8:30 p.m., ESPN)
AAC vs. MWC

SMU vs. Fresno State

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Heart of Dallas Bowl, Dallas (1:30 p.m., ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Big Ten

Texas Tech vs. Nebraska

Quick Lane Bowl, Detroit (5:15 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. Big Ten

Duke vs. Minnesota

Cactus Bowl, Phoenix (9 p.m., ESPN)
Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Kansas State vs. Oregon

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Independence Bowl, Shreveport, La. (1:30 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. SEC

Virginia vs. Florida International

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, New York (5:15 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. Big Ten

Syracuse vs. Maryland

Foster Farms Bowl, Santa Clara, Calif. (8 p.m., FOX)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Iowa vs. Stanford

Texas Bowl, Houston (9 p.m., ESPN)
Big 12 vs. SEC

Texas vs. Texas A&M

Thursday, Dec. 28

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman, Annapolis, Md. (1:30 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. AAC

Boston College vs. Navy

Camping World Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (5:15 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. Big 12

NC State vs. Iowa State

Valero Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Pac-12 vs. Big 12

USC vs. Oklahoma State

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, San Diego (9 p.m., FS1)
Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan vs. Arizona

Friday, Dec. 29

Belk Bowl, Charlotte, N.C. (1 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. SEC

Wake Forest vs. Florida

Hyundai Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas (2 p.m., CBS)
ACC vs. Pac-12

Georgia Tech vs. Washington State

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Nashville, Tenn. (4:30 p.m., ESPN)
SEC vs. Big Ten or ACC

South Carolina vs. Louisville

Arizona Bowl, Tucson, Ariz. (5:30 p.m., CBSSN)
Sun Belt vs. MWC

Colorado vs. Wyoming

Saturday, Dec. 30

TaxSlayer Bowl, Jacksonville, Fla. (12 p.m., ESPN)
SEC vs. Big Ten or ACC

LSU vs. Northwestern

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tenn. (12:30 p.m., ABC)
Big 12 vs. SEC

West Virginia vs. Kentucky

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018

Outback Bowl, Tampa, Fla. (12 p.m., ESPN2)
Big Ten vs. SEC

Michigan State vs. Mississippi State

Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Fla. (1 p.m., ABC)
SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten

Auburn vs. Miami

New Year’s Six Bowls

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, Texas (Dec. 29, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)
At-large vs. At-large

TCU vs. Notre Dame

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, Ariz. (Dec. 30, 4 p.m., ESPN)
At-large vs. At-large

Wisconsin vs. Washington

Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, Fla. (Dec. 30, 8 p.m., ESPN)
ACC vs. Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame

Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Atlanta (Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m., ESPN)
At-large vs. At-Large

UCF vs. Penn State

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual, Pasadena, Calif. (Jan. 1, 5 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinalist vs. CFP semifinalist

Oklahoma vs. Clemson

Allstate Sugar Bowl, New Orleans (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinalist vs. CFP semifinalist

Alabama vs. Georgia

College Football Playoff National Championship, Atlanta (Jan. 8, 8 p.m., ESPN)
CFP semifinal winner vs. CFP semifinal winner

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