by Dave Miller
May 19, 02014
I know, it's early. Way too early.
But I have fielded a lot of emails filled with questions about the new College Football Playoff as well as which teams could be legitimate national championship contenders, so I decided to do a post-spring way-too-early bowl projections piece. And rather than just look at the seven major games, I decided to spread the love and slot in teams for each and every bowl game. Yes, all 39 of them. Thirty-nine!
So, enjoy. And, as always, these projections are subject to change — especially because we're still not exactly sure how the College Football Playoff will ultimately be decided and it's often the case that some conferences don't always have enough bowl-eligible squads.
* Replacement team for a conference that does not have enough bowl-eligible teams.
Note: One team from the so-called Group of Five (American Athletic, MAC, Mountain West, Conference USA and Sun Belt) will get chosen for either the Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowl.
The College Football Playoff
Will Jimbo Fisher and FSU make it to the first-ever College Football Playoff?
Semifinal—Jan. 1 Rose (Pasadena): Florida State vs. Ohio State
Semifinal—Jan. 1 Sugar (New Orleans): Auburn vs. Oregon
Championship—Jan. 12 (Arlington): The winners of the two semifinals meet
The CFP Selection Committee bowl games
Dec. 31 Peach (Atlanta): LSU (At-Large) vs. Houston (At-Large)
Dec. 31 Orange (Miami): Clemson (ACC) vs. Alabama (Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame)
Dec. 31 Fiesta (Glendale): Notre Dame (At-Large) vs. Michigan State (At-Large)
Jan. 1 Cotton (Arlington): Oklahoma (At-Large) vs. UCLA (At-Large)
The rest of the bowl slate
Dec. 20 Idaho Potato (Boise): Air Force (MWC) vs. Central Michigan (MAC)
Dec. 20 Royal Purple (Las Vegas): Boise State (MWC No. 1) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
Dec. 20 New Mexico (Albuquerque): Utah State (MWC) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Dec. 20 Camellia (Montgomery): Northern Illinois (MAC) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt)
Dec. 23 Poinsettia (San Diego): San Diego State (MWC) vs. Navy (Navy)
Dec. 23 Boca Raton (Boca Raton): Florida Atlantic (C-USA) vs. Ohio (MAC)
Dec. 24 Bahamas (Nassau): Louisiana Tech (C-USA) vs. Bowling Green (MAC)
Dec. 24 Hawaii (Honolulu): Colorado State (MWC) vs. Middle Tennessee (C-USA)
Dec. 26 Heart of Dallas (Dallas): *Fresno State (Big Ten/Big 12) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
Dec. 26 St. Pete (St. Petersburg): SMU (American) vs. NC State (ACC)
Dec. 27 Pinstripe (Bronx): Pittsburgh (ACC) vs. Indiana (Big Ten)
Dec. 27 Sun (El Paso): Miami, FL (ACC) vs. Washington (Pac-12)
Dec. 27 Holiday (San Diego): Nebraska (Big Ten) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)
Dec. 30 Detroit (Detroit): Boston College (ACC) vs. Northwestern (Big Ten)
Jan. 1 Capital One (Orlando): Wisconsin (ACC/Big Ten) vs. Georgia (SEC)
Jan. 1 Outback (Tampa): Iowa (Big Ten) vs. South Carolina (SEC)
Jan. 2 Alamo (San Antonio): Baylor (Big 12) vs. USC (Pac-12)
Jan. 2 TaxSlayer (Jacksonville): Michigan (ACC/Big Ten) vs. Florida (SEC)
These bowls have yet to announce official dates
New Orleans (New Orleans): Arkansas State (Sun Belt) vs. Wyoming (MWC)
Military (Annapolis): Syracuse (ACC) vs. Central Florida (American)
Kevin Sumlin and A&M will play their first season in the SEC without Johnny Manziel.
Texas (Houston): Kansas State (Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)
Fight Hunger (Santa Clara): Minnesota (Big Ten) vs. Arizona (Pac-12)
Belk (Charlotte): Virginia Tech (ACC) vs. Mississippi State (SEC)
Russell Athletic (Orlando): Duke (ACC) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12)
Buffalo Wild Wings (Tempe): Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs. Oregon State (Pac-12)
Armed Forces (Fort Worth): Cincinnati (American) vs. *Ball State (Army)
Music City (Nashville): North Carolina (ACC/Big Ten) vs. Ole Miss (SEC)
Independence (Shreveport): Louisville (ACC) vs. Vanderbilt (SEC)
Liberty (Memphis): Texas (Big 12) vs. Missouri (SEC)
Birmingham (Birmingham): Tennessee (SEC) vs. Connecticut (American)
GoDaddy (Mobile): Buffalo (MAC) vs. South Alabama (Sun Belt)
Miami Beach (Miami): Memphis (American) vs. BYU (BYU)
Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.