We project all 41 bowls ahead of one dramatic championship week

NCAA Football

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Just how will conference championship weekend shape the playoff picture?

Seven of the top eight teams in Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff rankings are in conference title games. Five of them — Georgia, Michigan, Washington, Florida State and Oregon — are conceivably in the postseason with a win. Texas and Alabama, meanwhile, likely need multiple losses by the other five.

Ohio State, the one team not playing this weekend, needs even more help. The Buckeyes sit at No. 6 in the playoff rankings and probably need a Georgia win and losses by Florida State and Texas to have any shot of making the playoff.

That’s why we have three of the four currently undefeated teams in our final playoff projection. Georgia, Michigan and Florida State are all favored in their conference championship games and we think they’ll come through with victories.

We’re going with Oregon as the fourth team in the playoff as the Ducks are favored in their rematch over Washington. It’s hard to ignore just how good Oregon has looked in recent weeks, while Washington has gotten close wins over its opponents. We wouldn’t be shocked if the Huskies won on Friday night to keep their dream season alive, but Oregon appears to be the better team at the moment.

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 14:  Oregon (C) #58 Jackson Powers-Johnson gets set to hike the ball at the University of Washington for the college football game between the Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks on October 14, 2023, at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Can Oregon get a win in its rematch with Washington and make the College Football Playoff? (Photo by Jesse Beals/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

How the other bowls shake out

There are 82 bowl spots and 81 teams have at least six wins. That group includes both James Madison and Jacksonville State. Officially, 79 bowl-eligible teams got to the six-win threshold as teams like Utah State and Old Dominion had dramatic Week 13 wins and teams like Colorado State, Illinois and BYU couldn’t get that elusive sixth win in the final week of the regular season.

With James Madison and Jacksonville State being added to the bowl picture, there’s just one spot available for a team with a 5-7 record. Minnesota — a team that lost to Wisconsin in Week 13 — is the beneficiary of Colorado State’s late loss to Hawaii. Since the Rams gave up a game-winning field goal to the Rainbow Warriors in the early morning hours on Sunday, Minnesota’s Academic Progress Rate puts the Gophers in line for a bowl game.

New Year’s Six Bowls

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 29)

Texas vs. Missouri

Peach Bowl (Dec. 30)

Penn State vs. Alabama

Orange Bowl (Dec. 30)

Louisville vs. Ohio State

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1)

Tulane vs. Washington

Rose Bowl [CFP semifinal] (Jan. 1)

Michigan vs. Florida State

Sugar Bowl [CFP semifinal] (Jan. 1)

Georgia vs. Oregon

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Other Bowls

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Dec. 16)

Coastal Carolina vs. Western Kentucky

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 16)

Liberty vs. Troy

Cure Bowl (Dec. 16)

San Jose State vs. Bowling Green

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 16)

Fresno State vs. New Mexico State

LA Bowl (Dec. 16)

Air Force vs. Oregon State

Independence Bowl (Dec. 16)

Texas Tech vs. Cal

Famous Toastery Bowl (Dec. 18)

Jacksonville State vs. Georgia Southern

Frisco Bowl (Dec. 19)

Old Dominion vs. Arkansas State

Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 21)

Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia State

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 22)

South Florida vs. UCF

Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 23)

Appalachian State vs. Louisiana

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 23)

Toledo vs. James Madison

Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 23)

West Virginia vs. Syracuse

Potato Bowl (Dec. 23)

Northern Illinois vs. Boise State

68 Ventures Bowl (Dec. 23)

Ohio vs. South Alabama

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 23)

Northwestern vs. Utah

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 23)

Rice vs. Wyoming

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26)

Minnesota vs. Marshall

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 26)

Utah State vs. Texas State

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 26)

Iowa State vs. Rutgers

Military Bowl (Dec. 27)

Virginia Tech vs. SMU

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Dec. 27)

Duke vs. Kentucky

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 27)

Clemson vs. USC

Texas Bowl (Dec. 27)

Kansas vs. Texas A&M

Fenway Bowl (Dec. 28)

Boston College vs. UTSA

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28)

Georgia Tech vs. Maryland

Pop-Tarts Bowl (Dec. 28)

NC State vs. Oklahoma State

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 28)

Oklahoma vs. Arizona

Gator Bowl (Dec. 29)

North Carolina vs. Tennessee

Sun Bowl (Dec. 29)

Miami vs. UCLA

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 29)

Kansas State vs. Memphis

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30)

Wisconsin vs. Auburn

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 30)

Miami (Ohio) vs. UNLV

ReliaQuest Bowl (Jan. 1)

Notre Dame vs. LSU

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1)

Iowa vs. Ole Miss

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