Let’s get this straight right off the bat: One week in, bowl projections are just guesswork. We ranked the teams, we looked at where each had traveled for recent bowls, and we looked at geography of each bowl destination. This is what we came up with, but of course, it will change a lot before our final submission in December.
And yes, we bumped Florida State up into the playoff after its remarkable second-half performance against Ole Miss. Clemson (or Louisville) could certainly make a push, too, but those decisions will be made on the field in the coming weeks.
College Football Playoff semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Florida State Seminoles
Capital One Orange Bowl (New Year’s Six): Clemson Tigers
Russell Athletic Bowl: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
TaxSlayer Bowl: Miami Hurricanes
Belk Bowl: North Carolina Tar Heels
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Louisville Cardinals
Hyundai Sun Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers
Quick Lane Bowl: NC State Wolfpack
Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman: Duke Blue Devils
Camping World Independence Bowl: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
St. Petersburg Bowl: Virginia Tech Hokies
Birmingham Bowl: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Of note on selections: After the playoff matchups are set and the Orange Bowl makes its selection, the Russell Athletic Bowl gets first pick of teams and can select any team within one win of the best remaining record. After that, the pool of Pinstripe Bowl, Sun Bowl, Belk Bowl and either the TaxSlayer or Music City Bowl make their choices. The final selections are made from the remaining pool, with the Birmingham Bowl only employing an ACC team in the event it cannot fill its slots with its primary affiliations.