Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 12

Down the stretch we come: only three weeks until Selection Sunday, when all of the 39 bowl pairings will be announced.

My College Football Playoff selections remain unchanged and I expect the committee to have these rankings on Dec. 2 (as long as they all win out): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Michigan in the Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl.

If LSU wins at Texas A&M Saturday, the Tigers are a lock for one of the New Year’s 6 games – most likely the Sugar or Peach Bowl. The other New Year’s 6 bowls are more fluid with several teams still in the running: Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Ohio State, Penn State, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Washington State.

Onto this week’s bowl projections:

College Football Playoff
Championship – Jan. 7 (CFP semifinal winners)
Projection: Alabama vs. Clemson

Cotton Bowl – Dec. 29 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Alabama (CFP No. 1) vs. Michigan (CFP No. 4)

Orange Bowl – Dec. 29 (CFP semifinal)
Projection:  Clemson (CFP No. 2) vs. Notre Dame (CFP No. 3)

New Year’s 6 Bowls
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Ohio State vs. Washington State

Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Oklahoma vs. Georgia

Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 1 (at-large vs. Group of 5*)
Projection: Kentucky vs. UCF

Peach Bowl – Dec. 29 (at large vs. at-large)
Projection: LSU vs. Texas

Other Bowls
Citrus Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Penn State vs. Florida

Outback Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M

Gator Bowl – Dec. 31 (ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Indiana vs. Auburn

Holiday Bowl – Dec. 31 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Northwestern vs. Washington

Liberty Bowl – Dec. 31 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Baylor vs. Vanderbilt

Redbox Bowl – Dec. 31 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Iowa vs. Oregon

Sun Bowl – Dec. 31 (ACC vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Boston College vs. Cal

Military Bowl – Dec. 31 (ACC vs. American)
Projection: Duke vs. Cincinnati

Arizona Bowl – Dec. 29 (Mountain West vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: San Diego State vs. Arkansas State

Belk Bowl – Dec. 29 (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Virginia vs. Missouri

Alamo Bowl – Dec. 28 (Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: West Virginia vs. Utah

Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28 (ACC vs. Big 12)
Projection: NC State vs. Iowa State

Music City Bowl – Dec. 28 (ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Pitt vs. South Carolina

Texas Bowl – Dec. 27 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State

Pinstripe Bowl – Dec. 27 (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Syracuse vs. Michigan State

Independence Bowl – Dec. 27 (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Miami vs. Tulane**

Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 26 (Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: TCU vs. Arizona State

Quick Lane Bowl – Dec. 26 (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Georgia Tech vs. Miami (OH)**

First Responder Bowl – Dec. 26 (C-USA vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Florida International vs. BYU**

Hawaii Bowl – Dec. 22 (C-USA vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii

Dollar General Bowl – Dec. 22 (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Buffalo vs. Georgia Southern

Armed Forces Bowl – Dec. 22 (American vs. Big 12)
Projection: SMU vs. Army**

Birmingham Bowl – Dec. 22 (American vs. SEC)
Projection: Memphis vs. Boise State**

Idaho Potato Bowl – Dec. 21 (MAC vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Eastern Michigan vs. Nevada

Bahamas Bowl – Dec. 21 (C-USA vs. MAC)
Projection: FAU vs. Toledo

Gasparilla Bowl – Dec. 20 (ACC vs. American)
Projection: UAB** vs. USF

Frisco Bowl – Dec. 19 (American vs. MAC)
Projection: Houston vs. Western Michigan

Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 18 (American vs. C-USA)
Projection: Temple vs. Marshall

New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 15 (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Middle Tennessee vs. Troy

Camellia Bowl – Dec. 15 (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Northern Illinois vs. Appalachian State

Las Vegas Bowl – Dec. 15 (Mountain West vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Utah State vs. Stanford

Cure Bowl – Dec. 15 (American vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Southern Miss** vs. UL-Monroe

New Mexico Bowl – Dec. 15 (C-USA vs. Mountain West)
Projection: North Texas vs. Fresno State

* – The highest rated champion from the Group of Five conferences (American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) will be selected to play in either the Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowl.

** – Replaces team from league that can’t fill bowl.