Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections: Dec. 10

This is peak 2020: Winless Vanderbilt will have an opportunity to go to a bowl if it desires.

With LSU announcing Wednesday that it would impose a one-year bowl ban this season and the SEC expected to get four teams into the College Football Playoff/New Year’s 6 bowls, that leaves nine SEC teams for nine SEC bowl tie-ins.

In pre-COVID-19 times, a winless team would not be eligible for a bowl. But the NCAA determined this season that there wouldn’t be any win requirements in order to play in a bowl, so the bowls would be allowed to fill their games with the conferences they are affiliated with — no matter what their records were.

Does winless Vanderbilt have to go to a bowl? No, the Commodores can turn down the bid. And although the school has not issued an official statement, it is doubtful Vanderbilt would want to play in a bowl while in the midst of a head coaching search.

But we can always dream.

Some more news on the bowl front: The AAC bowl lineup is set, sources told Stadium. Based on the projections of Cincinnati defeating Tulsa in the AAC title game and Navy beating Army, here are the AAC bowl representatives:

•New Year’s 6: Cincinnati
•Idaho Potato Bowl: Tulane
•Montgomery Bowl: Memphis
•New Mexico Bowl: Houston
•Birmingham Bowl: Tulsa
•Military Bowl: Navy
•Boca Raton Bowl: UCF
•Frisco Bowl: SMU

These are my updated projections with the latest information since Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff rankings. Keep in mind that some conference tie-ins may change in certain bowls due to various reasons (again, it’s 2020).

College Football Playoff

ChampionshipJan. 10 (CFP semifinal winners)
Projection: Alabama vs. Clemson

Sugar BowlJan. 1 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Alabama (No. 1 seed) vs. Notre Dame (No. 4 seed)

Rose BowlJan. 1 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Clemson (No. 2 seed) vs. Ohio State (No. 3 seed)

New Year’s 6 Bowls

Orange BowlJan. 2 (ACC vs. SEC/Big Ten)
Projection: Miami vs. Texas A&M

Fiesta BowlJan. 2 (at-large vs. at-large)
Projection: USC vs. Indiana

Peach BowlJan. 1 (at-large vs. at-large)
Projection: Georgia vs. Cincinnati*

Cotton BowlDec. 30 (at-large vs. at-large)
Projection: Iowa State vs. Florida

Other Bowls

Gator BowlJan. 2 (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: NC State vs. Ole Miss

Outback BowlJan. 2 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Iowa vs. Missouri

Birmingham BowlJan. 1 (AAC vs. SEC)
Projection: Tulsa vs. BYU

Citrus BowlJan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Northwestern vs. Auburn

Arizona BowlDec. 31 (MAC vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Buffalo vs. Boise State

Armed Forces BowlDec. 31 (SEC vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Mississippi State vs. Oregon

Liberty BowlDec. 31 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: TCU vs. Tennessee

Texas BowlDec. 31 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Arkansas

Duke’s Mayo BowlDec. 30 (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Wake Forest vs. Nebraska

Music City BowlDec. 30 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

Alamo BowlDec. 29 (Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Oklahoma vs. Colorado

Cheez-It BowlDec. 29 (ACC vs. Big 12)
Projection: North Carolina vs. Texas

Military BowlDec. 28 (ACC vs. AAC)
Projection: Pitt vs. Navy

Cure BowlDec. 26 (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Marshall vs. Coastal Carolina

First Responder BowlDec. 26 (Big 12 vs. Group of 5)
Projection: Kansas State vs. UTSA

Gasparilla BowlDec. 26 (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Liberty vs. South Carolina

Guaranteed Rate BowlDec. 26 (Big Ten vs. Big 12)
Projection: Maryland vs. West Virginia

Independence BowlDec. 26 (Army vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Army vs. Washington

LendingTree Bowl Dec. 26 (MAC/C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: UAB vs. Georgia State

Camellia BowlDec. 25 (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Ball State vs. Louisiana

New Mexico BowlDec. 24 (Mountain West vs. Group of 5)
Projection: San Jose State vs. Houston

**Montgomery BowlDec. 23 (Group of 5)
Projection: Memphis vs. Western Kentucky

New Orleans BowlDec. 23 (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Louisiana Tech vs. Georgia Southern

Boca Raton BowlDec. 22 (ACC vs. AAC)
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. UCF

Idaho Potato BowlDec. 22 (AAC vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Tulane vs. Nevada

Myrtle Beach BowlDec. 21 (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: FAU vs. Appalachian State

Frisco BowlDec. 19 (AAC vs. C-USA)
Projection: SMU vs. UTEP

Bowls that have been canceled this year:
•Bahamas Bowl
•Fenway Bowl
•Hawaii Bowl
•Holiday Bowl
•Las Vegas Bowl
•Los Angeles Bowl
•Redbox Bowl
•Pinstripe Bowl
•Quick Lane Bowl
•Sun Bowl

Teams in bold have already officially accepted bid.

*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.

**Replacing Fenway Bowl for this season only.