Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections: Oct. 27

First, the good news: The NCAA recently ruled that all 127 FBS teams, regardless of record, are bowl eligible this season because of the scheduling challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the bad news: Only 74 teams are needed to fill the bowls after five bowls have canceled their games.

And, finally, the worst news: More bowls are expected to be canceled this year, sources told Stadium.

Four bowls have officially announced they won’t be held this year — Holiday, Bahamas, Hawaii and Redbox — while Stadium reported last week the inaugural Fenway Bowl also would not be played. That drops the number of bowls from 42 to 37.

So as long as there are bowls, there have to be bowl projections.

Before we get started, there’s one major difference from past years: Because all teams, regardless of record, are bowl eligible, each conference will fill all of its bowl tie-ins and no teams will be needed from other leagues to fill bowls associated with another league. In other words, expect a lot of sub-.500 Power Five teams in bowls — that is, if those teams opt to play in the postseason.

College Football Playoff

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

Sugar BowlJan. 1 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Alabama (CFP No. 1) vs. Oregon (CFP No. 4)

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

New Year’s 6 Bowls

Orange BowlJan. 2 (ACC vs. SEC/Big Ten)
Projection: Notre Dame vs. Georgia

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

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

Cotton BowlDec. 30 (at-large vs. at-large)
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M

Other Bowls

Alamo Bowl (Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Iowa State vs. Arizona State

Arizona Bowl (MAC vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Buffalo vs. San Diego State

Armed Forces Bowl (AAC vs. Big 12)
Projection: Houston vs. Baylor

Birmingham Bowl (AAC vs. SEC)
Projection: UCF vs. Mississippi State

Boca Raton Bowl (AAC vs. C-USA/BYU/Liberty/MAC)
Projection: Memphis vs. Marshall

Camellia Bowl (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Central Michigan vs. Troy

Cheez-It Bowl (ACC vs. Big 12)
Projection: North Carolina vs. Oklahoma

Citrus Bowl (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Indiana vs. Auburn

Cure Bowl (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Louisiana Tech vs. South Alabama

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: NC State vs. Nebraska

First Responder Bowl (ACC vs. AAC)
Projection: Pitt vs. Tulsa

Frisco Bowl (AAC vs. C-USA)
Projection: SMU vs. UTSA

Gasparilla Bowl (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss

Gator Bowl (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Miami vs. South Carolina

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Big Ten vs. Big 12)
Projection: Northwestern vs. West Virginia

Idaho Potato Bowl (Mountain West vs. BYU/Liberty/MAC)
Projection: Nevada vs. BYU

Independence Bowl (Army vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Army vs. Stanford

Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Cal vs. LSU

LendingTree Bowl (MAC/C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana

Liberty Bowl (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Texas vs. Arkansas

Los Angeles Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Washington vs. Boise State

Military Bowl (ACC vs. AAC)
Projection: Wake Forest vs. Navy

Music City Bowl (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Michigan vs. Tennessee

Myrtle Beach Bowl (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: UAB vs. Coastal Carolina

New Orleans Bowl (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Charlotte vs. Appalachian State

New Mexico Bowl (Mountain West vs. C-USA/BYU/Liberty/MAC)
Projection: San Jose State vs. Liberty

Outback Bowl (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Penn State vs. Kentucky

Pinstripe Bowl (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Purdue

Quick Lane Bowl (Big Ten vs. MAC)
Projection: Minnesota vs. Toledo

Sun Bowl (ACC vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Boston College vs. Utah

Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Kansas State vs. Missouri

Bowls that have been canceled this year:
• Bahamas Bowl
• Fenway Bowl
• Hawaii Bowl
• Holiday Bowl
• Redbox 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.