Florida State will not get a shot to play for the national title this season, but the 9-2 ’Noles will likely earn a New Year’s Six bowl berth if they beat rival Florida on Saturday. If so, it would send a ripple effect through the ACC’s bowl lineup. Most notably, if Virginia Tech beats Virginia this week to get bowl-eligible, Frank Beamer will get his sendoff in either Charlotte (Belk) or Jacksonville (TaxSlayer).
Meanwhile, the Pac-12’s lineup is very fluid. The winner of this week’s USC-UCLA game will play for the conference title, but the loser could fall anywhere from the Holiday to the Vegas bowls. And if, as I’m predicting, 5-6 Washington upsets 8-3 Washington State, the league will have 10 eligible teams for seven spots.
All in all, though, last weekend did no favors for those crossing their fingers that we get to 80 six-win teams. Three I’d been including, Rice, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama, no longer appear here. Two newcomers, UConn (which got eligible last week) and East Carolina (which will if it beats 6-5 Cincinnati), joined the fold, but that left me one short. So, welcome back Nebraska.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF BOWLS
Michigan (at-large) vs. Temple (Group of 5)
Alabama (CFP No. 2) vs. Michigan St. (CFP No. 3)
Clemson (CFP No. 1) vs. Oklahoma (CFP No. 4)
Notre Dame (at-large) vs. Florida State (at-large)
Iowa (B1G) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)
Florida (SEC) vs. Baylor (Big 12)
Connecticut (American) vs. Nevada* (Sun Belt)
New Mexico (MWC) vs. W. Michigan* (C-USA)
San Diego St. (MWC No. 1 or BYU) vs. UCLA (Pac-12 No. 6)
Georgia Southern (Sun Belt) vs. NIU (MAC)
Arkansas State (Sun Belt) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)
Houston (American) vs. W. Kentucky (C-USA)
Colorado St. (MWC) vs. Buffalo (MAC)
Boca Raton, Fla.
Memphis (American) vs. Toledo (MAC)
Boise State (MWC) vs. Akron (MAC)
Bowling Green (MAC) vs. Appalachian St. (Sun Belt)
Ohio (MAC) vs. La. Tech (C-USA)
Tulsa (American) vs. BYU (MWC or BYU)
USF (American) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
El Paso, Texas
Louisville (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Washington St. (Pac-12 No. 5)
Heart of Dallas
E. Carolina* (Big 12) vs. Middle Tennessee (C-USA)
Pittsburgh (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Arizona* (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Duke (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Cal* (SEC No. 10)
Santa Clara, Calif.
USC (Pac-12 No. 4) vs. Indiana (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Miami (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Navy (American)
Nebraska+ (B1G Nos. 8-9) vs. C. Michigan* (ACC Nos. 7-9)
Ole Miss (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Virginia Tech (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Georgia (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Penn State (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Utah (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. Wisconsin (B1G Nos. 2-4)
Northwestern (B1G Nos. 2-4) vs. Tennessee (SEC Nos. 3-8)
Mississippi St. (SEC No. 2) vs. Ohio St. (B1G Nos. 2-4)
LSU (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. NC State (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Arkansas (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Kansas St. (Big 12 No. 5)
Oklahoma St. (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 No. 2)
West Virginia (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Arizona St. (Pac-12 No. 7)
* replacement for a conference without enough eligible teams
+ projected 5-7 team
Stewart Mandel is a senior college sports columnist for FOXSports.com. He covered college football and basketball for 15 years at Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter@slmandel and Facebook. Send emails and Mailbag questions to Stewart.Mandel@fox.com.