College Football
College Football Bowl Projections: Ohio State or Penn State to the Rose Bowl?
College Football

College Football Bowl Projections: Ohio State or Penn State to the Rose Bowl?

Updated Dec. 1, 2022 5:09 p.m. ET

Selection Sunday is almost upon us, and despite all the attention being paid toward the College Football Playoff this weekend, there are a full 82 teams that will have their postseason destination laid out by the time heads hit pillows on Dec. 4.

There are two big dominoes to keep in mind with the New Year’s Six in 2022 that will, in turn, impact the rest of the lineup all the way down the pecking order to those played on random December nights.

The first comes Friday when No. 4 USC takes on No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game (8 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). Should the Trojans win, they’re into the College Football Playoff semifinal against either No. 2 Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl (if No. 3 TCU loses in the Big 12 Championship Game) or in the Peach Bowl against No. 1 Georgia (if the Horned Frogs win). Should the Utes win, USC will automatically be booked for Pasadena against Penn State, as Ohio State would move into the Playoff against the Bulldogs in Atlanta.

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Should USC triumph, the question then becomes what the Rose Bowl will do. History would say that the Tournament of Roses would move toward inviting OSU as the highest-ranked Big Ten team. However, the selection process does allow for them to instead take Penn State and send the Buckeyes to South Florida instead.

Then there’s the minor case of not having enough eligible teams for every spot. Appalachian State and potentially Army both could end up 6-6, but with each having two wins against FCS teams, they are not qualified. Buffalo needs to beat Akron on Saturday to join the ranks of the bowl-eligible, and New Mexico State needs to both win and receive an NCAA waiver to do the same. There’s the potential that multiple 5-7 teams get thrown into the postseason, starting with Rice and followed by UNLV, Auburn and Michigan State.

Also, keep in mind that many conferences and TV networks have built-in flexibility with their bowl contracts nowadays, so the third-place team in one league is no longer certain to make a specific bowl trip like they once were. As a result, be prepared for a bit of chaos on Sunday as announcements start trickling out.

So, who’s going where? Diving into the bowl selection process, here’s a projection on where every team from one to 82 is ticketed for the most wonderful time of year for college football fans far and wide.

* Has accepted bowl invitation.


Orange Bowl (Dec. 30): Clemson vs. Ohio State

Sugar Bowl (Dec. 31): Kansas State vs. Alabama

Fiesta Bowl (Semifinal, Dec. 31): Michigan vs. TCU

Peach Bowl (Semifinal, Dec. 31): Georgia vs. USC

Cotton Bowl (Jan. 2): Tennessee vs. UCF

Rose Bowl (Jan. 2): Penn State vs. Washington


Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 16): UAB* vs. Miami (OH)*

Cure Bowl (Dec. 16): Coastal Carolina vs. BYU

Fenway Bowl (Dec. 17): Louisville vs. East Carolina

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 17): San Jose State vs. New Mexico State

L.A. Bowl (Dec. 17): Washington State vs. Boise State

Lendingtree Bowl (Dec. 17): Rice vs. Bowling Green

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 17): Oregon State vs. Mississippi State

Frisco Bowl (Dec. 17): Fresno State vs. SMU

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Dec. 19): Marshall vs. UConn

Idaho Potato Bowl (Dec. 20): Utah State vs. Toledo

Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 20): Houston vs. Georgia Southern 

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21): UTSA vs. South Alabama

Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 22): Air Force vs. Cincinnati

Independence Bowl (Dec. 23): North Texas vs. Louisiana

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 23): Southern Miss vs. Liberty 

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24): San Diego State* vs. Middle Tennessee*

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 26): Maryland vs. Ohio

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 27): Western Kentucky vs. Buffalo

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 27): Baylor vs. Troy

Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 27): Arkansas vs. Memphis

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 27): Oklahoma State vs. Wisconsin

Military Bowl (Dec. 28): Pitt vs. Tulane

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 28): Kansas vs. Missouri

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 28): Utah vs. North Carolina

Texas Bowl (Dec. 28): Texas Tech vs. Florida

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 29): Minnesota vs. Syracuse

Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 29): Oklahoma vs. Florida State

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29): Texas vs. UCLA

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Dec. 30): Iowa vs. Duke

Sun Bowl (Dec. 30): Oregon vs. Wake Forest

Gator Bowl (Dec. 30): N.C. State vs. Kentucky

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 30): Wyoming vs. Eastern Michigan

Music City Bowl (Dec. 31): Illinois vs. Ole Miss

ReliaQuest Bowl (Jan. 2): Notre Dame vs. South Carolina

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 2): Purdue vs. LSU

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Bryan Fischer is a college football writer for FOX Sports. He has been covering college athletics for nearly two decades at outlets such as NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.


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