2018 College Football Bowl Projections
College Football Bowl Projections Last Updated November 25, 2018 — With bowl destinations already being announced, we have made our final bowl projections of the season. Follow the College Football Playoff picture here and stay tuned for the 2019 CFP bracket.
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College Football Bowl Projections: Before We Begin…
Just as it was in 2017, there are 40 bowl games to follow the 2018-19 college football bowl season. 39 games will select a total of 78 teams, with the 40th and final bowl game being the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship.
Still serving out their bowl ban is Ole Miss, who are in the second of their two-year postseason hiatus. The only other team ineligible for bowl consideration is Liberty, who are transitioning to FBS. However, this is not a definite, as there would have to be no other available, bowl-eligible teams. So, technically, it could happen, but probably will not.
Coastal Carolina finished their two-year bowl ineligibility last season and would qualify in 2018, if they do well enough.
Six wins (almost) guarantees a bowl, and you might even get there with five if the kids are graduating. Last season, however, there were no 5-7 teams in bowl games.
“New Year’s Six” bowl games begin on December 29, 2018, with the first being the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the other two games that day being playoff semifinals.
Those are the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl this season. The winners of those two contests advance to Santa Clara and the national championship on Monday, January 7, 2019.
If you are curious as to who is currently leading the way in our College Football Playoff projections, visit that page today. Once the College Football Playoff rankings are formally released, we will begin updating.
College Football Bowl Projections: November 25, 2018 Analysis
We are now at 81 bowl-eligible teams, with Virginia Tech likely to become number 82 in the bonus week while other teams play for conference championships. This means four teams who are eligible are not getting bowl invitations. It also means that any 5-7 teams with high APRs that were hoping to make bowls are going to be disappointed.
Who is getting left behind in this shuffle? In almost every scenario, it is going to be a Group of Five team over a Power Five team. That’s how the economy of college football works. So, if you are a Group of Five team like UL-Monroe or Southern Miss sitting at six wins, do not pack your bags just yet. It has something also to do with matchups and if a team has a “place” somewhere and priority to teams in conferences that still have slots to fill. At some point, however, especially getting down into the low-tier bowls, conference tie-ins blur and they take what’s available.
The bowl projections will change one more time after conference championship Saturday, and then, in a week, we will know where these teams landed.
College Football Bowl Projections: December 15, 2018 Games
|2018 New Mexico Bowl|
|Albuquerque, NM | MWC & C-USA|
|Southern Mississippi vs. Nevada|
|2018 Cure Bowl|
|Orlando, FL | AAC & Sun Belt|
|Tulane vs. Arkansas State|
|2018 Las Vegas Bowl|
|Las Vegas, NV | Pac-12 & MWC|
|Boise State vs. Arizona State|
|2018 Camellia Bowl|
|Montgomery, AL | MAC & Sun Belt|
|Northern Illinois vs. Georgia Southern|
|2018 New Orleans Bowl|
|New Orleans, LA|
|Appalachian State vs. UAB|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 18, 2018 Games
|2018 Boca Raton Bowl|
|Boca Raton, FL | AAC/C-USA & MAC|
|South Florida vs. Florida International|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 19, 2018 Games
|2018 Frisco Bowl|
|Frisco, TX | AAC & At-Large|
|Houston vs. BYU|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 20, 2018 Games
|2018 Gasparilla Bowl|
|Tampa, FL | AAC & C-USA|
|Cincinnati vs. Louisiana Tech|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 21, 2018 Games
|2018 Bahamas Bowl|
|Nassau, Bahamas | C-USA & MAC|
|Buffalo vs. Middle Tennessee|
|2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl|
|Boise, ID | MAC & MWC|
|Utah State vs. Eastern Michigan|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 22, 2018 Games
|2018 Birmingham Bowl|
|Birmingham, AL | SEC & AAC|
|Memphis vs. Virginia Tech|
|2018 Armed Forces Bowl|
|Fort Worth, TX | Big 12 & AAC|
|Duke vs. Army|
|2018 Dollar General Bowl|
|Mobile, AL | MAC & Sun Belt|
|Troy vs. Ohio|
|2018 Hawaii Bowl|
|Honolulu, HI | C-USA & MWC|
|Hawaii vs. Marshall|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 26, 2018 Games
|2018 First Responder Bowl|
|Dallas, TX | Big Ten & C-USA|
|North Texas vs. Fresno State|
|2018 Quick Lane Bowl|
|Detroit, MI | Big Ten & ACC|
|Purdue vs. Wake Forest|
|2018 Cheez-It Bowl|
|Phoenix, AZ | Big 12 & Pac-12|
|California vs. Oklahoma State|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 27, 2018 Games
|2018 Independence Bowl|
|Shreveport, LA | SEC & ACC|
|Georgia Tech vs. Miami-Ohio|
|2018 Pinstripe Bowl|
|Bronx, NY | Big Ten & ACC|
|Wisconsin vs. Pittsburgh|
|2018 Texas Bowl|
|Houston, TX | Big 12 & SEC|
|TCU vs. Vanderbilt|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 28, 2018 Games
|2018 Music City Bowl|
|SEC & ACC/Big Ten|
|Miami vs. South Carolina|
|2018 Camping World Bowl|
|Orlando, FL | Big 12 & ACC|
|Syracuse vs. Iowa State|
|2018 Alamo Bowl|
|San Antonio, TX | Big 12 & Pac-12|
|West Virginia vs. Utah|
|2018 Holiday Bowl|
|San Diego, CA | Big Ten & Pac-12|
|Iowa vs. Washington State|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 29, 2018 Games (Non-NY6)
|2018 Belk Bowl|
|Charlotte, NC | SEC & ACC|
|North Carolina State vs. Auburn|
|2018 Arizona Bowl|
|Tucson, AZ | MWC & Sun Belt|
|UL-Lafayette vs. San Diego State|
College Football Bowl Projections: December 31, 2018 Games
|2018 Military Bowl|
|Annapolis, MD | AAC & ACC|
|Virginia vs. Temple|
|2018 Sun Bowl|
|El Paso, TX | Pac-12 & ACC|
|Oregon vs. Boston College|
|2018 Redbox Bowl|
|Santa Clara, CA | Big Ten & Pac-12|
|Stanford vs. Minnesota|
|2018 Liberty Bowl|
|Memphis, TN | Big 12 & SEC|
|Baylor vs. Missouri|
|2018 Gator Bowl|
|Jacksonville, FL | SEC & ACC/Big Ten|
|Michigan State vs. Mississippi State|
College Football Bowl Projections: January 1, 2019 Games (Non-NY6)
|2019 Outback Bowl|
|Tampa, FL | Big Ten & SEC|
|Penn State vs. Texas A&M|
|2019 Citrus Bowl|
|Orlando, FL | Big Ten & SEC|
|Kentucky vs. Northwestern|
College Football Bowl Projections: New Years Six and College Football Playoff Semifinal Bowls
College Football Playoff games indicated with asterisk.
|2018 Peach Bowl|
|Florida vs. UCF|
|2018 Orange Bowl*|
|Miami Gardens, FL|
|Notre Dame vs. Clemson|
|2018 Cotton Bowl*|
|Alabama vs. Oklahoma|
|2019 Fiesta Bowl|
|LSU vs. Michigan|
|2019 Rose Bowl|
|Washington vs. Ohio State|
|2019 Sugar Bowl|
|New Orleans, LA|
|Georgia vs. Texas|
College Football Bowl Projections: November 18, 2018 Past Analysis
There are 70 bowl-eligible teams and we need eight more. On our latest count, we came up with 81 that we think will get to six wins and had to eliminate three. NOT in this count: Florida State and Virginia Tech, two teams that we think will see their bowl streaks end. This also means the end of Virginia Tech’s run against Virginia, which is at 14 wins in a row for the Hokies. Virginia has not had a better chance to win the Commonwealth Cup in years.
The Big 12 will not fill all of its bowl slots, and neither will the Big Ten or Pac-12. As for the ACC and SEC, they will fill the First Tier spots but the Second Tier leaves a lot of room for the Group of Five to enter.
College Football Bowl Projections: November 11, 2018 Past Analysis
Thanks to November chaos, we are getting to a point where we feel confident that there will be at least 78 bowl-eligible teams. As of now, there are 65.
This means some will be left behind, kind of like in that book series. If your team might still realistically get to 6-6 but does not appear here, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.
The ACC was difficult to slot this week. After Clemson, someone has to take those primo bowl positions, but none seem to want them. We had no choice but to give Syracuse the Camping World Bowl as the second-best ACC team behind the Tigers, who are going to the College Football Playoff.
In the Big Ten, they are not going to fill all their slots.
College Football Bowl Projections: November 4, 2018 Past Analysis
We’re starting to fatten up again on potential teams getting to bowls with some of the upsets that occurred this past weekend. As of the end of Week 10 in college football, there are 50 bowl-eligible teams. We need 28 more to ensure we don’t have losing records in there.
The ACC does not have the Orange Bowl this season, depriving schools like Syracuse, Boston College, and to a lesser extent North Carolina State of a once in a generation (or longer) chance to play in it. All will make bowls and probably good ones at this stage.
The SEC is top-heavy and they are going to get several teams in New Years Six bowls, drying up the numbers to fill the rest of their slots. Likewise, the Big Ten will also not fill their slots, but the ACC and the much-maligned Pac-12 may be able to help. This round of the bowl projections gave us some strange combinations, like Georgia Tech against a Group of Five team and Miami and Florida State (deservedly) in second-tier bowls, but up is down and down is up this season.
College Football Bowl Projections: October 28, 2018 Analysis
The number of teams we think will get to six wins is drying up; it may land somewhere in the mid-70s but not 78, This would mean, you guessed it, the possibility of a few 5-win teams in bowl games. Of course, some of these other schools can just step up and get to bowls on their own merits.
Hey, if 5-7 is in play, so is Nebraska!
College Football Bowl Projections: October 21, 2018 Past Analysis
Why are we starting to get the sense that there might be a 5-7 team in the bowl picture? Because it might happen, that’s why. Last week, we came up with 85 teams that we could see becoming bowl-eligible with at least a 50-50 likelihood. This week, we were right on the number at 78. Some of these middling .500 teams need to step it up.
College Football Bowl Projections: October 14, 2018 Past Analysis
Just 15 teams have claimed bowl eligibility at this stage, with lots of season to go. A total of 21 others could have it by the end of their next game. Ole Miss is the only for certain excluded team so far and nobody has seven losses yet. Nebraska is working on it, however.