The start of the 2016 college football season is still over 50 days away, but it’s never too early to project how the bowl games and playoff pairings may look by December. The top four teams for year three of the College Football Playoff era could look similar to the final pairings from 2015. Clemson and Alabama are among the favorites to win it all in 2016, with Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, LSU and Notre Dame bringing up the next tier of contenders.
The 2016-17 bowl schedule features 41 overall games including the national championship. Additionally, the semifinals will be on Dec. 31 instead of Jan. 1 once again this season. The Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl will host the semifinals, while the national championship will be held in Tampa, Fla. on Jan. 9.
How will the postseason matchups look by December? Below are Athlon Sports' predictions for every bowl and playoff game in 2016:
2016 College Football Conference Predictions
Podcast: Ranking the Conferences in 2016
College Football 2016 Bowl Projections
* By our projections, the ACC and SEC will fail to fill their allotted slots.