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College Football Bowl Projections for 2016

Projecting bowl and playoff games for 2016.

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.

 

Related: Updated CFB Bowl Projections After Week 13

 

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

 

Power 5: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

Group of 5: American | C-USA | MAC | MW | Sun Belt

 

Podcast: Ranking the Conferences in 2016



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College Football 2016 Bowl Projections
Bowl Date Tie-In Projection
New Mexico Dec. 17

C-USA vs.

MW

 UTEP vs.

Colorado State 

Las Vegas Dec. 17

Pac-12 vs.

MW

 Boise State vs.

Oregon 

AutoNation Cure Dec. 17

American vs.

Sun Belt

 Tulsa vs.

Georgia Southern 

Camellia Dec. 17

MAC vs.

Sun Belt

 Central Michigan vs.

Troy 

New Orleans Dec. 17

C-USA vs.

Sun Belt

 Southern Miss vs. 

Appalachian State 

Miami Beach Dec. 19

American vs. 

MAC

USF vs.

Western Michigan 

Boca Raton Dec. 20

American/MAC vs.

C-USA

Memphis vs.

WKU 

Poinsettia Dec. 21

BYU vs.

MW

 BYU vs.

SDSU 

Famous Idaho Potato Dec. 22

MW vs.

MAC

 Ohio vs.

Nevada 

Bahamas Dec. 23

American/MAC vs.

C-USA

 Toledo vs.

Marshall 

Armed Forces Dec. 23

American vs.

Big 12

 Navy vs.

Texas Tech 

GoDaddy Dec. 23

Sun Belt vs.

MAC

 Northern Illinois vs.

Arkansas State 

Hawaii Dec. 24

MW vs.

C-USA

MTSU vs.

Air Force 

St. Petersburg Dec. 26

American vs.

ACC

Cincinnati vs.

Georgia Tech 

Quick Lane Dec. 26

ACC vs. 

Big Ten

 Kansas State* vs.

Indiana 

Independence Dec. 26

ACC vs.

SEC

 Wake Forest vs.

Arizona State* 

Heart of Dallas Dec. 27

Big Ten vs.

C-USA

 Minnesota vs.

Louisiana Tech 

Military Dec. 27

American vs.

ACC

Temple vs.

Boston College 

Holiday Dec. 27

Big Ten vs.

Pac-12

Penn State vs.

UCLA 

Cactus Dec. 27

Big 12 vs.

Pac-12

Texas vs. 

Washington State 

Pinstripe Dec. 28

Big Ten vs. 

ACC

 Nebraska vs.

Pitt 

Russell Athletic Dec. 28

ACC vs. 

Big 12

Oklahoma State vs.

Miami 

Texas Dec. 28

SEC vs.

Big 12

Baylor vs. 

Texas A&M 

Birmingham Dec. 29

SEC vs.

American

 Kentucky vs. 

UConn 

Belk Dec. 29

ACC vs. 

SEC

Arkansas vs.

North Carolina 

Alamo Dec. 29

Big 12 vs.

Pac-12

 TCU vs.

Stanford 

Liberty Dec. 30

Big 12 vs.

SEC

 West Virginia vs.

Miss. State 

Sun Dec. 30

ACC/ND vs.

Pac-12

 Utah vs. 

NC State 

Arizona  Dec. 30

Sun Belt vs. 

MW

 Utah State vs.

UL Lafayette 

Music City Dec. 30

ACC/Big Ten vs.

SEC

Wisconsin vs.

Auburn 

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Dec. 31

Big Ten vs.

SEC

 Michigan State vs.

Ole Miss 

TaxSlayer Dec. 31

ACC/Big Ten vs.

SEC

Virginia Tech vs.

Florida 

Outback Jan. 2

Big Ten vs.

SEC

 Iowa vs.

Georgia 

Foster Farms TBA

Big Ten vs. 

Pac-12

 Northwestern vs.

USC 

       
New Year's Six Bowls
Orange Dec. 30

ACC vs.

ND/SEC/Big Ten

 Louisville vs.

Notre Dame 

Cotton Jan. 2

At-large vs.

At-large

 LSU vs.

Houston 

Rose Jan. 2

Big Ten vs.

Pac-12

Washington vs.

Michigan 

Sugar Jan. 2

Big 12 vs.

SEC

 Oklahoma vs.

Tennessee 

       
College Football Playoff
Chick-fil-A Peach Dec. 31

Playoff 

Semifinal

 Alabama vs.

Clemson 

Fiesta Dec. 31

Playoff

Semifinal

 Florida State vs.

Ohio State 

       
National Championship

CFB National Championship

(Tampa, Fla.)

Jan. 9

Peach Winner vs.

Fiesta Winner

 Alabama over

Florida State 

* By our projections, the ACC and SEC will fail to fill their allotted slots. 

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