SportsPulse: While the committee has had some questionable calls in the past there is no doubt they amped up the drama for championship weekend, says Dan Wolken and Paul Myerberg.
The bowl wait is over today.
The Register’s Danny Lawhon will be updating this space regularly with his thoughts and latest news from across the country from the College Football Playoff selection show through final destinations for Iowa and Iowa State, along with the rest of the Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences.
Refresh this page for consistent updates. Observations are in chronological order, with the most recent posts first.
- College Football Playoff matchups at an 11:20 a.m. posting;
- New Year’s Six analysis and projections at 11:55 a.m.;
- Big Ten and Big 12 affiliations, plus Danny’s final observations at 12:30 p.m.;
- National experts’ predictions at 1:30 p.m.;
- And live tweets from national experts across the bowl sphere in our widget among Danny’s thoughts.
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Unless everyone is lying, here’s the barest bones of what you need to know:
Camping World Bowl: Iowa State vs. No. 15 Notre Dame, 11 a.m. CT, Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla. (ABC)
Holiday Bowl: No. 16 Iowa vs. Pac-12 team, 7 p.m. CT, Dec. 27, San Diego (Fox Sports 1)
Full Big 12 and Big Ten lists to come.
Auburn vs. Minnesota in the Outback Bowl, as expected. Not confirmed yet, but Iowa will be in the Holiday Bowl. Pack your bags to San Diego, Hawkeyes fans.
Process of elimination.
I’ll post official-official confirmations here as soon as we have them.
Brett McMurphy also reports Iowa State to the Camping World Bowl in Orlando against … Notre Dame.
Oh yes, Cyclones fans. Giddy the hell up.
Brett McMurphy of Stadium reports Alabama-Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. That almost assures Iowa of a Holiday Bowl berth.
New Year’s Six bowls:
Rose Bowl: No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 8 Wisconsin, 4 p.m., Jan. 1 (ESPN)
Sugar Bowl: No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 7 Baylor, 7:45 p.m. Jan. 1 (ESPN)
Orange Bowl: No. 9 Florida vs. No. 24 Virginia, 7 p.m., Dec. 30 (ESPN)
Cotton Bowl: No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 17 Memphis, 11 a.m., Dec. 28 (ESPN)
OK, the New Year’s Six announcements are here in to ESPN. Fast and furious it’s gonna come.
OK, with a half-hour before we start getting New Year’s Six teams and the avalanche begins, here’s a last look at what other experts are saying.
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports:Iowa State vs. SMU in Liberty Bowl; Iowa vs. USC in Holiday Bowl
Brett McMurphy, Stadium: Iowa State vs. Notre Dame in Camping World Bowl; Iowa vs. USC in Holiday Bowl
Erick Smith, USA TODAY: Iowa State vs. Texas A&M in Texas Bowl; Iowa vs. Alabama in Citrus Bowl
Mark Schlabach, ESPN:Iowa State vs. Navy in Liberty Bowl; Iowa vs. USC in Holiday Bowl
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: Iowa State vs. Navy in Liberty Bowl; Iowa vs. USC in Holiday Bowl
- Iowa State: 3 Liberty Bowls, 1 Camping World Bowl, 1 Texas Bowl
- Iowa: 4 Holiday Bowls, 1 Citrus Bowl
Now, to set the stage for the Big 12 and Big Ten Conference’s “regular” bowl affiliations and where Iowa and Iowa State are going to fit. Games are listed in order of when the bowls get to make their selections.
Big Ten Conference
- Citrus: vs. SEC, noon, Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla. (ABC)
- Outback: vs. SEC, noon, Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla. (ESPN)
- Holiday: vs. Pac-12, 7 p.m., Dec. 27, San Diego (Fox Sports 1)
- Gator: vs. SEC, 6 p.m., Jan. 2, Jacksonville, Fla. (ESPN)
- Pinstripe: vs. ACC, 2:20 p.m., Dec. 27, New York (ESPN)
- Redbox: vs. Pac-12, 3 p.m., Dec. 30, Santa Clara, Calif. (Fox)
- Quick Lane: vs. at-large, 7 p.m., Dec. 26, Detroit (ESPN)
Big 12 Conference
- Alamo: vs. Pac-12, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 31, San Antonio (ESPN)
- Camping World: vs. ACC/Notre Dame, 11 a.m., Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla. (ABC)
- Texas: vs. SEC, 5:45 p.m., Dec. 27, Houston (ESPN)
- Liberty: vs. SEC/at-large, 2:45 p.m., Dec. 31, Memphis, Tenn. (ESPN)
- *Cheez-It: vs. Pac-12/at-large, 9:15 p.m., Dec. 27 (ESPN)
* — The Big 12 does have enough bowl-eligible teams this season to fill a spot in the Cheez-It Bowl.
Big Ten: I exhaustively detailed why the best-case scenario for Iowa yesterday was for LSU to beat Georgia, and for Wisconsin to look competitive against Ohio State.
Consider that 2-for-2 for the Hawkeyes. What does that mean? To me, I think we’ll see three teams in the New Year’s Six, thus opening up Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota for the top-three non-NY6 spots available.
The conference has rules that bowl games are supposed to follow. If interested, click here. Not worth explaining again in full.
But the “rules” are supposed to prohibit both Michigan and Iowa from playing in the Outback, so Minnesota will almost certainly go there.
We spent the week leading up to today talking about whether Michigan or Iowa would be selected for the Holiday Bowl if it was a head-to-head matchup. Reading the tea leaves, such a scenario is now likely about who gets to go to the Citrus Bowl, and who goes to the Holiday. Especially if Alabama or Auburn is in Orlando, I don’t know how you don’t put the Michigan brand and Jim Harbaugh against either of those schools (no offense meant to Kirk Ferentz and Iowa). So Michigan to the Citrus, to me.
But hey, Hawkeyes fans have wanted to go to the Holiday Bowl for a while. It’s been 28 years. I think Iowa to San Diego is a superb destination.
Big 12:Much tougher to project. The four-way tie for third place in the conference creates a mess for the four available spots among the league. There’s no process to make sure that certain teams can’t be repeat bowl selections, or that other teams can’t be leapfrogged for brand purposes. So it’s a bit of a free-for-all.
All this goes out the window if we go by the merits, in which I would say the order should be Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Iowa State.
Going by brand recognition and potential value, though, which I’d say trumps other considerations in this instance, I’ll say the Alamo takes Texas. That’s the biggest bang for their buck. The Camping World wanted Iowa State last year, and the company’s CEO is tweeting hints about Notre Dame and the Cyclones. I wouldn’t have thought so until an hour ago, but I’m not ignoring that evidence. So Cyclones to Orlando?
At that point, let’s put Oklahoma State in Houston. The Cowboys’ have a slightly shorter distance to travel and were ranked higher to end the season. Kansas State to the Liberty Bowl would be someone of a slight in Chris Klieman’s overachieving first season, but someone has to lose out in this game of musical chairs.
My initial analysis on the game times for the playoff semifinals was correct. LSU-Oklahoma will be at 3 p.m. on Dec. 28, with Ohio State-Clemson to follow for the nighttime contest.
We’ll now be in more or less a 2½-hour waiting period for the other four New Year’s Six matchups and final top-25 CFP rankings to be revealed. At that point, that’s when the next bowls are revealed, although we know the placements for a couple them by virtual default:
Rose Bowl: Big Ten team vs. Oregon, 4 p.m., Jan. 1 (ESPN)
The Ducks have the Pac-12’s automatic spot by beating Utah on Friday night. The debate for the selection committee is whether to put Wisconsin or Penn State in Pasadena. Conventional wisdom is that Wisconsin’s praiseworthy effort Saturday night against Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game would be enough to get the 10-3 West Division champions over the top against the Nittany Lions (10-2). Of note: Wisconsin won at Minnesota to close the regular season. Penn State couldn’t get its victory in Minneapolis. That might be the resume-sealer.
Sugar Bowl: Baylor vs. SEC team, 7:45 p.m., Jan. 1 (ESPN)
The Bears (11-2) are the only logical replacement here for Oklahoma, the Big 12 champion who is in the playoff. They’re three wins clear of the next-best Big 12 team. That’s a done deal.
The SEC must also find a replacement for LSU, its champion, also in the playoff. The logical choice here in Georgia (11-2), the East Division winner. But there is at least enough doubt to not lock that one in yet.
… But it’ll be the Bulldogs.
Orange Bowl: Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame vs. Virginia, 7 p.m., Dec. 30 (ESPN)
The replacement for Clemson, the ACC champion, will almost certainly be Virginia (9-4), the Tigers’ foe in the conference championship game and the league’s only other team in the most recent CFP Top 25 poll.
The other representative is the highest-ranked team from the above list not already assigned to another New Year’s Six game. Conventional wisdom is that Florida (10-2), ranked ninth in the most recent CFP poll, will get a home-state assignment. But we have to see the final rankings first.
Cotton Bowl: At-large team vs. Group of Five, 11 a.m., Dec. 28 (ESPN)
This matchup has the most wiggle room to it, just because the of the at-large nature. Basically, you’re looking at the best remaining team in around the No. 10 spot in the playoff rankings to take that bid. Again, the prevailing logic here is that whichever of Penn State or Wisconsin is NOT selected to the Rose Bowl will land here.
As for the “group of five” designation, the highest-ranked team from the collection of the American Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt is guaranteed a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Heading into conference championship weekend, Memphis (American) was at No. 17, a spot behind 16th-ranked Iowa.
The Tigers are now 12-1 after beating Cincinnati 29-24 in the league finale. It’s fully expected that Memphis will be taking this spot come 2 p.m.
The playoff teams were no surprise. Here are the matchups and dates for the national semifinals.
Peach Bowl: No. 1 LSU (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1), 3 or 7 p.m., Dec. 28 (ESPN)
Fiesta Bowl: No. 2 Ohio State (13-0) vs. No. 3 Clemson (13-0), 3 or 7 p.m., Dec. 28 (ESPN)
Now, the times are official yet, but Ohio State-Clemson is the more intriguing matchup to me. I’d put that in prime time, and the Fiesta being in the West supports that.
As to the matchups themselves, I agree entirely with the rankings. Ohio State may have closed with a gauntlet, but LSU was tested by highly-ranked teams at several points throughout the season. Their September-to-December resume is a little stronger to me.
Buckeyes vs. the Dabo Dynasty, though? Heck yeah.
[NOON UPDATE: Times are now confirmed. LSU-Oklahoma at 3 p.m., Ohio State-Clemson at 7 p.m.]
Clemson is eating pizza. Oklahoma’s coach is on recruiting trips, not pins and needles. … Really high drama for this top four. You can see why ESPN wants the debate.
Good morning, everyone! Saturday went according to plan for the College Football Playoff committee, who have a relatively painless job this morning beyond determining a No. 1 seed. LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma should be the representatives.
But for Iowa and Iowa State, both teams got relatively good news. LSU defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship game, which should keep a Big Ten team from having to take the Orange Bowl slot unless there’s a significant surprise. That helps the primary scenario in which Iowa heads to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego without much hand-wringing.
For the Cyclones, Oklahoma’s likely spot in the playoff puts Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, which could open up Texas to be chosen for the Alamo Bowl. From there, the Camping World Bowl would have quite the dilemma between Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
Source: Des Moines Register