We’re getting close to the end of the college football season, and it’s time to start slotting where we think teams end up in the New Year’s Six bowls for 2020. We won’t even try to get into who’s playing whom in the Humanitarian Bowl, because there are no rules with contracts, records, or affiliations this year and that’s basically an impossible taks.
We also won’t get into all the esoteric contracts here, but suffice it to say the Sugar Bowl gets SEC & Big 12 teams and the Rose Bowl always wants Big Ten vs. Pac-12, but not this year: Both those games are College Football Playoff semifinals via rotation in 2020. However the ACC/Orange Bowl tradition stands.
All rankings are where teams are placed currently, not where we think they’ll be come Selection Sunday.
#1 Alabama (SEC Champion) vs. #4 Notre Dame (At-Large)
This would assume Alabama beats Florida in the SEC Championship Game, and Ohio State gets to play Michigan this weekend and meet the minimum requirement of six games in the Big Ten. Ohio State would also need to beat Northwestern for the Big Ten title.
This game is in New Orleans because that’s what Bama will want over playing in Pasadena.
#2 Clemson (ACC Champion) vs. #3 Ohio State (Big Ten Champion)
The loser of the ACC Championship either drops to the #4 slot or out of the rankings entirely, but the committee will somehow magically ensure that Clemson and Notre Dame aren’t the second and third best teams as they won’t want their tournament to be a two-out-of-three-falls match WCW style.
#10 Miami (At-Large) vs. #5 Texas A&M (At-Large)
The ‘Canes get a home game, inciting visions of Howard Schnellenberger and Jimmy Johnson roaming the sidelines in The OB. Jimbo Fisher won this game while at Florida State, and if you take out their evisceration by Alabama this year it’s been a great season for the Aggies.
#20 USC (Pac-12 Champion) vs. #12 Indiana (At-Large)
It’s the traditional Rose Bowl matchup of Big Ten vs. Pac-12, just not in Pasadena. The (should be) undefeated Trojans get America’s Darlings from Bloomington, who were one touchdown against Ohio State from perfection themselves.
#6 Florida (At-Large) vs. #7 Cincinnati (Group of Five Champion)
Two teams that can sell tickets in Atlanta (if that was a thing that was allowed), and it’s the best possible reward for both. Florida can just post up on Peachtree after losing to Alabama in the SEC title game, and Cinci gets a name-brand opponent as a reward for an undefeated American Conference season.
With apologies to the beloved mullets of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: You 1000% did the right thing playing BYU at the last minute, and it was great for college football. But the selection committee isn’t going to reward you with the Group of Five guaranteed slot, and they’re not taking the cash from someone in a contract conference to hook you up with the at-large you deserve for that courage. And that’s really a shame.
#11 Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. #8 Georgia (At-Large)
Two overrated brands that had good-not-great seasons? Of course we’ll put them on national TV instead of Coastal Carolina or BYU!
Sub Iowa State for Oklahoma here if they win the B12 title. And how boring is it that a Georgia team that got rolled by both Alabama and Florida still gets the big reward anyway? This sport is the worst sometimes.