One of the biggest storylines to emerge from the first set of selection committee rankings last week was whether the SEC could get two teams into the playoff.
An overlooked question is how many teams each power conference can get into the playoff-affiliated bowls.
This season, the playoff semifinals are in the Rose and Sugar bowls, meaning the 12-person playoff selection committee also will pick the matchups in the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange and Peach bowls. While there are 12 teams involved in the six games, it's not necessarily the 12 highest-ranked teams by committee; instead, the highest-ranked team from outside of the "Power Five" conferences is guaranteed a slot in one of the games, even if it falls outside the top 12.
There is no conference limit; in other words, if the committee deems there to be four SEC teams or three Pac-12 teams worthy of bids, there will be four SEC and three Pac-12 teams in the top six games. And could the Big Ten and/or Big 12 get only one each?
Another thing that deserves attention is the number of bowl-eligible teams. Thus far, 45 teams have reached bowl eligibility -- eight in the SEC, seven in the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12, five in the Big 12 and Mountain West, two in Conference USA and the MAC and one each in the AAC and independent ranks. There are 22 teams with five wins, so expect another dozen or so to reach the needed six wins this week.
Remember that four bowls have been added this season, so when you include the two playoff semifinal games that will be played in bowls, there are 38 bowls. That means 76 teams will be in the postseason -- or 59 percent of the 128 teams in the FBS ranks.
When looking over these bowl projections, remember that a bowl's tie-in with a league doesn't necessarily mean it will get the third- or fourth-, etc., place team from the league; instead, it means it gets the third or fourth, etc., selection from that league. You'll also notice that there is no clear-cut designation for some of the league tie-ins; that's because the leagues and bowl organizers want a lot of leeway to put together what they consider the best possible matchup. For instance, Georgia and Nebraska have met in the past two postseasons; it's hard to imagine bowl organizers would match them for a third consecutive season.
Note: Start times listed are ET.