Bowl projections: Sliding Mississippi State to get Michigan State

We're five days away from the unveiling of the first college football playoff field, which means we're also five days away from knowing all the bowl pairings.

One issue with the BCS was that the emphasis placed on the BCS national championship game "cheapened" the other bowls, and, frankly, the same is going to hold true for the playoff. There are two playoff bowls, and those are going to dwarf the other 36 postseason games.

Remember that four bowls have been added this season, so when you include the two playoff semifinal games that will be played in bowls, 76 teams will be in the postseason -- or 59 percent of the 128 teams in the FBS ranks.

Another thing to remember is that the selection committee responsible for choosing the four teams for the playoff also will select the eight teams that will be involved in the four other bowls associated with the playoff. 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.

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.



All times listed are Eastern.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF MATCHUPS

ROSE BOWL

SUGAR BOWL

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

THE OTHER BOWLS

NEW ORLEANS BOWL

NEW MEXICO BOWL

LAS VEGAS BOWL

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL

CAMELLIA BOWL

Check out the top images from the final regular-season weekend of college football play.

MIAMI BEACH BOWL

BOCA RATON BOWL

POINSETTIA BOWL

POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL

HAWAII BOWL

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL

QUICK LANE BOWL

ST. PETERSBURG BOWL

MILITARY BOWL

SUN BOWL

INDEPENDENCE BOWL

PINSTRIPE BOWL

HOLIDAY BOWL

LIBERTY BOWL

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL

TEXAS BOWL

MUSIC CITY BOWL

BELK BOWL

FOSTER FARMS BOWL

PEACH BOWL

FIESTA BOWL

ORANGE BOWL

OUTBACK BOWL

COTTON BOWL

CITRUS BOWL

ARMED FORCES BOWL

TAXSLAYER BOWL

ALAMO BOWL

CACTUS BOWL

BIRMINGHAM BOWL

GODADDY.COM BOWL

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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