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.