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2015 College Football Preview: Bowl Projections

Who's in the playoff? Where are the Sun Devils headed? We cover that and more in this postseason projection piece.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The opening week of the 2015 college football season is here. In this edition of our season preview, we take a look at who may be going where come bowl season. Picks are based on our conference standings post from Monday.

Bowl Team 1 Team 2
Orange (Semifinal #1) Ohio State Baylor
Cotton (Semifinal #2) TCU Alabama
Peach Florida State Notre Dame
Fiesta Stanford Houston
Rose USC Michigan State
Sugar Oklahoma LSU
Alamo Oklahoma State Oregon
Cactus Arizona Fresno State
Liberty Arkansas Kansas State
TaxSlayer Auburn Clemson
Citrus Georgia Penn State
Outback Missouri Nebraska
Belk Florida Miami (Florida)
Birmingham Temple South Carolina
Holiday Wisconsin UCLA
Music City Tennessee Indiana
Armed Forces Mississippi State California
Russell Athletic Texas Virginia Tech
Texas Mississippi West Virginia
Military Pittsburgh Cincinnati
Quick Lane Iowa North Carolina
Arizona Nevada Southern Miss
Foster Farms Michigan Arizona State
Heart of Dallas Louisiana Tech Northwestern
Independence Georgia Tech Old Dominion
Pinstripe Minnesota NC State
St. Petersburg Memphis Marshall
Sun Utah Louisville
Bahamas Bowling Green Rice
Hawaii BYU Navy
GoDaddy Toledo Appalachian State
Poinsettia Boise State Texas A&M
Boca Raton Akron Western Kentucky
Famous Idaho Potato Utah State Ohio
Miami Beach UCF Texas State
Camellia Northern Illinois Arkansas State
Cure Georgia Southern Rutgers
Las Vegas Washington San Diego State
New Mexico Air Force UTEP
New Orleans Middle Tennessee Louisiana-Lafayette

Some notes:

Three of the four playoff teams seem pretty clear cut to me. The No. 4 seed could go to any number of different teams, but I have Baylor edging out Florida State, LSU, and USC. The Bears should run the table up until their regular season finale against TCU, and while I think the Horned Frogs win that game, going 11-1 with your only loss coming against one of the top three teams in the country should put you in the conversation. Group that with the fact the Big 12 was screwed by the selection committee last season, I think there is a good chance they get two teams in this year.

The Seminoles should once again be right in the top five, but the ACC is going to be so bad this year that anything less than an undefeated record will likely keep Jimbo Fisher’s team out. The Trojans have the opposite problem, as they have as much talent as nearly anyone in the country but play in such a tough conference that two or even three losses is a likely possibility.

With both USC and Stanford getting into two of the six "access" bowls, an ecstatic Alamo Bowl committee will not pass on Oregon. That leaves either UCLA or Arizona State for the Holiday, and I think the Bruins get the nod since they have the regional connection and the Sun Devils played there two years ago.

The Foster Farms Bowl is up next, and that is who I see taking the maroon and gold. Arizona State played in this game (then called the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl) back in Todd Graham’s first season and dominated Navy in front of a solid crowd.

With Michigan projected to be hovering around .500 all season, the Wolverines should be headed to either the Quick Lane or Foster Farms. I like the spiciness of a game against Jim Harbaugh, so the Michigan-ASU matchup seems like a good fit.