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2016 College Football Preview: Pac-12 and New Year's Six Bowl Projections

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

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The opening week of the 2016 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 projections from Friday.

Bowl Team 1 Team 2
Peach (Semifinal #1) Florida State Washington
Fiesta (Semifinal #2) Ohio State LSU
Rose UCLA Iowa
Orange Clemson Alabama
Sugar Tennessee Oklahoma
Cotton TCU Cincinnati
Alamo Stanford Baylor
Holiday Utah Michigan State
Foster Farms USC Penn State
Sun Oregon Louisville
Las Vegas Arizona State Boise State
Cactus Washington State Kansas State

Some notes:

Florida State returns all 11 starters on the offensive side of the ball, and with one of the easier schedules of any national title contender, they seem like the best best to run the table and finish the regular season as the top seed for the College Football Playoff. That leaves three spots for four remaining power conference champions, and while its unlikely any of them go undefeated, I like Ohio State, LSU, and Washington to fill them out.

• If Washington wins the Pac-12 title game, that leaves either UCLA or Stanford to play in the Rose Bowl. With UCLA getting the Cardinal at home earlier in the year and a better chance of finishing higher in the final regular season rankings, it would make sense for the selection committee to keep the Bruins at home and let them play in their first Rose Bowl game since 1999.

• With Boise State looking like a good bet to win the Mountain West, the Broncos will be headed to the Las Vegas Bowl. Wanting to avoid a regular season rematch, expect Washington State to be sent to the Cactus Bowl while Arizona State slides into Vegas for a spicy matchup with the Broncos.