Latest College Football Bowl Projections: Predicting All 82 Matchups for the 2023 Bowl Season

Predicting the results of bowl games, once we know the matchups? Yeah, that's hard. Predicting the 82-team jigsaw puzzle ahead of time? Well, that's something that's probably better spent done by somebody else... which is exactly what WE have done!

Nov 27, 2023 • 16:48 ET • 4 min read
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Cal saw its chance and made the most of it. So did South Florida and Eastern Michigan.

Nebraska dropped the ball, as did Minnesota, but the Gophers were rewarded by their strong graduation rate in recent years, the last team to make a bowl despite being 5-7. And the fact that Minnesota is needed also means James Madison and Jacksonville State are going bowling despite the NCAA’s arcane ways.

By playing competitively yet losing to Michigan, Ohio State should have assured itself an Orange Bowl appearance, which kicks off a string of dominos that likely move Notre Dame into the New Year’s Day ReliaQuest Bowl and leave the Pop-Tarts Bowl looking at … North Carolina State?

Our final bowl projections …

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Updated college football bowl projections for November 27

December 16

Myrtle Beach Bowl: James Madison vs. Liberty

This will no longer be an unbeaten matchup, so the focus would tilt toward Liberty’s chase of a perfect 14-0 season.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Troy vs. New Mexico State

Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl: South Florida vs. Texas State

Isleta New Mexico Bowl: Boise State vs. Western Kentucky

LA Bowl: Utah vs. UNLV

One of the most consistent programs in the country against a 2023 upstart and probable conference champion could create a unique test for the Rebels.

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: West Virginia vs. California


December 18

Bahamas Bowl: Jacksonville State vs. Ohio

Being held in Myrtle Beach for a year, the Bahamas Bowl needed to be rebranded and found its corporate partner last week.

December 19

Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl: Rice vs Old Dominion

December 21

Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: Georgia Southern vs South Alabama

December 22

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: Utah State vs. Georgia State

December 23

Camellia Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Appalachian State

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Miami (OH) vs. Air Force

68 Ventures Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Coastal Carolina

Birmingham Bowl: Wyoming vs. Arkansas State

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl: UCLA vs. Maryland

Easypost Hawai’i Bowl: Memphis vs. San Jose State

Projecting Memphis to the Hawai’i Bowl is an effort at a make-good, after the Tigers’ appearance in the game was canceled in 2021 after Memphis was already on the island because Hawaii, the football team, suffered a COVID outbreak. And bringing in the Spartans as the opponent could be a Mountain West effort to do right by the team left out of the conference championship game by vague computer rankings.


Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
: Central Florida vs. Marshall

December 26

Quick Lane Bowl: Minnesota vs. Toledo

It would be a letdown for 11-1 Toledo to face 5-7 Minnesota, but the MAC may also want to emphasize beating a Power Five team in a bowl game, and this is likely the only chance the conference will have.

Servpro First Responder Bowl: Syracuse vs. Texas Tech

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Northwestern vs. Iowa State

December 27

Military Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. UTSA

Duke’s Mayo Bowl: Boston College vs. Texas A&M

If Mike Elko leads Texas A&M to any future Mayo Bowl appearances, his tenure in College Station may be as doomed as Jimbo Fisher’s was.

TaxAct Texas Bowl: Kansas vs. Louisiana

DirecTV Holiday Bowl: Miami (FL) vs. Oregon State


December 28

Wasabi Fenway Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. SMU

Pop-Tarts Bowl: North Carolina State vs. Oklahoma

Valera Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. USC

The Trojans have fallen too far to be sent to the Las Vegas Bowl, no offense intended to the Alamo Bowl.


Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl
: North Carolina vs. Rutgers

December 29

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. LSU

Clemson has reportedly told the ACC it distinctly prefers either the Gator Bowl or the Holiday Bowl, and if there is any team the conference is likely to appease, it is Clemson.

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona

The Wildcats have risen too far to simply head to the LA Bowl because it is hosted by their favorite alum, Rob Gronkowski.


AutoZone Liberty Bowl:
Kansas State vs. Auburn

Goodyear Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Texas

December 30

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Missouri vs. Tulane

With SMU quarterback Preston Stone out for the season, the Green Wave looks like the AAC champion and thus the Group of Five’s entrant into the New Year’s Six bowls.


TransPerfect Music City Bowl:
Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

Capital One Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Ohio State

The highest-ranked SEC or Big Ten team to miss the Playoff will face the ACC here, and it is hard to envision that not being the Buckeyes at this point, unless Iowa upsets Michigan on Saturday.

Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State

January 1

ReliaQuest Bowl: Tennessee vs. Notre Dame

Many people want to envision Notre Dame facing LSU here. Irish head coach Marcus Freeman was explicitly asked about the possibility on Monday. Logic and rationale thought realize one or both of the programs would attempt to avoid that.


Cheez-It Citrus Bowl:
Mississippi vs. Iowa

VRBO Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs. Penn State

Rose Bowl (CFP Semifinal): Georgia vs. Oregon

Allstate Sugar Bowl (CFP Semifinal): Michigan vs. Florida State

Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis’s season-ending leg injury may make the Wolverines worry so little about Florida State that they give a subtle thumbs-up to the selection committee to send them to the Sugar Bowl, closer to Tallahassee but also easier travel for the maize faithful.

January 8

CFP National Championship: Rose Bowl winner vs. Sugar Bowl winner

Schools already CFB bowl eligible

AAC

TulaneTulane (11-1), Southern MethodistSMU (10-2), MemphisMemphis (9-3), UTSAUTSA (8-4)

ACC

Florida StateFlorida State (12-0), LouisvilleLouisville (10-2), North CarolinaNorth Carolina (8-4), DukeDuke (7-5), Boston CollegeBoston College (6-6)NC StateNorth Carolina State (9-3)MiamiMiami (7-5), ClemsonClemson (8-4)

ACC-adjacent

Notre DameNotre Dame (9-3)
Notre Dame is bowl-eligible at 7-3 and, as part of its pseudo-membership with the ACC, has access to all the conference’s bowl tie-ins aside from the Orange Bowl, which its third loss precluded, anyway.

Big 12

TexasTexas (11-1), Oklahoma StateOklahoma State (9-3), KansasKansas (8-4)OklahomaOklahoma (10-2)Kansas StateKansas State (8-4)West VirginiaWest Virginia (8-4)

Big Ten

MichiganMichigan (12-0), Ohio StateOhio State (11-1)Penn StatePenn State (10-2), IowaIowa (10-2), RutgersRutgers (6-6), MarylandMaryland (7-5), WisconsinWisconsin(7-4)

Conference USA

LibertyLiberty (12-0), New Mexico StateNew Mexico State (10-3), Jacksonville StateJacksonville State (8-4)*

MAC

ToledoToledo (11-1), Miami (Ohio)Miami (OH) (10-2), OhioOhio (9-3), Bowling GreenBowling Green (7-5)

Mountain West

Air ForceAir Force (8-4), Fresno StateFresno State (8-4), UNLVUNLV (9-3), WyomingWyoming (8-4)

Pac-12

WashingtonWashington (12-0), OregonOregon (11-1), USCUSC (7-5)Oregon StateOregon State (8-4), UtahUtah (8-4), ArizonaArizona (9-3), UCLAUCLA(7-5)

SEC

GeorgiaGeorgia (12-0), AlabamaAlabama (11-1), MississippiMississippi (10-2), MissouriMissouri (10-2), TennesseeTennessee (8-4), KentuckyKentucky (7-5)LSULSU (9-3), Texas A&MTexas A&M (7-5), AuburnAuburn (6-6)

Sun Belt

TroyTroy (10-2), Coastal CarolinaCoastal Carolina (7-5), Georgia SouthernGeorgia Southern (6-6), Texas StateTexas State (7-5), Georgia StateGeorgia State (6-6)James MadisonJames Madison (11-1)*

*Becomes eligible if there are not 82 six-win teams

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