Mobile version. Acronyms are explained below. All times Eastern and PM, except where obvious. As of 01/11/2021 09:29:58 PM -0800.

Bowls When Where Time TV Teams Predictions
Myrtle Beach Bowl Dec. 21 Conway, SC 2:30 ESPN C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt C-USA/MAC/Sun Belt North Texas* 14 Appalachian State* 41
Potato Bowl Dec. 22 Boise, ID 3:30 ESPN MAC MWC Tulane* 29 Nevada* 23
Boca Raton Bowl Dec. 22 Boca Raton, FL 7:00 ESPN AAC/C-USA/MAC/MWC/Sun Belt AAC/C-USA/MAC/MWC/Sun Belt Central Florida* 35 Brigham Young* 45
New Orleans Bowl Dec. 23 New Orleans, LA 3:30 ESPN C-USA Sun Belt Louisiana Tech* 10 Georgia Southern* 24
Montgomery Bowl Dec. 23 Montgomery, AL 7:00 ESPN ACC AAC Memphis* 28 Florida Atlantic* 10
New Mexico Bowl Dec. 24 Frisco, TX 3:30 ESPN AAC/C-USA/MWC AAC/C-USA/MWC Hawaii* 21 Houston* 35
Camellia Bowl Dec. 25 Montgomery, AL 2:30 ESPN MAC Sun Belt Buffalo 35 Marshall 34
First Responder Bowl Dec. 26 Dallas, TX 3:30 ABC AAC/Big 12/ACC AAC/Big 12/ACC Texas-San Antonio* 17 Louisiana* 28
LendingTree Bowl Dec. 26 Mobile, AL 3:30 ESPN MAC Sun Belt Western Kentucky* 24 Georgia State* 21
Cure Bowl Dec. 26 Orlando, FL 7:30 ESPN AAC/MAC/Sun Belt AAC/MAC/Sun Belt Liberty* 13 Coastal Carolina** 35
Cheez-It Bowl Dec. 29 Orlando, FL 5:30 ABC ACC Big 12 #2 Miami* 13 Oklahoma State* 27
Alamo Bowl Dec. 29 San Antonio, TX 9:00 ESPN Big 12 #1 Pac-12 Texas* 31 Colorado** 24
Mayo Bowl Dec. 30 Charlotte, NC 12:00 ESPN ACC Big Ten/SEC Wake Forest** 13 Wisconsin* 38
Cotton Bowl Dec. 30 Arlington, TX 8:00 ESPN CFP (At-large) CFP (At-large) Oklahoma** 24 Florida** 21
Armed Forces Bowl Dec. 31 Fort Worth, TX 12:00 ESPN AAC Big 12 #6/C-USA Tulsa* 28 Mississippi State* 21
Arizona Bowl Dec. 31 Tuscon, AZ 2:00 CBS MWC MAC San Jose State** 31 Ball State* 24
Liberty Bowl Dec. 31 Memphis, TN 4:00 ESPN Big 12 #4 SEC West Virginia* 10 Army* 28
Peach Bowl Jan. 1 Atlanta, GA 12:00 ESPN CFP (At-large) CFP (At-large) Cincinnati** 21 Georgia** 18
Citrus Bowl Jan. 1 Orlando, FL 1:00 ABC Big Ten #1 SEC #1 Northwestern* 17 Auburn** 13
Rose? Bowl Jan. 1 Arlington, TX 4:00 ESPN CFP Semi-final CFP Semi-final Alabama (#1)* 51 Notre Dame (#4)* 31
Sugar Bowl Jan. 1 New Orleans, LA 8:00 ESPN CFP Semi-final CFP Semi-final Clemson (#2)* 42 Ohio State (#3)* 38
Gator Bowl Jan. 2 Jacksonville, FL 12:00 ESPN ACC SEC North Carolina State* 28 Kentucky* 24
Outback Bowl Jan. 2 Tampa, FL 12:30 ABC Big Ten/ACC SEC Indiana** 45 Mississippi** 42
Fiesta Bowl Jan. 2 Glendale, AZ 4:00 ESPN CFP (At-large) CFP (At-large) Oregon** 24 Iowa State* 28
Orange Bowl Jan. 2 Miami Gardens, FL 8:00 ESPN CFP (ACC) CFP (SEC/Big Ten/ND) North Carolina** 28 Texas A&M** 27
CFP Championship Game Jan. 11 Miami Gardens, FL 8:00 ESPN Rose? Bowl Winner Sugar Bowl Winner Alabama 51 Ohio State 48

Teams 6-6 or better that need at-large bids: All teams, except for the following known opt-outs/bans: Louisiana State, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Southern Methodist, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, San Diego State, California-Los Angeles, Utah, Washington, Southern California, Pennsylvania State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan State, Maryland, Boise State.

Overall: 13-13 (50%)
Scores: 2-50 (4%)

?=at-large because some conference couldn't fill its bids
* = Accepted invitation
** = Predicted correctly
A team in bold indicates that I predicted the winner correctly
A team in italics means that team won the game, but was not who I picked
A bold score means that I actually managed to pick the score correctly
1: Team meets one of the exception criteria, see the blurb about bylaw 18.7.2 below.

Old predictions
Past years: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | Index

Conference  Teams Eligible Teams With Bids
ACC 15 15 6
Big Ten 14 14 5
Big 12 10 10 6
Pac-12 12 12 2
SEC 14 13 10
AAC 11 11 6
C-USA 14 14 7
MAC 12 12 2
MWC 12 12 3
Sun Belt 12 12 5
Independents 6 6 3
Totals 130 129 55

For 2020, the above table includes teams that were announced to a bid but whose bowl game was subsequently canceled.

The introduction of the College Football Playoff in the 2014-2015 season changed a bunch of stuff. Below is a quick guide to the process and links to sources of information.

The College Football Playoff is a new system that includes a rotating set of six bowl games (the Peach, Cotton, Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange) plus a championship game. Each year, two of the games will host semi-final games, which will be seeded according to a committee. The winners of those games will meet in the championship game. The rotation of the games is as such for the semi-finals:
2014, 2017, 2020, 2023: Rose and Sugar
2015, 2018, 2021, 2024: Orange and Cotton
2016, 2019, 2022, 2025: Fiesta and Peach

When those games aren't hosting national semi-finals, they will be the home for conference champions and other teams not selected for the semi-finals. The default matchups are:
Rose: Big Ten #1 vs. Pac-12 #1
Sugar: SEC #1 vs. Big 12 #1
Orange: Highest-ranked ACC vs. the highest-ranked available team from the SEC, Big Ten, or Notre Dame
Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach: At-large selections or the "top team" from the Group of Five (which consists of the non-autobid conferences (the American, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt). These bowls can also host the Big Ten or SEC champions if they are not in the playoff when the Rose or Sugar bowls are part of the playoff.

Other rules:
1. Notre Dame can only appear twice as an at-large
2. If the ACC faces a rematch in the Orange Bowl, then the Orange can select the highest ranked available opponent (according to the committee) and the spurned team is placed elsewhere in the framework.
3. If a conference's champion is selected for the play-off, then the next highest ranked team from that conference assumes the berth, except in the Big 12, where the conference runner-up gets it.

Future championship game sites:
2021: Indianapolis, IN
2022: Inglewood, CA
2023: Houston, TX
2024: TBD
2025: TBD

"ACC #1" means "the first ACC team after the CFP selection process", not "the ACC champion".

Overall eligibility: The 2016-2017 NCAA Division I Manual (warning, PDF) bylaw 18.7.2 governs Division I FBS football eligibility. The NCAA defines a "deserving team" as a team with an equal number of wins and losses, i.e, a record of 6-6 and better against FBS opponents. For the purposes of this record, a team is also allowed to count one FCS win as well. Note that it is no longer a requirement that all above .500 teams are selected before 6-6 teams. For 2013, the NCAA added what one might call the "UCLA and Georgia Tech" rule which basically boils down to: a) winning your conference title game makes you a "deserving team" and b) losing your title game does not affect your "deserving team" status.

In addition to deserving teams, bylaw 18.7.2 also spells out what will happen if there are not enough bowl eligible teams for the 40 bowl games. Note that these criteria apply in order, and a particular bowl game may use a team from this "pool" once every four years (effective 8/2012).
1. The "counting 1 FCS win" rule only applies if the FCS team in question uses 90% of available scholarships out of 63 (so 56.7 scholarships, as FCS allows partial scholarships), so the first criteria is that any FCS school counts for the 1-win.
2. Teams that finished 6-6 with two FCS wins. For 2019, there are no teams that meet this criterion.
3. Teams that finished 6-7 (this used to be the "UCLA rule" but conference championships can no longer make a team ineligible for a bowl).
5. Teams that are reclassifying to FBS and have a 6-6 record. There are no reclassifying teams for 2019.
6. Teams in the top 5 of the APR and with a 5-7 record. This year, those teams are Northwestern, Air Force, Vanderbilt, Navy, and Duke.

All "deserving team" requirements are waived for 2020.

A new cycle began in 2020, which was of course immediately disrupted. Many of these changes are described here, and others are pieced together from various other sources.

The 2020-2025 ACC bowl agreements were announced in 2020 and pretty much abandon any sort of ranking criteria completely. The most important thing is that if the ACC's opponent in the Orange Bowl is from the Big Ten, it will also get a team in the Outback Bowl (I assume in place of the Big Ten).
The Big Ten selection process has its own page. The Citrus Bowl will pick an ACC team if the ACC faces a Big Ten team in the Orange Bowl (see below).
The Big 12 selection order.
The Pac-12 bowl selection order, on page 139.
The SEC bowl selection order. Note that of the "pool of six", the Liberty is the first off if there's not enough teams.
The American bowl lineup on page 15.
The Mountain West bowl lineup. Note that the MWC is a backup for the Cheez-It Bowl, but if used the Cheez-It Bowl gets to pick right after the Las Vegas Bowl. However, the Redbox Bowl backup slot is filled only after all the other MWC bowls are filled.
The MAC bowl lineup on page 14. This article from 2014 also talks about them a bit. The MAC is also a secondary for any ESPN owned and operated bowl games.
The Sun Belt bowl lineup on page 21.
The Conference USA bowl lineup, page 168.
As far as independents other than Notre Dame go: so far I've found statements saying BYU is eligible for "ESPN-affiliated bowls" and not much else.

Other notes:

Games not played in 2020:

Las Vegas Bowl   Paradise, NV     SEC/Big Ten Pac-12 #3 Pre-emptively canceled
Frisco Bowl Dec. 19 Frisco, TX 4:00 ESPN MAC/AAC/C-USA/MWC MAC/AAC/C-USA/MWC Pre-emptively canceled
Bahamas Bowl Dec. 20 Nassau, Bahamas 2:00 ESPN     Pre-emptively canceled
Hawaii Bowl Dec. 24 Honolulu, HI 8:00 ESPN     Pre-emptively canceled
Gasparilla Bowl Dec. 26 Tampa, FL 12:00 ABC AAC/SEC/ACC AAC/SEC/ACC Alabama-Birmingham* South Carolina*
Quick Lane Bowl Dec. 26 Detroit, MI 8:00 ESPN Big Ten   Pre-emptively canceled
Guaranteed Rate Bowl Dec. 26 Phoenix, AZ 10:15 ESPN Big Ten Big 12 #5 Canceled due to not enough teams
Independence Bowl Dec. 26 Shreveport, LA 7:00 ESPN Pac-12 Army Canceled due to not enough teams
Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 27 New York, NY 3:20 ESPN ACC Big Ten Pre-emptively canceled
Holiday Bowl Dec. 27 San Diego, CA 8:00 FS1 ACC Pac-12 Pre-emptively canceled
Military Bowl Dec. 28 Annapolis, MD 2:30 ESPN ACC AAC Canceled due to not enough teams
Redbox Bowl Dec. 30 Santa Clara, CA 4:00 FOX Big Ten   Pre-emptively canceled
LA Bowl Dec. 30 Ingelwood, CA 10:45 ESPN Pac-12 #5 MWC #1 Replaced by Montgomery Bowl
Music City Bowl Dec. 30 Nashville, TN 3:30 ESPN Big Ten SEC Iowa* Missouri*
Sun Bowl Dec. 31 El Paso, TX 2:00 CBS ACC Pac-12 #4 Pre-emptively canceled
Texas Bowl Dec. 31 Houston, TX 8:00 ESPN Big 12 #3 SEC Texas Christian* (35) Arkansas* (34)
Birmingham Bowl Jan. 1 Birmingham, AL 12:00 ESPN2 AAC/SEC/ACC AAC/SEC/ACC Canceled due to not enough teams

Schedule sources: Matt Sarz, conference media guides (see above), and individual bowl websites.