College football Week 13 bowl projections: USC controls playoff destiny

No. 5 USC will make the College Football Playoff if it beats No. 13 Notre Dame and wins the Pac-12 championship.

That is the door that opened when South Carolina beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-38 in Week 12. Now, first-year coach Lincoln Riley – who led Oklahoma to the CFP three times – has a chance to lead the Trojans to a remarkable turnaround after one season. It does not hurt to have transfer portal gems Caleb Williams and Jordan Addison, among others.

MORE: Five CFP scenarios worth watching

USC will also benefit from the loser of the matchup between No. 2 Ohio State and no. 3 Michigan falling from the ranks of the unbeaten teams. The loser of The Game still might have a backdoor into the CFP, but it likely will take a Trojans’ loss or a loss from No. 4 TCU.

Sporting News has no. 1 Georgia meets USC in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Ohio State and TCU meet in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl. No. 7 Clemson and no. 19 Tulane moved back into our CFP projections.

The College Football Playoff semifinals will be on Dec. 31 this season. Those semifinals will be played at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. The College Football Playoff championship game is on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.

Week 13 College Football Bowl Projections

DATE BOWL MATCHUP
December 16 Bahamas Bowl North Texas vs. Bowling Green
December 16 Cure Bowl South Alabama vs. Rice
December 17 Wasabi Fenway Bowl Cincinnati vs. Syracuse
December 17 New Mexico Bowl BYU vs. Air Force
December 17 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl Boise State vs. Houston
December 17 Lending Tree Bowl Buffalo vs. Southern Miss
December 17 Las Vegas Bowl Washington State vs. Missouri
December 17 Frisco Bowl Middle Tennessee State vs. East Carolina
December 19 Myrtle Beach Bowl UAB vs. Troy
December 20 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Miami, Ohio vs. Fresno State
December 20 Boca Raton Bowl UCF vs. UTSA
December 21 New Orleans Bowl Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State
December 22 Armed Forces Bowl Texas Tech vs. Liberty
December 23 Independence Bowl Marshall* vs. UConn
December 23 Gasparilla Bowl Louisiana vs. San Diego State
December 24 Hawaii Bowl FAU vs. San Jose State
December 26 Quick Lane Bowl Ohio vs. Wisconsin
December 27 Camellia Bowl Toledo vs. Coastal Carolina
December 27 First Responder Bowl Duke vs. Oregon State
December 27 Birmingham Bowl Memphis vs. Utah State
December 27 Guaranteed Rate Bowl Kansas vs. Maryland
December 28 Military Bowl NC State vs. SMU
December 28 Liberty Bowl Baylor vs. Arkansas
December 28 Holiday Bowl Washington vs. Pitt
December 28 Texas Bowl Oklahoma vs. Florida
December 29 Pinstripe Bowl Minnesota vs. Wake Forest
December 29 Cheez-It Bowl Oklahoma State vs. North Carolina
December 29 Alamo Bowl Texas vs. UCLA
December 30 Duke’s Mayo Bowl Illinois vs. Florida State
December 30 Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl Utah vs. Louisville
December 30 Gator Bowl Notre Dame vs. Kentucky
December 30 Arizona Bowl Eastern Michigan vs. Wyoming
December 31 Music City Bowl Iowa vs. South Carolina
Jan. 2 ReliaQuest Bowl Purdue vs. Mississippi State
Jan. 2 Cheez-It Citrus Bowl Penn State vs. Ole Miss

College football New Year’s Day Six picks

DATE BOWL MATCHUP
December 30 Capital One Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Alabama
December 31 Allstate Sugar Bowl Kansas State vs. LSU
Jan. 2 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Tulane vs. Tennessee
Jan. 2 Rose Bowl Game Michigan vs. Oregon
December 31 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (semifinal) Georgia vs. USC
December 31 Fiesta Bowl (semifinal) Ohio State vs. TCU

College Football Playoff championship pick

DATE BOWL MATCHUP
Jan. 11 CFP championship game Ohio State vs. Georgia

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