College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff Semifinal and Bowl Games Selection Process

Allie Shriver

By Allie Shriver

November 30, 2017

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Sunday, December 3 is going to be one for the records- the final selection committee rankings of 2017 will be released. Selection Day is upon us and we’re ready!  According to College Football Playoff, this is the day “the selection committee will announce Playoff Semifinal matchups, New Year’s bowl pairings, and the final Top 25 exclusively via College Football Playoff Selection Day programming on ESPN.”

College Football Playoff Semifinal Games

(Rose Bowl Game and Sugar Bowl) 

The Playoff Semifinals are the No. 1 seed vs. the No. 4 seed, and the No. 2 seed vs. the No. 3 seed.

When the selection committee assigns teams to the two sites, they place the top two seeds at the most advantageous site. Several factors help make this decision including the convenience of travel for team fans, home-crowd advantage, and knowledge of the host city and stadium. Preference always goes to the No. 1 seed. 

New Year's Bowl Games

(Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl) 

Once the Playoff Semifinal pairings are decided, the matchups for the New Year's Bowls will be announced. New Year's Bowls pose the most work for the selection committee. They strive to create competitive matchups, avoid regular-season rematches as well as specific bowl rematches.  

The Orange Bowl determine its own teams in 2017-18. According to College Football Playoff, “In non-semifinal years, the "contract bowls" (Orange, Rose, and Sugar) make their own pairings outside the CFP arrangement. Generally, they will take the champion of their contracted conference; if that champion qualifies for the playoff, the bowl will then choose a replacement from that conference.”

Orange Bowl: ACC vs. SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame
Rose Bowl: Big Ten vs. Pac-12
Sugar Bowl: SEC vs. Big 12 

Orange Bowl will select the ACC Champion or next highest ranked ACC team not in the playoff and then adhere to the following rules:

  • The highest ranked available non-playoff, non-champion of the SEC or Big Ten or Notre Dame.
  • Over the next eight years, a minimum of three SEC and three Big Ten appearances must occur, and a maximum of two Notre Dame appearances can occur.

Other Bowl Games

Once the Playoff Semifinals and New Year’s bowls are announced, the conferences and their respective bowl partners select teams for the other bowl games. 

Here is the schedule of the Bowl games and Semifinals.

2018 College Football Bowl Schedule

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