Earlier today, The Sporting News released their projections for the 2014 college football bowl season. UCLA, which is expected to have a big year, was predicted to play as an at-large bid in the Cotton Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Cotton Bowl, which originally hosted a team form the Big 12 and the SEC during the BCS era, is now a major bowl in the College Football Playoff era.
— Bill Bender (@BillBender92) June 17, 2014
There is a new set-up for deciding the college football champion as a 13-member committee selects the teams to participate in the semi-final games which are hosted by two out of six bowls, cycling every three years. The remaining four bowls then select their teams from the top schools not chosen for the playoffs. The bowls (and pairings) are: Rose/Sugar, Orange/Cotton and Fiesta/Peach. In its inaugural season, the two semi-final games will be the Rose and Sugar bowls, with the Championship Game being held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Since the Rose Bowl will be occupied with a semi-final game, the Pac-12 Champion (and possible second-place finisher) would be placed in the College Football Playoffs or put in contention for an at-large bid. The projected Cotton Bowl At-Large bid puts UCLA in a major bowl, equivalent to a BCS Bowl, as one of the top Pac-12 teams. Here are The Sporting News match-ups for the other five major bowls:
Peach Bowl: Central Florida vs. Auburn
Orange Bowl: Michigan State vs. Clemson
Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. Baylor
Playoff Semi-Final, Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Alabama
Playoff Semi-Final, Sugar Bowl: Oregon vs. Florida State
The Sporting News then goes on to project Oregon and Oklahoma meeting in the Championship Game. Interesting, indeed.