The Orange, Cotton, Peach & Fiesta Bowls are this year’s non-playoff New Year’s Six games. The Cotton Bowl features USC and Ohio State. Ohio State was close to making the College Football Playoff, but the committee preferred Alabama’s resume over Ohio State. The Buckeyes had two losses this season, including a 31-point loss to Iowa, which likely kept them out of the playoff. Ohio State was still a team coveted by all the major bowls. The Cotton Bowl kicks off December 29 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Washington will take on Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl kicks off on December 30 in Glendale at 4 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Penn State is favored by three points. Afterwards, Miami and Wisconsin squares off in the Orange Bowl on December 30 at 8 p.m. Eastern. Despite the game being essentially a home game for Miami, the Badgers are favored by 6.5 points.
UCF and Auburn will battle in Atlanta in the Peach Bowl, one of the few matchups to stay true to bowl projections. The Peach Bowl kicks off a New Year’s Day full of great bowl matchups with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. UCF is in a bit of a unique position as Scott Frost just took the Nebraska job, but is expected to coach the bowl game. Auburn just locked up Gus Malzahn, so it will be without the coaching distractions UCF may have. Auburn is favored by 9.5 points over the lone undefeated team in the country.
The committee shook things up from the major projections. ESPN’s Chris Fallica had correctly projected the Orange Bowl to be Wisconsin and Miami. Fallica projected the Fiesta Bowl to be Ohio State and USC. CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm projected the Cotton Bowl to be Ohio State and Washington. Palm projected the Fiesta Bowl to be USC and Penn State, which would have been a rematch of last year’s Rose Bowl.
In the College Football Playoff matchups, Alabama is taking on Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, while Oklahoma squares off with Georgia in a non-traditional Rose Bowl matchup. Click here to see the full college football bowl schedule for 2017-18.
Here’s a look at the complete schedule for the New Year’s Six games.
Cotton Bowl: USC vs. Ohio State Dec. 29 8:30 p.m. Eastern
Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs. Penn State Dec. 30 4 p.m. Eastern
Orange Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Miami Dec. 30 8 p.m. Eastern
Peach Bowl: UCF vs. Auburn Jan. 1 12:30 p.m. Eastern
Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Georgia Jan. 1 5 p.m. Eastern
Sugar Bowl: Clemson vs. Alabama Jan. 1 8:45 p.m. Eastern