Toledo is not headed to a bowl despite going 6-6 this season.
With 79 teams bowl eligible and 78 slots available, there was going to be a team left out. The Rockets lost their final three games of the regular season and will have their streak of nine straight winning seasons snapped.
The last time Toledo missed a bowl was when the Rockets went 7-5 in 2013 and still stayed home.
The Mid-American Conference did put seven other teams in bowls this season, matching the league’s best mark. The MAC also had seven bowl invitations in 2012 and 2015.
Chris Petersen’s last opponent at Washington will be the team that gave him his only other head coaching job.
Las Vegas Bowl organizers had an eye for a good storyline when it invited Petersen’s Washington Huskies to square off against Boise State on Dec. 21.
Petersen has been at Washington for six seasons, since ending his eight-year run as the Broncos’ head coach. He coached against his old team once before, losing 16-13 in 2015. Petersen coached for Boise State against Washington in the 2013 Las Vegas Bowl, with the Broncos winning 28-26.
This year’s bowl will be Petersen’s last as the Huskies’ coach. Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake takes over the program after the game. Petersen plans to stay in the Washington athletic department in an advisory role.
Twelve of the 26 first-year coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision are taking their teams to bowl games.
Ohio State’s Ryan Day is among six first-year coaches at bowl-bound Power Five schools. His unbeaten Buckeyes are the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff and will play Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Military Bowl will pit first-year coaches in Temple’s Rod Carey and North Carolina’s Mack Brown. Brown took off five years from coaching after leaving Texas in 2013. He’s in his second go-round at Carolina, where he coached from 1988-97.
Chris Klieman, who jumped from FCS powerhouse North Dakota State to Kansas State, is heading to the Liberty Bowl to face Navy. Louisville’s Scott Satterfield, who won bowls his last four years at Appalachian State, leads Louisville into the Music City Bowl against Mississippi State.
Manny Diaz will take Miami to the Independence Bowl to play Louisiana Tech.
Other first-year coaches heading to bowls are Central Michigan’s Jim McElwain, Utah State’s Gary Andersen, Liberty’s Hugh Freeze, Charlotte’s Will Healy, Western Kentucky’s Tyson Helton and Appalachian State’s Eli Drinkwitz.
The College Football Playoff selection committee ranked more Group of Five schools than ever before – but the major bowls only had room for one of them.
Five schools from outside the Power Five showed up in the final playoff rankings. That’s the most in a final poll since the system began six years ago.
But a spot in the New Year’s Six was assured to only one of them and it went to Memphis (12-1, No. 17 CFP), which will play Penn State in the Cotton Bowl after beating Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference title game.
For the others, they’ll have to be content with their lower-level bowl berths.
Mountain West winner Boise State (12-1, No. 19) will face Washington and former coach Chris Petersen in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Sun Belt champion Appalachian State (12-1, No. 20) drew UAB in the New Orleans Bowl. Cincinnati (10-3, No. 21) plays Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl. And Navy (9-2, No. 23) takes on Kansas State in the Liberty Bowl.
In each of the past four seasons, only three Group of Five schools appeared in the committee’s final rankings.
Liberty and Charlotte will be making their first bowl appearances this season.
Liberty completed its two-year Football Bowl Subdivision reclassification process over the summer and qualified for a bowl in its first year of eligibility under first-year coach Hugh Freeze. The Flames (7-5) will play Georgia Southern (7-5) in the Cure Bowl on Dec. 21.
Freeze took over the Liberty job last December after being out of college football for two seasons. He resigned from Mississippi in July 2017 for unbecoming personal conduct and NCAA rules violations.
Charlotte (7-5) went on a school-record, five-game win streak to end the regular season and will play Buffalo (7-5) in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 20. The 49ers also have a first-year coach in Will Healy.
Healy was hired at Charlotte after he turned around Austin Peay in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Memphis is going to the Cotton Bowl to represent the Group of Five teams after winning the American Athletic Conference title.
The Tigers (12-1) will play Big Ten team Penn State (10-2) on Dec. 28 at AT&T Stadium, the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
After the best four-year stretch in Tigers history, they are playing in their first New Year’s Six game. Their coach, Mike Norvell, is leaving for Florida State but he has indicated that he wants to coach Memphis in the Cotton Bowl.
Penn State is going to its fourth Cotton Bowl, but its first in 45 years: The Nittany Lions’ last Cotton Bowl was a 41-20 win over Baylor on New Year’s Day 1975.
The Nittany Lions have made it to a bowl in all six seasons under coach James Franklin, who just reached an agreement on a new six-year contract. This will be Penn State’s 50th bowl overall.
Memphis is in a bowl for the sixth year in a row, and 12th in school history.
Oregon will face Wisconsin in the 106th edition of the Rose Bowl.
These schools are regular New Year’s Day visitors to Pasadena: Wisconsin is in the Rose Bowl for the fourth time in 10 seasons, albeit the first in seven years, while Oregon earned its fourth berth in 11 seasons. This game is a rematch of the 2012 Rose Bowl, in which Oregon beat Wisconsin 45-38 in one of the highest-scoring editions of the game.
Wisconsin edged out Penn State for the Big Ten’s berth in the Granddaddy of Them All despite the Badgers’ 34-21 loss to Ohio State in the conference title game. The Badgers and the Nittany Lions finished with the same regular-season record, and Wisconsin gave a tough game to the playoff-bound Buckeyes before falling.
Oregon has reached the Rose Bowl four times in 11 years under three coaches, winning two of those first three trips.
The Ducks won the Pac-12 title for the first time in five years, and they are back in Pasadena for the first time since that 2014 season, when Marcus Mariota propelled Oregon to a 59-20 thrashing of Florida State and a subsequent spot in the national championship game.
Virginia and Florida are headed to the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Dec. 30. It’s the first matchup in football between the schools since 1959.
Florida earned its way to the game after going 10-2 in the regular season and losing only to Georgia and playoff-bound LSU.
It’s the fourth Orange Bowl for the Gators and the fifth time they will play in a game hosted by the Orange Bowl Committee.
Virginia got in as the ACC’s representative despite a big loss in the league title game to defending national champion Clemson.
This is the first Orange Bowl for the Cavaliers, who turned down an invitation to play in the 1952 game because of the school’s desire at that time to avoid being part of major college football.
The Cavaliers are 9-4 and could tie a school record for wins if they beat the Gators.
Baylor and Georgia will attempt to bounce back from losses in their respective conference championship games when they face each other in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in New Orleans.
Both teams watched their hopes for reaching the College Football Playoff end Saturday. Baylor fell 30-23 in overtime to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, while Georgia lost the Southeastern Conference championship game 37-10 to LSU.
Georgia is trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s hangover effect. Georgia followed up its 35-28 SEC championship game loss to Alabama last year by falling 28-21 to 12 ½-point underdog Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
Baylor’s Sugar Bowl berth continues the program’s remarkable resurgence under coach Matt Rhule. Baylor went 1-11 the year before Rhule’s arrival and is the first Power Five team to win 11 games within two seasons of losing 11.
Top-ranked LSU (13-0) will return to Atlanta on Dec. 28 to face Jalen Hurts and No. 4 Oklahoma (12-1) at the Peach Bowl semifinal in the College Football Playoff.
The CFP selection committee announced the pairings Sunday, with the only drama surrounding which team would be the top seed: LSU or Ohio State.
The Tigers got the nod after its impressive 37-10 victory over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game, held less than 24 hours earlier in the very same stadium where LSU will return in three weeks for their first appearance in the 6-year-old playoff.
This will be the fourth playoff appearance for the Sooners and they are 0-3.
Last season, they lost to Alabama 45-34 in the Orange Bowl. Hurts guided Alabama to a pair of national championship games in his two seasons as starting quarterback. But he transferred to Oklahoma for a successful senior season after losing his Crimson Tide job to Tua Tagavailoa.
In the Peach Bowl, he'll meet the overwhelming favorite for the Heisman Trophy: LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who turned in another dynamic performance while claiming the MVP award of the SEC championship game.
— Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta.
Three of the four starting quarterbacks in the College Football Playoff are transfers.
Former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is back in the playoff for the fourth straight year, this time with Oklahoma, after going three times with the Crimson Tide. Hurts follows Heisman winners Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray as quarterback transfers to find success in coach Lincoln Riley's offense.
LSU, the Sooners’ opponent in the Peach Bowl, is led by Heisman Trophy front-runner Joe Burrow. He started his career at Ohio State before transferring to LSU in 2018.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was at Georgia last season. The Buckeyes play in the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson, whose quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, led the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman last season.
12:35 p.m. Reigning national champion Clemson will face Ohio State in the Dec. 28 Fiesta Bowl, one of two College Football Playoff semifinals.
The Buckeyes (13-0) were ranked second in The Associated Press poll and the CFP rankings behind LSU and the Tigers (13-0) were No. 3 in both.
Ohio State claimed an unprecedented third straight Big Ten championship and its first playoff trip in three years with by ralling for a 34-21 win over No. 10 Wisconsin on Saturday.
Clemson crushed No. 22 Virginia 62-17 in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game for its fifth consecutive conference title. The Tigers will be vying for the third national title in four years.
Clemson and Ohio State are both ranked among the national leaders on offense and defense.