Bowl projections: North Carolina moves up to the Orange Bowl

Nick Bromberg
·3 min read

Welcome to the final week of the college football season.

North Carolina’s convincing win over Miami pushed the Tar Heels ahead of the Hurricanes in Tuesday’s College Football Playoff rankings and in line for the Orange Bowl if the ACC gets two teams in the playoff.

The Orange Bowl is set to take the top non-playoff team from the ACC and that will be North Carolina as long as both Clemson and Notre Dame make the playoff. As of now, the Tar Heels and former Texas coach Mack Brown will be matched up against Texas A&M. The Aggies are positioned to be the top non-playoff SEC team.

This week saw the cancellation of another bowl game as Saturday’s Frisco Bowl was canceled because of SMU’s COVID-19 cases. That cancellation pushed UTSA into the First Responder Bowl and trimmed the number of bowl games this season to 33.

North Carolina linebackers Tomon Fox (12) and Jeremiah Gemmel (44) celebrate a stop against Miami during the first half of an during an NCAA college football game at Hard Rock Stadium In Miami Gardens, Fla, Saturday, Dec, 12, 2020. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)
North Carolina could be heading to the Orange Bowl. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

Our final set of bowl projections also doesn’t include the myriad teams that have said they won’t be going to bowl games this season. At this point, most of those teams are in the ACC. Without numerous teams from the ACC heading to bowl games, the conference’s bowl lineup is going to look a little different.

The games that have confirmed their teams are listed first, followed by our projections for how everything else will shake out on Sunday. As a reminder, the playoff show begins at Noon ET on Dec. 20 and the New Year’s Six bowl games will be revealed shortly after the top four is chosen. The rest of the bowl lineup will fall into place over the course of Sunday afternoon.

Confirmed bowl matchups

Dec. 21

Myrtle Beach Bowl

North Texas vs. Appalachian State

Dec. 22

Potato Bowl

Tulane vs. Nevada

Boca Raton Bowl


Dec. 23

New Orleans Bowl

Louisiana Tech vs. Georgia Southern

Montgomery Bowl

Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

Dec. 24

New Mexico Bowl

Hawaii vs. Houston

Dec. 26

LendingTree Bowl

Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State

Projected bowl games

*team already confirmed

Dec. 25

Camellia Bowl

Western Michigan vs. UAB

Dec. 26

Gasparilla Bowl

Liberty vs. Louisiana

Cure Bowl

Georgia Southern vs. Ball State

First Responder Bowl


Independence Bowl

Arizona State vs. Army

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Wisconsin vs. Washington

Dec. 28

Military Bowl

Boise State vs. Tulsa

Dec. 29

Cheez-It Bowl

Miami vs. Texas

Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma vs. Oregon

Dec. 30

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

Wake Forest vs. Penn State

Music City Bowl

Minnesota vs. Tennessee

Cotton Bowl (New Year’s Six)

Georgia vs. Iowa State

Dec. 31

Armed Forces Bowl

Colorado vs. Arkansas

Liberty Bowl

West Virginia vs. Mississippi State

Arizona Bowl

Buffalo vs. San Jose State

Texas Bowl

Oklahoma State vs. Kentucky

Jan. 1

Birmingham Bowl

Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall

Peach Bowl (New Year’s Six)

Florida vs. Cincinnati

Citrus Bowl

Northwestern vs. Auburn

Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal)

Clemson vs. Ohio State

Sugar Bowl (CFP semifinal)

Alabama vs. Notre Dame

Jan. 2

Gator Bowl

North Carolina State vs. Ole Miss

Outback Bowl

Iowa vs. Missouri

Fiesta Bowl (New Year’s Six)

USC vs. Indiana

Orange Bowl (New Year’s Six)

Texas A&M vs. North Carolina

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