2017–18 NCAA football bowl games
|2017–18 NCAA football bowl games|
|Regular season||August 26, 2017– December 9, 2017|
|Number of bowls||40|
|Bowl games||December 16, 2017– January 8, 2018|
2018 College Football Playoff|
|Location of Championship||
|Champions||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Bowl Challenge Cup winner||Big Ten|
The 2017–18 NCAA football bowl games was a series of college football bowl games which completed the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The games began on December 16, 2017, and aside from the all-star games ended with the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship which was played on January 8, 2018.
The total of 40 team-competitive bowls, including the national championship game, was one less than the previous year, with the folding of the Poinsettia Bowl. To fill the 78 available bowl slots, a total of 15 teams (19% of all participants) with non-winning (6–6) seasons participated in bowl games. This marks only the second time in seven years that no teams with losing seasons (6–7 or 5–7) had to be invited to fill available bowl berths.
College Football Playoff and Championship Game
The College Football Playoff system was used to determine a national champion of Division I FBS college football. A 13-member committee of experts ranked the top 25 teams in the nation after each of the last seven weeks of the 2017 season. The top four teams in the final ranking played a single-elimination semifinal round, with the winners advancing to the National Championship game.
The semifinal games were the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. Both were played on New Year's Day, as part of a yearly rotation of three pairs of six bowls, commonly referred to as the CFP New Year's Six bowl games. Their winners advanced to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on January 8, 2018.
|January 1 – Sugar BowlMercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans|
|4||Alabama||24||January 8 – National ChampionshipMercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta|
|January 1 – Rose BowlRose Bowl, Pasadena||3||Georgia||23|
Non-CFP bowl games
On April 11, 2016, the NCAA announced a freeze on new bowl games until after the 2019 season. While bowl games had been the purview of only the very best teams for nearly a century, the NCAA had to lower its postseason eligibility criteria repeatedly (2006, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013), eventually allowing teams with losing seasons (5–7) to participate in bowls due to there being not enough bowl-eligible teams, while also having to allow teams from the same conference to meet in the 2015 Arizona Bowl due to the lack of eligible teams to meet its other tie-ins. For the 2017–18 bowl season, 62% of the 130 teams playing in Division I FBS were deemed eligible to participate in a bowl game, with 60% actually receiving invites to fill the 78 available slots.
For the 2017–18 bowl season, changes from the prior season's bowl games are the Frisco Bowl replacing the Miami Beach Bowl, and discontinuation of the Poinsettia Bowl. What was the Russell Athletic Bowl is now the Camping World Bowl, due to a sponsorship change and the St. Petersburg Bowl has been renamed as the Gasparilla Bowl, after mythical St. Petersburg area pirate José Gaspar.
|Jan 20||East–West Shrine Game||Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, Florida
|NFL Network||East Team
|NFLPA Collegiate Bowl||Rose Bowl
|Jan 27||Senior Bowl||Ladd–Peebles Stadium
|NFL Network||North Team
Selection of the teams
CFP top 25 teams
On December 3, 2017, the College Football Playoff selection committee announced their final team rankings for the year.
In the fourth year of the College Football Playoff era, this was the first time that two of the four semifinalists (Georgia and Alabama) were from the same conference.
|Rank||Team||W–L||Conference and standing||Bowl game|
|Clemson Tigers||ACC champions||Sugar Bowl|
|Oklahoma Sooners||Big 12 champions||Rose Bowl|
|Georgia Bulldogs||SEC champions||Rose Bowl|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||SEC West Division co-champions||Sugar Bowl|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||Big Ten champions||Cotton Bowl|
|Wisconsin Badgers||Big Ten West Division champions||Orange Bowl|
|Auburn Tigers||SEC West Division co-champions||Peach Bowl|
|USC Trojans||Pac-12 champions||Cotton Bowl|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||Big Ten East Division second place (tie)||Fiesta Bowl|
|Miami Hurricanes||ACC Coastal Division champions||Orange Bowl|
|Washington Huskies||Pac-12 North Division co-champions||Fiesta Bowl|
|UCF Knights||AAC champions||Peach Bowl|
|Stanford Cardinal||Pac-12 North Division co-champions||Alamo Bowl|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||Independent||Citrus Bowl|
|TCU Horned Frogs||Big 12 second place||Alamo Bowl|
|Michigan State Spartans||Big Ten East Division second place (tie)||Holiday Bowl|
|LSU Tigers||SEC West Division third place||Citrus Bowl|
|Washington State Cougars||Pac-12 North Division third place||Holiday Bowl|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||Big 12 third place||Camping World Bowl|
|Memphis Tigers||AAC West Division champions||Liberty Bowl|
|Northwestern Wildcats||Big Ten West Division second place||Music City Bowl|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||ACC Coastal Division second place||Camping World Bowl|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs||SEC West Division fourth place (tie)||TaxSlayer Bowl|
|NC State Wolfpack||ACC Atlantic Division second place||Sun Bowl|
|Boise State Broncos||MWC champions||Las Vegas Bowl|
- American (7): Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, South Florida, Temple, UCF
- ACC (10): Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
- Big Ten (8): Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin
- Big 12 (8): Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia
- C-USA (10): FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Southern Miss, UAB, UTSA, Western Kentucky
- Independent (2): Army, Notre Dame
- MAC (7): Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan
- Mountain West (6): Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State, Wyoming
- Pac-12 (9): Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
- SEC (9): Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M
- Sun Belt (5): Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Georgia State, New Mexico State, Troy
Number of teams going to bowl games: 78
Number of bowl-eligible teams: 81
In mid-December multiple media sources reported that Florida State might not have met its bowl eligibility requirements. The team had a record of 6–6, with one of the wins – their 77–6 victory over Delaware State – against an FCS team. For such a game to count towards bowl eligibility, the FCS opponent must have used at least 90 percent of its allotted scholarships, and it was not clear that Delaware State had done so. But a few days later the Florida State administration issued a statement saying that Delaware State did in fact meet that threshold, once non-athletic scholarship funds were factored in.
Bowl-eligible teams that did not receive a berth
As there are more bowl-eligible teams than bowl berths, three bowl-eligible teams did not receive a bowl berth:
- American (5): Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa
- ACC (4): Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Syracuse
- Big Ten (6): Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rutgers
- Big 12 (2): Baylor, Kansas
- C-USA (4): Charlotte, Old Dominion, Rice, UTEP
- Independent (2): BYU, Massachusetts
- MAC (5): Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH)
- Mountain West (6): Air Force, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV
- Pac-12 (3): California, Colorado, Oregon State
- SEC (5): Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss[a], Tennessee, Vanderbilt
- Sun Belt (7): Coastal Carolina[b], Georgia Southern, Idaho, Louisiana–Lafayette, Louisiana–Monroe, South Alabama, Texas State
- Despite winning six games for a .500 (6–6) regular-season record, Ole Miss is bowl-ineligible due to a self-imposed bowl ban.
- Coastal Carolina is in the second year of its two-year transition from FCS to FBS and is bowl-ineligible due to NCAA regulations, but would have been ineligible based on record in any case.
Number of bowl-ineligible teams: 49
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- "The full bowl schedule is here now". SB Nation. December 3, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
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- Knight, Joey (December 22, 2017). "FSU Says Reddit Is Wrong; Seminoles Are Bowl Eligible After All". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- "Ole Miss announces self-imposed bowl ban for 2017 season". SI.com. February 22, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.