New Year's Six bowl matchups announced

ByAdam Rittenberg ESPN logo
Monday, December 7, 2015

Iowa's last-minute loss in the Big Ten championship game didn't cost it a trip to Pasadena, while defending national champion Ohio State is headed to the desert, according to the New Year's Six bowl pairings announced Sunday.

The College Football Playoff selection committee finalized the New Year's Six matchups hours after outlining the four playoff participants.

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual will feature Pac-12 champion Stanford against No. 5 Iowa, the Big Ten runner-up making its first appearance in the game since 1991. The Cardinal finished No. 6 in the committee's final rankings, while Iowa finished two spots ahead of No. 7 Ohio State.

Rose Bowl officials had said they would select the next-highest-rated teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 if the leagues had members participating in the playoff.

Stanford has reached its third Rose Bowl in the past four seasons. The Cardinal defeated Wisconsin in the 2013 game and fell to Michigan State the following year. The game takes place at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California.

The BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl will feature Ohio State and No. 8 Notre Dame, which suffered its only losses to No. 1 Clemson and Stanford. It's a rematch of the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, which Ohio State won 34-20 before advancing to national title games in each of the next two seasons.

Notre Dame is seeking its first January bowl win since 1994 (Cotton Bowl vs. Texas A&M). The Fighting Irish have gone 0-8 since then, losing by 19 points per game.

The Fiesta Bowl takes place at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1 in Glendale, Arizona.

Ole Miss is headed to the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the first time since 1970 and will face No. 16 Oklahoma State. The Rebels, ranked 12th by the committee, are making their second consecutive New Year's Six appearance after falling 42-3 to TCU in the 2015 Peach Bowl.

Although Mike Gundy's team finished five spots behind No. 11 TCU, it earned the New Year's Six spot based on its Nov. 7 victory over the Horned Frogs. Oklahoma State makes its first Sugar Bowl appearance since 1945, when it beat St. Mary's College of California 33-13. The Rebels and Cowboys will meet on Jan. 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET in New Orleans.

The first New Year's Six matchup will take place Dec. 31 at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where No. 18 Houston takes on No. 9 Florida State. The Cougars, who won the American Athletic Conference title Saturday, earned a spot as the highest-rated Group of 5 team. Florida State, which won a national title two years ago and reached the inaugural playoff last year, makes its first Peach Bowl appearance since 1983. The game kicks off at noon ET.

The two playoff semifinals will follow the Peach Bowl, as No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Oklahoma meet in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl followed by No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Michigan State in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.