2016–17 NCAA football bowl games

The 2016–17 NCAA football bowl games were a series of college football bowl games which completed the 2016 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The games began on December 17, 2016, and aside from the all-star games ended with the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship which was played on January 9, 2017.

2016–17 NCAA football bowl games
Regular seasonAugust 27, 2016 (2016-08-27) – December 10, 2016 (2016-12-10)
Number of bowls42[a]
All-star games3
Bowl gamesDecember 17, 2016 (2016-12-17) – January 9, 2017 (2017-01-09)
National Championship2017 College Football Playoff
National Championship
Location of ChampionshipRaymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida
ChampionsClemson Tigers
Bowl Challenge Cup winnerACC
Bowl record by conference
Conference Bowls Record Final AP Poll
SEC 13 6–7 (0.462) 5
ACC 12 9–3 (0.750) 5
Big Ten 10 3–7 (0.300) 4
American 7 2–5 (0.286) 1
Conference USA 7 4–3 (0.571) 0
Mountain West 7 4–3 (0.571) 1
Big 12 6 4–2 (0.667) 3
MAC 6 0–6 (0.000) 1
Pac-12 6 3–3 (0.500) 5
Sun Belt 6 4–2 (0.667) 0
Independents 2 2–0 (1.000) 0

The total of 41 team-competitive postseason games in FBS, including the national championship game, was unchanged from the previous year. While bowl games had been the purview of only the very best teams for nearly a century, this was the eleventh consecutive year that teams with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games. To fill the 80 available team-competitive bowl slots, a new record of 20 teams (25% of all participants) with non-winning seasons participated in bowl games—17 had a .500 (6–6) season, and three losing teams with sub-.500 records (one 6–7 and two 5–7). This was the fifth time in six years that teams with actual losing records were invited to bowl games. None of the six teams that played in bowls on December 26 had a winning record.


The schedule for the 2016–17 bowl games are below. All times are EST (UTC−5).

College Football Playoff and Championship GameEdit

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 2016 season. The top four teams in the final ranking then played a single-elimination semifinal round, with the winners advancing to the National Championship game.

The semi-final games were held at the Fiesta Bowl and the Peach Bowl as part of a yearly rotation of three pairs of six bowls. Their winners advanced to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on January 9, 2017. As with the 2015 season, the two semi-final bowls were held on New Year's Eve (Saturday, December 31, 2016), as the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl are guaranteed exclusive TV time slots on January 2 if New Year's Day fell on a Sunday (there is a gentleman's agreement to not play New Year's Day bowl games against NFL games, which are played as usual when New Year's Day falls on a Sunday),[1] regardless of whether they will be hosting a semifinal game.[2][3][4]

To reduce the impact of the semi-final games' New Year's Eve scheduling—a factor that led to lower viewership of the 2015 semi-finals in comparison to 2014, it was announced on March 8, 2016, that the kickoff times of the two bowls would be pushed forward to 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm ET. CFP commissioner Bill Hancock suggested that starting the games earlier would allow viewers to partake in both the CFP games and New Year's festivities. As the earlier start intrudes on the early afternoon window for New Year's Six games, the 2016 Orange Bowl was instead held as a primetime game on December 30, 2016. As a result, the "New Year's Six" bowls were stretched across a period of four days, rather than two consecutive days of three games each.[4][5] In July 2016, Hancock announced that future semi-finals, when not hosted by the Rose and Sugar Bowl games, will generally be held on the final Saturday of the year.[6][7]

Of the Power Five conferences, The Big Ten was represented with four teams in the New Year's Six, whereas the ACC, SEC and Pac-12 had two teams each. The Big 12 was again left out of the semifinals, and had just one team in the New Year's Six. The Group of 5 was represented by the MAC.

Semifinals 2017 Championship Game
December 31 – Peach Bowl
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
  1   Alabama 24  
  4   Washington 7   January 9 – Championship
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
      1   Alabama 31
December 31 – Fiesta Bowl
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale
    2   Clemson 35
  2   Clemson 31
  3   Ohio State 0  
Date Game Site Teams Affiliations Results
Dec. 30 Orange Bowl Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, FL
8:00 pm EST
#11 Florida State Seminoles (9–3)
#6 Michigan Wolverines (10–2)
Big Ten
Florida State 33
Michigan 32
Dec. 31 Peach Bowl
(Playoff Semifinal Game)
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, GA
3:00 pm EST
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (13–0)
#4 Washington Huskies (12–1)
Alabama 24
Washington 7
Fiesta Bowl
(Playoff Semifinal Game)
University of Phoenix Stadium
Glendale, AZ
7:00 pm EST
#2 Clemson Tigers (12–1)
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11–1)
Big Ten
Clemson 31
Ohio State 0
Jan. 2 Cotton Bowl Classic AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
1:00 pm EST
#8 Wisconsin Badgers (10–3)
#15 Western Michigan Broncos (13–0)
Big Ten
Wisconsin 24
Western Michigan 16
Rose Bowl Rose Bowl
Pasadena, CA
5:00 pm EST
#9 USC Trojans (9–3)
#5 Penn State Nittany Lions (11–2)
Big Ten
USC 52
Penn State 49
Sugar Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA
8:30 pm EST
#7 Oklahoma Sooners (10–2)
#14 Auburn Tigers (8–4)
Big 12
Oklahoma 35
Auburn 19
Jan. 9 College Football Playoff National Championship
(Fiesta Bowl winner vs. Peach Bowl winner)
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, FL
8:30 pm EST
#2 Clemson Tigers (13–1)
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide (14–0)
(records include CFP semi-final wins)
Clemson 35
Alabama 31

Non-CFP bowl gamesEdit

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 records (5–7) to participate in bowls due to there being not enough bowl-eligible teams, while also having to allow teams from the same (Mountain West) conference to meet in the 2015 Arizona Bowl due to the lack of eligible teams to meet its other tie-ins.[8][9][10] For the 2016–17 bowl season, 63% of the 128 teams playing in Division I FBS were deemed eligible and received invites to fill the 80 available slots.

Prior to the moratorium, multiple new bowl games were proposed for or approved to begin play in 2016, including one in Myrtle Beach, the Medal of Honor Bowl (which planned to convert itself from an all-star game to a sanctioned bowl after the NCAA lifted its ban on postseason championships at pre-determined locations in South Carolina),[11] the Sun Belt/American Austin Bowl,[10][12] and a Mountain West/Pac-12 bowl in Melbourne, Australia.[13][14][15] The Sun Belt subsequently announced that it would become a new primary tie-in for the Arizona Bowl.[16]

Date Game Site Television Teams Affiliations Results
Dec. 17 New Mexico Bowl University Stadium
Albuquerque, NM
2:00 pm
ESPN New Mexico Lobos (8–4)
UTSA Roadrunners (6–6)
Mountain West
New Mexico 23
Las Vegas Bowl Sam Boyd Stadium
Whitney, NV
3:30 pm
ABC San Diego State Aztecs (10–3)
Houston Cougars (9–3)
Mountain West
San Diego State 34
Houston 10
Camellia Bowl Cramton Bowl
Montgomery, AL
5:30 pm
ESPN Appalachian State Mountaineers (9–3)
Toledo Rockets (9–3)
Sun Belt
Appalachian State 31
Toledo 28
Cure Bowl Camping World Stadium
Orlando, FL
5:30 pm
CBSSN Arkansas State Red Wolves (7–5)
UCF Knights (6–6)
Sun Belt
Arkansas State 31
UCF 13
New Orleans Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome
New Orleans, LA
9:00 pm
ESPN Southern Miss Golden Eagles (6–6)
Louisiana–Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (6–6)
Sun Belt
Southern Miss 28
Louisiana–Lafayette 21
Dec. 19 Miami Beach Bowl Marlins Park
Miami, FL
2:30 pm
ESPN Tulsa Golden Hurricane (9–3)
Central Michigan Chippewas (6–6)
Tulsa 55
Central Michigan 10
Dec. 20 Boca Raton Bowl FAU Stadium
Boca Raton, FL
7:00 pm
ESPN WKU Hilltoppers (10–3)
Memphis Tigers (8–4)
WKU 51
Memphis 31
Dec. 21 Poinsettia Bowl SDCCU Stadium
San Diego, CA
9:00 pm
ESPN BYU Cougars (8–4)
Wyoming Cowboys (8–5)
Mountain West
BYU 24
Wyoming 21
Dec. 22 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Albertsons Stadium
Boise, ID
7:00 pm
ESPN Idaho Vandals (8–4)
Colorado State Rams (7–5)
Sun Belt
Mountain West
Idaho 61
Colorado State 50
Dec. 23 Bahamas Bowl Thomas Robinson Stadium
Nassau, Bahamas
1:00 pm
ESPN Old Dominion Monarchs (9–3)
Eastern Michigan Eagles (7–5)
Old Dominion 24
Eastern Michigan 20
Armed Forces Bowl Amon G. Carter Stadium
Fort Worth, TX
4:30 pm
ESPN Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (8–5)
#25 Navy Midshipmen (9–4)
Louisiana Tech 48
Navy 45
Dollar General Bowl Ladd–Peebles Stadium
Mobile, AL
8:00 pm
ESPN Troy Trojans (9–3)
Ohio Bobcats (8–5)
Sun Belt
Troy 28
Ohio 23
Dec. 24 Hawaiʻi Bowl Aloha Stadium
Honolulu, HI
8:00 pm
ESPN Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (6–7)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8–4)
Mountain West
Hawaii 52
Middle Tennessee 35
Dec. 26 St. Petersburg Bowl Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, FL
11:00 am
ESPN Mississippi State Bulldogs (5–7)
Miami RedHawks (6–6)
Mississippi State 17
Miami (OH) 16
Quick Lane Bowl Ford Field
Detroit, MI
2:30 pm
ESPN Boston College Eagles (6–6)
Maryland Terrapins (6–6)
Big Ten
Boston College 36
Maryland 30
Independence Bowl Independence Stadium
Shreveport, LA
5:00 pm
ESPN2 NC State Wolfpack (6–6)
Vanderbilt Commodores (6–6)
NC State 41
Vanderbilt 17
Dec. 27 Heart of Dallas Bowl Cotton Bowl
Dallas, TX
ESPN Army Black Knights (7–5)
North Texas Mean Green (5–7)
Army 38
North Texas 31 (OT)
Military Bowl Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium
Annapolis, MD
3:30 pm
ESPN Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6–6)
#24 Temple Owls (10–3)
Wake Forest 34
Temple 26
Holiday Bowl SDCCU Stadium
San Diego, CA
7:00 pm
ESPN Minnesota Golden Gophers (8–4)
Washington State Cougars (8–4)
Big Ten
Minnesota 17
Washington State 12
Cactus Bowl Chase Field
Phoenix, AZ
10:15 pm
ESPN Baylor Bears (6–6)
Boise State Broncos (10–2)
Big 12
Mountain West
Baylor 31
Boise State 12
Dec. 28 Pinstripe Bowl Yankee Stadium
Bronx, NY
2:00 pm
ESPN Northwestern Wildcats (6–6)
#23 Pittsburgh Panthers (8–4)
Big Ten
Northwestern 31
Pittsburgh 24
Russell Athletic Bowl Camping World Stadium
Orlando, FL
5:30 pm
ESPN Miami Hurricanes (8–4)
#16 West Virginia Mountaineers (10–2)
Big 12
Miami (FL) 31
West Virginia 14
Foster Farms Bowl Levi's Stadium
Santa Clara, CA
8:30 pm
Fox #19 Utah Utes (8–4)
Indiana Hoosiers (6–6)
Big Ten
Utah 26
Indiana 24
Texas Bowl NRG Stadium
Houston, TX
9:00 pm
ESPN Kansas State Wildcats (8–4)
Texas A&M Aggies (8–4)
Big 12
Kansas State 33
Texas A&M 28
Dec. 29 Birmingham Bowl Legion Field
Birmingham, AL
2:00 pm
ESPN South Florida Bulls (10–2)
South Carolina Gamecocks (6–6)
South Florida 46
South Carolina 39 (OT)
Belk Bowl Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, NC
5:30 pm
ESPN #22 Virginia Tech Hokies (9–4)
Arkansas Razorbacks (7–5)
Virginia Tech 35
Arkansas 24
Alamo Bowl Alamodome
San Antonio, TX
9:00 pm
ESPN #12 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9–3)
#10 Colorado Buffaloes (10–3)
Big 12
Oklahoma State 38
Colorado 8
Dec. 30 Liberty Bowl Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Memphis, TN

Georgia Bulldogs (7–5)
TCU Horned Frogs (6–6)

Big 12
Georgia 31
TCU 23
Sun Bowl Sun Bowl Stadium
El Paso, TX
2:00 pm
CBS #18 Stanford Cardinal (9–3)
North Carolina Tar Heels (8–4)
Stanford 25
North Carolina 23
Music City Bowl Nissan Stadium
Nashville, TN
3:30 pm
ESPN #21 Tennessee Volunteers (8–4)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9–3)
Big Ten
Tennessee 38
Nebraska 24
Arizona Bowl Arizona Stadium
Tucson, AZ
5:30 pm
ASN Air Force Falcons (9–3)
South Alabama Jaguars (6–6)
Mountain West
Sun Belt
Air Force 45
South Alabama 21
Dec. 31 Citrus Bowl Camping World Stadium
Orlando, FL
11:00 am
ABC #20 LSU Tigers (7–4)
#13 Louisville Cardinals (9–3)
LSU 29
Louisville 9
TaxSlayer Bowl EverBank Field
Jacksonville, FL
11:00 am
ESPN Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8–4)
Kentucky Wildcats (7–5)
Georgia Tech 33
Kentucky 18
Jan. 2 Outback Bowl Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, FL
1:00 pm
ABC #17 Florida Gators (8–4)
Iowa Hawkeyes (8–4)
Big Ten
Florida 30
Iowa 3

All-star gamesEdit

Date Game Site Television Participants Results
Jan. 21 East–West Shrine Game Tropicana Field
St. Petersburg, FL
3:00 pm
NFL Network East Team
West Team
West 10
East 3
NFLPA Collegiate Bowl StubHub Center
Carson, CA
6:00 pm
FS1 National Team
American Team
National 27
American 7
Jan. 28 Senior Bowl Ladd–Peebles Stadium
Mobile, AL
2:30 pm
NFL Network North Team
South Team
South 16
North 15

FCS bowl gameEdit

The FCS has one bowl game; they also have a championship bracket that began on November 26 and ended on January 7.

Date Game Site Television Participants Affiliations Results
Dec. 17 Celebration Bowl Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
12:00 pm
ABC North Carolina Central Eagles
Grambling State Tigers
Grambling State 10
North Carolina Central 9

Selection of the teamsEdit

CFP top 25 teamsEdit

On December 4, 2016, the College Football Playoff selection committee announced their final team rankings for the year:[17]

In the third year of the College Football Playoff era, this was the first time that one of the four semifinalists (Ohio State) was not a conference champion.

Rank Team W–L Conference and standing Bowl game
Alabama Crimson Tide
SEC champions Peach Bowl
Clemson Tigers
ACC champions Fiesta Bowl
Ohio State Buckeyes
Big Ten East Division co-champions Fiesta Bowl
Washington Huskies
Pac-12 champions Peach Bowl
Penn State Nittany Lions
Big Ten champions Rose Bowl
Michigan Wolverines
Big Ten East Division third place Orange Bowl
Oklahoma Sooners
Big 12 champions Sugar Bowl
Wisconsin Badgers
Big Ten West Division champions Cotton Bowl Classic
USC Trojans
Pac-12 South Division second place Rose Bowl
Colorado Buffaloes
Pac-12 South Division champions Alamo Bowl
Florida State Seminoles
ACC Atlantic Division third place Orange Bowl
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Big 12 second place (tie) Alamo Bowl
Louisville Cardinals
ACC Atlantic Division co-champions Citrus Bowl
Auburn Tigers
SEC West Division second place (tie) Sugar Bowl
Western Michigan Broncos
MAC Champions Cotton Bowl Classic
West Virginia Mountaineers
Big 12 second place (tie) Russell Athletic Bowl
Florida Gators
SEC East Division champions Outback Bowl
Stanford Cardinal
Pac-12 North Division third place Sun Bowl
Utah Utes
Pac-12 South Division third place Foster Farms Bowl
LSU Tigers
SEC West Division second place (tie) Citrus Bowl
Tennessee Volunteers
SEC East Division second place (tie) Music City Bowl
Virginia Tech Hokies
ACC Coastal Division champions Belk Bowl
Pittsburgh Panthers
ACC Coastal Division second place (tie) Pinstripe Bowl
Temple Owls
American champions Military Bowl
Navy Midshipmen
American West Division champions Armed Forces Bowl

Conference champions' bowl gamesEdit

Only the Peach Bowl featured two conference champions playing against each other. Rankings are per the above CFP standings.

Conference Champion W–L Rank Bowl game
ACC Clemson Tigers
2 Fiesta Bowl
American Temple Owls
24 Military Bowl
Big Ten Penn State Nittany Lions
5 Rose Bowl
Big 12 Oklahoma Sooners
7 Sugar Bowl
C-USA WKU Hilltoppers
Boca Raton Bowl
MAC Western Michigan Broncos
15 Cotton Bowl Classic
Mountain West San Diego State Aztecs
Las Vegas Bowl
Pac-12 Washington Huskies
4 Peach Bowl
SEC Alabama Crimson Tide
1 Peach Bowl
Sun Belt  Appalachian State Mountaineers 9–3 Camellia Bowl
Arkansas State Red Wolves 7–5 Cure Bowl

  denotes a conference that named co-champions

Bowl-eligible teamsEdit

Number of bowl berths available: 80
Number of bowl-eligible teams: 76
Number of conditional bowl-eligible teams: 2 (Hawaii, South Alabama)
Number of teams qualified by APR: 2 (North Texas, Mississippi State)

  1. ^ Hawaii played 13 games (6–7), and thus has already qualified for the Hawaii Bowl because they hold priority over 5–7 teams.
  2. ^ South Alabama is 6–6 with two wins over Football Championship Subdivision opponents. Only one such win counts toward official bowl eligibility. South Alabama is conditionally bowl eligible and will play in a bowl game as there will be unfilled bowl berths. Originally, South Alabama was to play FBS Louisiana State University on November 19th, but LSU had to cancel that game to makeup their game against Florida, which was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. The game against the FCS Presbyterian Blue Hose was added to replace that game.

Bowl-ineligible teamsEdit

Number of bowl-ineligible teams: 48

Note: Being bowl-ineligible does not, in itself, exclude a team from the chance to play in a bowl game. Tiebreaker procedures based on a school's Academic Progress Rate (APR) allowed for the possibility of 5–7 teams to play in bowl games since not enough teams qualified to fill all 80 spots with at least a 6–6 record.


  1. ^ 41 FBS bowl games, including the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and 1 FCS bowl game.


  1. ^ "Blues could host Blackhawks in 2017 Winter Classic". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "A daunting task: Can the CFP, ESPN change old New Year's Eve habits?". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "College Football Playoff 101", ESPN, May 19, 2014. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Orange Bowl game is shifted to prime time on Dec. 30". Miami Herald. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "The 2017 College Football Playoff will still be on New Year's Eve, but it'll start earlier". SB Nation. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  6. ^ "College Football Playoff semis will only be on Saturdays or holidays". SI.com. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  7. ^ "College Football Playoff tweaks dates in upcoming seasons". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  8. ^ "Nebraska, Minnesota, San Jose St. taking 5–7 records to bowl". NCAA.com. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "NCAA approves three-year halt to new bowl games". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "NCAA moratorium means no bowl game for Myrtle Beach, for now". Myrtle Beach Online. Associated Press. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Hartsell, Jeff (August 27, 2015). "Medal of Honor Bowl now a 'traditional' bowl game". The Post and Courier. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "Austin's bowl game hopes delayed to 2016". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  13. ^ "Etihad Stadium boss Paul Sergeant tips Australian college bowl to be a sellout". Fox Sports (AU). Fox Sports Pty Limited.
  14. ^ "Melbourne Bowl 2016: Australia Set to Host Matchup Between Pac-12 and MWC". Bleacher Report. Turner Sports. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  15. ^ "Australia Bowl: Organizer 'good to go' for 2016 game between Mountain West, Pac-12". MWConnection (SB Nation). Vox Media. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  16. ^ "Sun Belt adds Arizona Bowl to postseason tie-in lineup". The Advertiser. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  17. ^ Shirkey, Alec (December 4, 2016). "College Football Playoff Rankings: Final Top 25 Reminds Us Committee Can Do What It Wants". SEC Country. Retrieved December 4, 2016.

Further readingEdit