New Year's Six bowl matchups announced

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Monday, December 5, 2016

The next group of bowl selections are in, and Western Michigan is going to row its boat to the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Mid-American Conference champion Western Michigan and coach P.J. Fleck -- whose "row the boat" battle cry has become a signature phrase for the 13-0 team -- will play Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. Western Michigan is one of two unbeaten teams left in the FBS, with Alabama being the other.

The other New Year's Six matchups go like this: Michigan against Florida State in the Capital One Orange Bowl, Penn State against USC in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual and Auburn against Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

This will be the first appearance in the Orange Bowl by the Wolverines since Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes to beat Alabama and cap the 1999 season.

Florida State is in the Orange Bowl for the 10th time and will play at Hard Rock Stadium for the second time this season. The Seminoles beat Miami there during the regular season after blocking a potentially game-tying extra point in the final moments.

The 103rd edition of The Granddaddy of Them All will match two venerable football programs that have emerged from bad times since their last trip to this postseason showcase.

USC (9-3) will meet Penn State (11-2) in a rematch of the 2009 Rose Bowl, won 38-24 by the Trojans.

Western Michigan and Wisconsin are both making their first Cotton Bowl appearances.

The Broncos (13-0), at No. 15 in the final CFP rankings, beat two Big Ten teams, Northwestern and Illinois, on the road early this season.

The No. 8 Badgers (10-3) had a six-game winning streak before the Big Ten championship game, where they had a 28-7 lead before losing 38-31 to Penn State while giving up the most points they had all season.

It's the fifth time Western Michigan and Wisconsin have played, the first since 2000.

Auburn and Oklahoma will square off for the first time since the Sugar Bowl in 1972, which the Sooners won 40-22.

The Orange Bowl is Dec. 30. The Rose, Cotton and Sugar bowls are all Jan. 2.

In other bowl games:

  • No. 17Florida and Iowa are heading to the Outback Bowl for the fifth time each, and for the second time against one another.
  • No. 13Louisville and No. 20LSU will square off in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on Dec. 31 in Orlando, Florida.
  • Big 12 runner-up No. 12Oklahoma State will play Pac-12 runner-up No. 10Colorado in the Valero Alamo Bowl, matching teams that used to be in the Big 12 and Big Eight together.
  • Stanford, with the Pac-12's longest active bowl streak, will play North Carolina in the Hyundai Sun Bowl on Dec. 30.
  • Two old Big East rivals will square off in the Russell Athletic Bowl when No. 16West Virginia faces Miami.
  • No. 24Temple, which earned its first conference title with a 34-10 victory over No. 25Navyon Saturday, will face Wake Forest in the Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Maryland.
  • ACC runner-up No. 22Virginia Tech and Arkansas will meet in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29.
  • Indiana, which will be playing under new coach Tom Allen after Kevin Wilson unexpectedly resigned last week, will face No. 19 Utah in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 28 in Santa Clara, California.
  • Western Kentucky has been rewarded for its second consecutive 10-win season and second consecutive league title under coach Jeff Brohm, earning a berth in the Boca Raton Bowl against Memphis.
  • South Floridaand South Carolinawill play in the Birmingham Bowl. The game is Dec. 29 at Legion Field.
  • Kansas State will play Texas A&M in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl on Dec. 28 in Houston in a matchup of former Big 12 rivals.
  • An offensive show may await when Boise Statefaces Baylorin the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl.
  • Houston, which recently lost coach Tom Herman to Texas, will face off against San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl Presented by Geico on Dec. 17.
  • Kentucky will play Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl on New Year's Eve.
  • Georgiaand TCUwill face off for the first time in nearly three decades when they meet in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30 at Memphis, Tennessee.
  • BYU will play Mountain West Conference runner-up Wyoming in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21 in San Diego.
  • Two teams that were ranked in the top 10 earlier this year will try to bounce back from late-season fades when Nebraska meets No. 21Tennessee in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Dec. 30 at Nashville.
  • North Texas has accepted an invitation to play in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl against Army on Dec. 27 in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.
  • North Carolina Statewill face Vanderbilt in the Camping World Independence Bowl on Dec. 26 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • Miami (Ohio), which started 0-6 and went 6-0 since, will get a crack at Mississippi State of the SEC in the St. Petersburg Bowl on Dec. 26.
  • Minnesota will meetWashington Statein the National Funding Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27 in San Diego.
  • Boston College and Maryland will renew acquaintances in the Quick Lane Bowl. The former ACC rivals play at Detroit's Ford Field on Dec. 26.
  • Southern Mississippiwill face Louisiana-Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 17.
  • Troy will meet Mid-American Conference runner-up Ohio in the Dollar General Bowl on Dec. 23 in Mobile, Alabama.
  • UCF will cap its remarkable turnaround this season with an appearance in the AutoNation Cure Bowl against Arkansas State.
  • UTSAand New Mexico are set to play in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 17 in Albuquerque.
  • Hawaiiwill hostMiddle Tennessee Statein the Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Eve in search of a .500 season.
  • Navy, which lost at home to Temple in the American Athletic Conference championship game, will playLouisiana Tech in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on TCU's campus on Dec. 23.
  • Tulsa will showcase its potent offense in the Miami Beach Bowl on Dec. 19 against Central Michigan.
  • Toledo and Appalachian State, which both posted 9-3 regular seasons, will meet in the third Raycom Media Camellia Bowl on Dec. 17.
  • Idaho will play Colorado State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 22 in Boise.
  • Air Forcewill face South Alabamain the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Dec. 30 in Tucson.
  • No. 23Pittsburgh, which dealt No. 2 Clemson its only loss of 2016, will end its season at Yankee Stadium in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl matchup against Northwestern.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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