The Fighting Irish, fifth in the standings, and new head coach Marcus Freeman were left out to watch the CFP playoffs, while the Cowboys’ attempt to advance to the semi-finals failed with a loss in the Big 12 title match.
It was Baylor who buried Oklahoma State’s title chances. Now the Bears will be looking to end their season with an Allstate Sugar Bowl victory over Ole Miss. The Rebels finished third in the SEC behind entrants CFP in Alabama and Georgia.
Ohio state, which saw its CFP plans crumble in a snowy loss to rival Michigan two weeks ago, will instead head to the Rose Bowl. Utah, which won its first Pac-12 championship since joining the conference in 2011, will be waiting for the Wolverines in Pasadena.
On December 30, Michigan State will face ACC champion Pittsburgh in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Spartans handed down state foe Michigan their only loss of the season, but stumbled down the home stretch, losing two of their last four games. Pitt, also with two losses, has been held under 30 just twice this season and scored 45 points over Wake Forest in the ACC Championship game on Saturday night.
All four bowl games will be broadcast on ESPN.