What Is The New Years Six?
There are few times as exciting in American football as the College Football Playoff (CFP). Every year, this postseason period starts with six games in particular. Due to their close proximity to New Year’s Day, these college bowl games have been nicknamed the New Year’s Six. Read on to learn more about each bowl game and their unique histories!
List of New Year’s Six Bowl Games
Here is a list of all the bowl games in the New Year’s Six:
The Cotton Bowl is the third oldest bowl game of the New Year’s Six. The game was first held in 1937 and was played in Dallas, Texas, until the game moved in 2009. Only teams from the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West USA, and the Sun Belt Conference are eligible to play against one another in the Cotton Bowl. It is held in Arlington, Texas at the AT&T Stadium.
The Fiesta Bowl is the youngest of the New Year’s Six. The game was first held in 1971 and was played at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, until 2006. Until 2014, the Fiesta Bowl had a conference tie-in with the WAC and the Big 12 conferences. Since then, they have no official tie to specific conferences and host a collegiate semifinal every three years. The Fiesta Bowl is held in Glendale, Arizona at the State Farm Stadium.
The Orange Bowl is tied for the second youngest game of the New Year’s Six. The game was first held in 1935 and was played at the Miami Field in Miami, Florida. Since 2007, the Orange Bowl has been host to the winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) unless they are involved in a national championship game. It is held in Miami, Florida at the Sun Life Stadium.
The Peach Bowl is the second youngest of the New Year’s Six. The game was first held in 1968 and was played at Grant Field in Atlantic, Georgia. Typically, the winner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play against one another in the Peach Bowl. It is held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Rose Bowl is the oldest and most prestigious of the New Year’s Six. The game was first held in 1902 as a way to support the local Rose Parade. Since 1916, the Rose Bowl has been held annually. Typically, the winner of the Big Ten conference and the winner of the PAC-12 conference play against one another in the Rose Bowl. It is held in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl Stadium.
The Sugar Bowl is tied for the second youngest game of the New Year’s Six. The game was first held in 1935 at the Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. Typically, the winner of the Big 12 Conference and the winner of the SEC play against one another in the Sugar Bowl. If either team qualifies for the national championship game, different teams will be selected. It is held in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Caesars Superdome.
What games are in the New Year’s Six?
The bowl games that make up the New Year’s Six are the Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. Though each college bowl game has its own unique history and debut date, all six games have been officially tied to the College Football Playoff since 2015.
When are New Year’s Six games played?
As their name implies, all New Year’s Six games are played on or near January 1st. This means that each of the bowl games will be played either at the very end of December or at the very beginning of January. Depending on each year’s circumstances, they have been played as early as December 27th and as late as January 4th.
Are the New Year’s Six a part of the College Football Playoff?
Yes, the New Year’s Six are a part of the College Football Playoff. All six bowl games fall under the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. As of 2014, the New Year’s Six follow a rotation set by the CFP Committee so that each game gets to host a CFP semifinal every three years. The rotation follows these pairings: the Rose and Sugar Bowls one year, the Orange and Cotton Bowls the next year, followed by the Peach and Fiesta Bowls.