UCF to play LSU in Fiesta Bowl; passed over for College Football Playoff slot

ORLANDO, Fla. — The University of Central Florida Knights will play the Louisiana State University Tigers in the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona, having not been picked for a spot in the college playoff bowls Sunday afternoon.

The Knights won the AAC championship game Saturday night against the Memphis Tigers, completing their second undefeated season.

The Fiesta Bowl will take place on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. at State Farm Stadium.

On Monday, dozens of students began camping outside the UCF box office, which opens 9 a.m. Tuesday, to get their hands on the 200 tickets being sold for $50 apiece.

Student Kayla Cobot said students are in the middle of final exams, but that hasn't stopped them from lining up.

"We went up to our professor in the beginning and we were like, 'So listen, can we present first? Because we really want to go wait in line and get tickets to the Fiesta Bowl,'" student Kayla Cobot said about a project. "And he was like, 'Oh, like, yeah. That's a great idea.'"

UCF athletic director Danny White is unhappy again with the College Football Playoff.

A year ago, he spearheaded UCF's "national title" push after the Knights finished an unbeaten season and were left out of the four-team playoff.

It's deja vu all over again for White and the Knights.

Despite a 12-0 record and a 56-41 win over Memphis in Saturday's American Athletic Conference title game, UCF was on the outside looking in as Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma advanced to the playoff.

White tweeted that the CFP is "not a playoff. It's an invitational."

Hours after the bowl game information was announced on Sunday, fans were already lining up outside of Spectrum Stadium to get tickets, which don’t go on sale until Tuesday at 9 a.m..

Tuesday morning a line of tents were set up as students clamored to get their hands on one of the 500 $50 students tickets that are available for the game.

Students said they spent the last two days and nights watching movies, coloring or  -- mostly -- studying. It's finals week on the UCF campus.

"We went up to our professor in the beginning and we were like, 'So listen, can we present first because we really want to go wait in line and get tickets to the Fiesta Bowl.' And he was like, 'Oh, yeah that's a great idea!'" said student Kayla Cobot.

Citrus Bowl 

Penn State will face the University of Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.

The AutoNation Cure Bowl, also at Camping World Stadium, will pit Tulane against Louisiana on Dec. 15.

UF vs. Michigan in Peach Bowl

As for other Florida-related bowls, the University of Florida Gators will play Michigan at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 29 at noon.

For the eighth-ranked Wolverines (10-2, No. 7 CFP), the game is a consolation prize after their College Football Playoff hopes were crushed in a 62-39 loss at Ohio State last weekend.

A berth in a New Year's Six game is a remarkable accomplishment for Dan Mullen and his 10th-ranked Gators (9-3, No. 10 CFP). Mullen's first Florida team has won five more games than it did year ago and finished second to Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division.

Michigan is 4-0 all-time against the Gators. Their most recent game was the 2017 season opener at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Michigan's defense limited Florida to 192 yards and three points in a 33-17 win; the Gators' defense scored two touchdowns.

The teams' other three meetings were in bowls. Michigan won 41-7 in the 2016 Citrus, 41-35 in the 2008 Capital One and 38-30 in the 2003 Outback.

College Football Playoff Picks

Oklahoma is in the College Football Playoff, moving into the fourth and final spot in the rankings after winning the Big 12 championship.

The Sooners, with a 12-and-1 record, will face Number-1 Alabama, at 13-and-0, in the Orange Bowl on December 29.

Number-2 Clemson plays No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl on the same day. Both are unbeaten.

The Associated Press poll voters have put Oklahoma at Number 4 in the final regular-season Top 25, behind Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame.

Georgia dropped from fourth to sixth, behind Ohio State, after the Bulldogs lost the Southeastern Conference championship game to the Crimson Tide.

The Sooners and Buckeyes won their league championship games.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will have surgery on his right ankle and recovery is expected to take about two weeks. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban tells ESPN that Tagovailoa has a high ankle sprain and will have it scoped. He says recovery time for most of his players for this procedure has typically been "a two-week deal."

Saban is hoping Tagovailoa will be back by the time Alabama starts practice for the Orange Bowl semifinal game against Oklahoma.

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