2016-17 Bowl Projections: Week 1

by Matt Whisnant, Last Word on College Football

After the “Biggest Opening Weekend Ever,” we have a shakeup near the top of the polls. The Houston Cougars made the most noise by beating Oklahoma, and have vaulted themselves into the national title picture. With a week under our belts, here are my Week 1 Bowl Projections.

2016-17 Bowl Projections: Week 1

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl
#1 Alabama vs. #4 Michigan

Fiesta Bowl
#2 Florida State vs. #3 Ohio State

National Championship Game
#1 Alabama vs. #2 Florida State

Yes, I am projecting the first conference to get two teams into the College Football Playoff to be the Big Ten. Not only from the Big Ten, but the Big Ten East, to be exact.

Our former format of determining a National Champion, the Bowl Championship Series, set such a precedent in the 2012 BCS Title Game when fellow SEC West members Alabama and LSU met for the title.

While we now have a committee instead of polls and computers, I still see one or two losses total between rivals Ohio State and Michigan.

From my initial projections a week ago, I have left Alabama and Michigan in the final four. I switched Florida State for Clemson, and dropped my darkhorse UCLA Bruins out of the New Year’s Six completely.

The Bruins were a long shot guess, and were on thin ice to begin with. Their valiant 31-24 OT loss at Texas A&M puts them on pace to lose just enough games to be on the outside looking in.


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