There’s Some Movement in the Top Four
Hard to believe but we are now almost at the halfway mark of the 2019 season. As it usually happens a few teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack. Right now there are seven teams battling for playoff position. Who are those teams and who is in the playoff? Let’s get right to it with our bowl projections following week six.
College Football Playoff
When we last posted our picks following week four the statement was made “Clemson will not lose in the regular season.” Well, they didn’t lose but came very close. As a result, they drop from the top spot down to the second.
Peach Bowl- December 28th- Alabama versus Georgia- This would be the second meeting in three weeks between these two schools. Admittedly overall this matchup is probably the least appealing of any of the possible ones. However, this is how it stands now with the Crimson Tide at one and the Bulldogs at four.
Fiesta Bowl- December 28th- Clemson versus Oklahoma- On paper this is a much more appealing contest. Who wouldn’t want to see a battle between Jalen Hurts and Trevor Lawrence? The Tigers hold a 3-2 advantage in the series history and have won the last three.
College Football Championship- January 13th- Alabama versus Clemson- The may take different paths but the end result is the same. Can Nick Saban’s club avenge their blowout loss a season ago?
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- December 28th- Boise State at Notre Dame- The Broncos get in as the highest-ranked Group of Five school. The Fighting Irish still is one of the schools with the possibility of making the playoff. However, for now, they head to Dallas for a second straight year.
Orange Bowl- December 30th- Virginia versus Wisconsin- Despite their loss at Notre Dame last week the Cavaliers hold steady. The Badgers are firing on all cylinders as they head towards that October 26th date with Ohio State.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- Ohio State versus Oregon- Speaking of the Buckeyes it’s getting more difficult by the week to keep them out of the playoff. However, we are leaving them in Pasadena to face the Pac-12 champion Ducks.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- LSU versus Texas- As you can see these games remain unchanged from two weeks ago. If this rematch is anything like their week two clash fans are in for a treat. Much like Ohio State, there is a good case for the Tigers to be in the playoff. However, until one of those top four lose we aren’t dropping any of the top four down.
As we continue with our bowl projections following week six it’s time to look at the games for New Year’s Eve and Day. Again a big thing to pay attention to is the SEC. The league looks as if it will be unable to fill all its slots. If Missouri wins their appeal on a bowl ban that would certainly help.
New Year’s Eve Games
Belk Bowl: December 31st- Mississippi State versus Miami- The Bulldogs move into this game following Kentucky’s recent losing streak. The Hurricanes hold a 3-2 lead all-time with the last meeting coming in 1983.
Sun Bowl- December 31st- North Carolina versus California- No matter who is playing it’s still difficult to call this the “Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl” with a straight face. The turnaround in Chapel Hill under Mack Brown has been nothing short of remarkable. As a result, the Tar Heels are headed to a pretty good game.
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Kansas State versus Kentucky- Following three straight losses the Wildcats from Lexington drop from the Belk to the Liberty Bowl. Kentucky leads the all-time series three wins to one over the Big 12 Wildcats.
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Troy versus Utah State- On paper this looks like a great match-up between teams who score a lot of points.
Alamo Bowl- December 31st- Oklahoma State versus Washington- Every year the game in San Antonio is one of the best. The winner is the first team to 45 points.
Other New Year’s Day Contests
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Auburn versus Iowa- The loss to Florida probably knocks Gus Malzahn’s club out of New Year’s Six contention. Believe it or not, these two schools have never played.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Florida versus Penn State- Following their huge win against Auburn the Gators are squarely in the mix for an Orange Bowl bid. Right now we’re keeping them in Tampa to face the Nittany Lions. The two teams met in the 2011 game with Florida winning 37-24.
Post-New Year’s Games
With there being two weeks between the semi-finals and the College Football Championship, several games moved to post-January 1st.
Birmingham Bowl- January 2nd- Army versus Cincinnati- The Black Knights take a bid from what would have been an SEC squad. Should Boise State lose the Bearcats are right up there with Memphis as the second team in the Group of Five schools.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Michigan State versus Missouri- Again if they gain bowl eligibility this is the ideal place for the Tigers. However, if they don’t win their appeal, then several games involving the SEC will change. In addition, the status of Kelly Bryant needs watching after he left the game with a possible injury on Saturday.
Idaho Potato Bowl- January 3rd- Western Michigan versus Fresno State
Armed Forces Bowl- January 4th- Air Force versus Minnesota
Mobile Bowl- January 6th- Georgia State versus Toledo
Games Between December 26th and December 30th
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Pittsburgh versus Louisiana Tech- Again the SEC not being able to fill their allotment allows the Bulldogs to gain a spot.
Quick Lane Bowl- December 26th- Miami (Ohio) versus Maryland
Military Bowl- December 27th- Duke versus Navy
Pinstripe Bowl- December 27th- Florida State versus Nebraska- What an interesting contest this would be between two traditional powers playing in the Big Apple.
Texas Bowl- December 27th- TCU versus Texas A&M- A matchup of former Big 12 schools in Houston should be a good one.
Holiday Bowl- December 27th- Michigan versus Utah- Two squads who hoped for bigger things meet in San Diego is what is usually one of the best bowls.
Cheez-It Bowl- December 27th- Baylor versus Arizona State
Camping World Bowl- December 28th- Syracuse versus Iowa State
First Responder Bowl- December 30th- West Virginia versus North Texas
Music City Bowl- December 30th- North Carolina State versus Colorado- As a result of their not being enough bowl-eligible teams from the SEC a game gets left out. We’re predicting the game in Nashville is the one.
Redbox Bowl- December 30th- Northwestern versus USC
We are almost done with our bowl projections following week six here at Last Word On College Football. Now in rapid-fire fashion, a look at the remaining games.
Bowls Between December 20th and December 24th
Bahamas Bowl- December 20th- Southern Mississippi versus Northern Illinois
Frisco Bowl- December 20th- Temple versus UAB
New Mexico Bowl- December 21st- Florida Atlantic versus San Diego State
Celebration Bowl- December 21st- Alcorn State versus North Carolina A&T
Cure Bowl- December 21st- Memphis versus Georgia Southern
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- South Florida versus Eastern Michigan
Camellia Bowl- December 21st- Buffalo versus Arkansas State
Las Vegas Bowl- December 21st- Washington State versus Wyoming
New Orleans Bowl- December 21st- Louisiana-Lafayette versus Appalachian State
Gasparilla Bowl- December 23rd- SMU versus Marshall
Hawaii Bowl- December 24th- BYU versus Hawaii
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week six here at Last Word On College Football. Our picks are updated each week throughout the rest of the season. Agree or disagree with our picks? Let us know in the comment section below.