Another Shake Up In The Top Four
For the second Saturday in the last three weeks an upset brings change to the College Football Playoff. In addition there is quite a bit of movement in the other New Year’s Six games. Who’s in and who’s out? Let’s get to our bowl projections following week nine.
College Football Playoff
Peach Bowl- December 28th- (1) Alabama versus (4) LSU- With Oklahoma’s loss yesterday we welcome the Tigers to the playoff. Of course this is a rematch of a game happening in two weeks. However if we’ve learned anything things can (and probably) will change over the next month. By the time these two teams meet again their should be no questions on Tua Tagovailoa’s health.
Fiesta Bowl- December 28th- (2) Clemson versus (3) Ohio State- There may be no team playing better right now than the Buckeyes. The Tigers looked like the Clemson of old in a 59-7 blow out of Boston College. On paper a match up of Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields would be one of the most anticipated in recent history.
College Football National Championship- (1) Alabama versus (2) Clemson- Again it’s really tempting to pick Ohio State. However until someone shows they can beat the top two we are keeping it as is.
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- December 28th- Baylor versus SMU- If there is anyone out there that thought this match up would happen then let’s go buy some lottery tickets. The Mustangs face Memphis next week in a possible battle for this berth. The Bears move over from the Sugar Bowl as we still think Oklahoma wins the Big 12.
Orange Bowl- December 30th- Florida versus Wake Forest- If a team from the ACC would like to step up and claim this berth that would be great. Virginia seemed like the squad to do it then they lost to Louisville. Virginia Tech is also in the mix but the 6-1 Demon Deacons get the nod for now. Minnesota was given serious consideration but for this week we went with the Gators.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- Penn State versus Oregon- Much like Ohio State the Nittany Lions are playing incredible football right now. A case can be made for the Ducks making it to the playoff. However that road seems very unlikely as of now.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- Georgia versus Oklahoma- With LSU ascending to the playoff the Bulldogs take the slot reserved for the SEC. Despite their loss to Kansas State the Sooners claim the Big 12 champion spot. We can only hope for a game as good as the Rose Bowl as few years ago.
That’s our playoff and New Year’s six picks and yes there are four schools from the SEC in there. Before everyone starts yelling about the SEC bias who other than Minnesota even warrants consideration?
Continuing with our bowl projections following week nine it’s time to look at the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day games. As we say every week the SEC is the league to watch. Currently Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and South Carolina all sit at 3-5. In addition Missouri still awaits their bowl appeal. So what does this all mean? Likely the league won’t come close to filling their slots which opens things up for the ACC. In fact the conference ends up with 11 teams playing in bowls.
New Year’s Eve and Day Games
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Auburn versus Minnesota- With Florida moving up to the Orange Bowl the Tigers move up as well. As mentioned earlier the Golden Gophers received serious consideration for the Orange Bowl but are now headed to Orlando.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Wisconsin versus Texas A&M- It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Badgers. Following back to back losses they go from the Rose Bowl to the Outback. The Aggies fall in the “someone has to play here from the SEC” so they get the nod.
Alamo Bowl- December 31st- Oklahoma State versus Utah- The Cowboys replace Texas who had been here for the last few weeks.
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Utah State versus Georgia State
Belk Bowl- December 31st- Kentucky versus Virginia Tech– By virtue of their big win over Missouri the Cats move up a few slots where other teams lost. These two teams have met 19 times in history, the last in 1987. Kentucky holds an 11-6 margin with two ties.
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Cincinnati versus TCU- With no SEC team for this game we are moving the Bearcats in as a replacement.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Florida State versus Stanford
Games After January 1st
Birmingham Bowl- January 2nd- Central Florida versus Duke– The Blue Devils replace what would have been an SEC team.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Iowa versus Tennessee- This is a big stretch having the Vols in there but for this week we are going for it.
Idaho Potato Bowl- January 3rd- Toledo versus Wyoming
Armed Forces Bowl- January 4th- Western Michigan versus Air Force
Mobile Bowl- January 6th- Louisiana versus Ohio
As we continue with our bowl projections following week nine it’s time to go through the games from Christmas up through December 30th.
After Christmas Bowl Games
First Responder Bowl- December 30th- Southern Mississippi versus Liberty- There’s no Big 12 team available here so the Flames get the nod.
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Missouri versus Virginia- Again this all hinges on the Tigers’ bowl ban appeal.
Redbox Bowl- December 30th- Nebraska versus USC– An interesting match up of traditional football powers.
Camping World Bowl- December 28th- Kansas State versus Notre Dame- Following their blowout loss to Michigan the Irish fall from the Cotton Bowl.
Cheez-It Bowl- December 27th- Iowa State versus Wyoming
Holiday Bowl- December 27th- Michigan versus Washington– One of the best games every year gets a really interesting match up.
Military Bowl- December 27th- Memphis versus North Carolina State
Pinstripe Bowl- December 27th- Louisville versus Michigan State- Again it’s worth mentioning the job Scott Satterfield has done with the Cardinals should garner ACC Coach of the Year.
Texas Bowl- December 27th- Mississippi State versus Texas- Let’s face it Texas A&M versus Texas would be a much better game. However it’s doubtful the Aggies will drop down this far in the SEC pecking order.
Quick Lane Bowl- December 26th- Indiana versus Miami (Florida)
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Pittsburgh versus Western Kentucky
Let’s wrap up this week’s projections with a look at the rest of the games.
Early Season Bowl Match Ups
Bahamas Bowl- December 20th- Florida Atlantic versus Miami (Ohio)
Frisco Bowl- December 20th- Louisiana Tech versus Temple
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- Eastern Michigan versus Tulane
Camiella Bowl- December 21st- Troy versus Central Michigan
Celebration Bowl- December 21st- Alcorn State versus North Carolina A&T
Cure Bowl- December 21st- Navy versus Arkansas State
Las Vegas Bowl- December 21st- Boise State versus Washington State
New Mexico Bowl- December 21st- UAB versus San Diego State
New Orleans Bowl- December 21st- Appalachian State versus Marshall- If Memphis were to beat SMU next week who gets the bid for the Group of Five schools. Would the committee reward an undefeated Mountaineers squad or put Boise State back in there?
Gasparilla Bowl- December 23rd- North Carolina versus Middle Tennessee
Hawaii Bowl- December 24th- BYU versus Hawaii
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week nine here at Last Word On College Football. We will be updating them every week until the selections are released on December 8th.