One Change In the Playoff This Week
It was another great week in college football with a number of down to the wire finishes. However, it was also a week where several games were canceled by COVID-19, most notably the Florida-LSU contest. In addition, a matchup of the top teams in the SEC caused a shakeup in the playoffs. As we begin our bowl projections following week 7 there are a few things to remember. First, every FBS team playing in 2020 is eligible thanks to the NCAA waving minimum win requirements. Also three bowl games, the Bahamas, Hawaii, and Redbox won’t be played this year. That means six fewer bids for schools. If you want to see the changes from last week you can see those picks here.
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1) Clemson vs. (4) Oregon- On Saturday Trevor Lawrence cemented his status as Heisman favorite throwing for over 400 yards in one half as the Tigers 73-7. After weeks of saying a Pac 12 school wouldn’t make the playoff here we are. If we’ve learned anything in 2020 is the only thing that’s for sure is nothing’s for sure.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2) Alabama vs. (3) Ohio State- The Crimson Tide turned back the challenge of Georgia 41-24 after holding the Bulldogs scoreless in the second half. Ryan Day’s Buckeyes finally get their season started on Saturday against Nebraska.
College Football National Championship- January 11th- (1) Clemson vs. (2) Alabama- While we realize half our playoff hasn’t yet played a game it’s hard to believe anyone is beating the Tigers and Crimson Tide.
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Cincinnati vs. Oklahoma State– The Bearcats’ game against Tulsa was postponed due to a COVID outbreak within the Cincinnati program and will be made up on December 5th. The Cowboys have a huge game on Saturday when they host Iowa State in a battle of Big 12 unbeatens.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Florida vs. Wisconsin- As mentioned earlier, the Gators’ game against LSU was postponed due to COVID issues within the program. The Badgers head back east after being in the Fiesta Bowl the last couple of weeks.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Georgia vs. Notre Dame- Following their loss to Alabama, we’re dropping the Bulldogs out of the playoff this week, though they are likely to be back in it again. The Fighting Irish struggled in beating Louisville 12-7.
Fiesta Bowl- January 2nd- Penn State vs. USC- The Nittany Lions head out west this week and they face a second team from the Pac 12 in the Trojans. We also looked at Boise State and BYU in this spot.
Moving on with our bowl projections following week 7, let’s look at the contests played on New Year’s Eve and Day. You’ll notice with the SEC playing the all-conference schedule things moved around quite a bit this week as the teams beat each other up.
Games Played December 31st and January 1st
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Iowa vs. Texas A&M- Truth be told Michigan should be slotted here, however, we try to avoid putting a team in the same bowl two years in a row. The Aggies followed up their big win over Florida with a 28-14 road victory over Mississippi State.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Kentucky vs. Michigan- The Wildcats were the SEC’s big winners this week. Mark Stoops’ club won emphatically at Tennessee for the first time since 1984. As a result, they head to Tampa for the first time since 1999. These two schools have met once in history with the Wolverines winning 62-0 way back in 1908.
Alamo Bowl- December 31st- Oklahoma vs. Washington
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Air Force vs. Toledo
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 31st- Minnesota vs. North Carolina State
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Iowa State vs. LSU
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Georgia Tech vs. Stanford
Bowl Games After January 1st-
Birmingham Bowl- January 2nd- Florida State vs. Missouri- Following their big win over North Carolina the Seminoles return to our bowl projections.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- South Carolina vs. North Carolina- Another big winner this past weekend was Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks. They now head to Jacksonville following their first win over Auburn since 1933. As of a result of their loss to Florida State, the Tar Heels drop out of a New Year’s Six game.
Idaho Potato Bowl- January 3rd- Buffalo vs. San Diego State
Armed Forces Bowl- January 4th- BYU vs. SMU– The Mustangs host Cincinnati this weekend in a game with major Group of Five implications.
LendingTree Bowl- January 6th- Appalachian State vs. Ohio
Bowl Games After Christmas
First Responder Bowl- December 30th- Baylor vs. Houston
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Nebraska vs. Tennessee- The Vols drop down a few spots following back to back losses.
Cheez-It Bowl- December 28th- Kansas State vs. Miami
Cactus Bowl- December 27th- Indiana vs. West Virginia
Holiday Bowl- December 27th- Arizona State vs. Virginia Tech
Military Bowl- December 27th- Navy vs. Pittsburgh
Pinstripe Bowl- December 27th- Purdue vs. Wake Forest
Texas Bowl- December 27th- Arkansas vs. Texas- Let’s take a moment and give a huge shout out to what Sam Pittman has accomplished so far in Fayetteville currently sitting at 2-2. What a fun match up this would be between former conference members who haven’t played since 2014.
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Army vs. Washington State
Quick Lane Bowl- December 26th- Central Michigan vs. Michigan State
We finish up our bowl projections following week 7 as we do every week looking at all the early season games played before Christmas. The NCAA has said bowl games could begin as early as December 1st though it’s doubtful that happens.
Early Season Bowl Games
Gasparilla Bowl- December 23rd- Central Florida vs. Ole Miss- Who wouldn’t want to see this game featuring Lane Kiffin going up against his old squad.
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- Florida Atlantic vs. Tulane
Cameilla Bowl- December 21st- Georgia Southern vs. UAB
Cure Bowl- December 21st- Arkansas State vs. Temple
Las Vegas Bowl- December 21st- Auburn vs. Utah
New Mexico Bowl- December 21st- Louisiana Tech vs. Troy
New Orleans Bowl- December 21st- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall- What a great matchup this would be between currently undefeated teams.
Fenway Bowl- December 2oth- Boston College vs. Memphis
Frisco Bowl- December 20th- Tulsa vs. Fresno State
Los Angeles Bowl- December 20th- Boise State vs. California
Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 20th- Liberty vs. UAB- What a start of the year it’s been for Hugh Freeze and the Flames who went into Syracuse last weekend and beat the Orangemen 38-21.
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week 7 here at Last Word On College Football. Next week the Big 10 starts playing and we’ll be back with updated picks. In addition, don’t forget to check out all the great content featured on the site.