A Very Eventful Week
The past week in college football was one of the most newsworthy ones of the season. Not only did we get the return of the Big 10 and Mountain West, but we didn’t even get through the first week without some upsets. In addition we said goodbye to another bowl for 2020 as the Holiday Bowl decided not to play. It joins the Bahamas, Hawaii and Redbox as games canceled this year. It’s especially big for the ACC and Pac 12 as it takes a game away from both of those leagues. Last week we had Arizona State playing Virginia Tech. Now as we begin our bowl projections following week 8 we have to find them new homes.
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1) Clemson vs. (4) Oregon- We thought really hard about putting Notre Dame here but in the end stayed with the Ducks. Trevor Lawrence threw his first ever pick six but the Tigers blitzed past Syracuse 47-21.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2) Alabama vs. (3) Ohio State- The Crimson Tide won their 14th straight against Tennessee on Saturday. However it came at a cost as star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was lost for the season with a fractured ankle. Justin Fields was nearly perfect as the Buckeyes beat Nebraksa 52-17.
College Football National Championship- January 11th- (1) Clemson vs. (3) Ohio State- Following the injury to Waddle we’re moving the Buckeyes into the championship game this week instead of Alabama.
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Cincinnati vs. Oklahoma State- The Bearcats passed their toughest test of the year with flying colors winning at SMU 42-13. Oklahoma State pulled out a close one over Iowa State and remains the Big 12 representative.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Texas A&M vs. Wisconsin- The Badgers steamrolled Illinois 45-7 in their Big 10 opener and found a quarterback in Graham Mertz. However his status going forward is up in the air. The Aggies had the week off before resuming the rest of their season against Arkansas on Saturday. Jimbo Fisher’s team has a real chance of winning out plus they beat Florida so they move on up.
Fiesta Bowl- January 2nd- BYU vs. USC- Behind Heisman candidate Zack Wilson the Cougars currently sit 6-0 and are on a collision course with Boise State on November 6th. The Trojans are our second team out of the Pac 12 who of course don’t play for two more weeks.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Georgia vs. Notre Dame- This game features two teams who received long looks at making the playoff. The Bulldogs had the week off while the Fighting Irish blew out Pittsburgh 45-3.
Big 10- SEC Match ups
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Penn State vs. Texas A&M- As a result of their upset loss to Indiana, the Nittany Lions drop out of the New Year’s Six and into the Citrus Bowl. The Gators fall down a notch due to their loss to Texas A&M. They return to action this week against Missouri after having a week off due to COVID-19 issues within the program.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Auburn vs. Michigan- It was only one game but the Wolverines looked pretty tough in blowing out Minnesota. The Tigers bounced back from their upset by South Carolina with a win over Ole Miss.
As we continue with our bowl projections following week 8, we’re changing things up a little. Since their are no official dates listed for the remaining bowl games we’re going to lump them into when they normally would be played. In addition Army became the first team to formally accept a bid. They are headed to the Independence Bowl which was their contracted game. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll likely see not only more bids being accepted but official dates as well.
Games Normally Played on December 31
Alamo Bowl- Oklahoma vs. Washington– This game remains unchanged from last week though the Sooners may not be here long as they are moving their way back up the rankings.
Arizona Bowl- Toledo vs. San Diego State
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- Nebraska vs. North Carolina State
Liberty Bowl- Iowa State vs. Tennessee
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- California vs. Pittsburgh
Bowl Games Normally Played After January 1st
Birmingham Bowl- Memphis vs. Mississippi State- First one to 50 wins this game.
Taxslayer Gator Bowl- Missouri vs. North Carolina- Eli Drinkwitz’s Tigers are on a roll after beating Kentucky. They face the Tar Heels who bounced back from the Florida State loss with a big win over NC State.
Idaho Potato Bowl- Buffalo vs. Nevada
Armed Forces Bowl- Texas Tech vs. SMU
LendingTree Bowl- Appalachian State vs. Ohio
After Christmas Bowl Games
First Responder Bowl- Georgia Tech vs. Houston
Music City Bowl- Kentucky vs. Northwestern- The Wildcats from Kentucky drop a few spots as a result of their 20-10 loss to Missouri. This would be a rematch of the controversial 2017 game in which the Big 10 Wildcats won 24-23 in a game best remembered for the ejection of Benny Snell.
Cheez-It Bowl- Kansas State vs. Miami
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- Indiana vs. West Virginia- The game formerly known as the Cactus Bowl is one of two bowls with a new sponsor. The other is the Gasparilla Bowl but more on that one later. IU is coming off that huge upset over Penn State last week, however they still have to travel to Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Military Bowl- Wake Forest vs. Navy
Pinstripe Bowl- Iowa vs. Virginia Tech
Texas Bowl- Arkansas vs. Texas- As we said last week this is too good to pass up. This would be the first meeting of the former conference rivals since 2014.
Independence Bowl- Army vs. Stanford- As mentioned earlier the Black Knights easily beat Mercer then accepted the first bowl bid of the season.
Quick Lane Bowl- Purdue vs. Western Michigan
As we finish up our bowl projections following week 8 we look at all the early season bowl games. Most of were scheduled to begin on December 20th. However that’s the date when the playoffs would be announced so look for these match ups to be announced earlier in the month. In addition the NCAA stated games could begin as early as December 1st.
Early Season Bowl Games
Union Home Mortgage Bowl- Central Florida vs. South Carolina- We said goodbye to the Bad Boy Motors Gasparilla Bowl this week it also has a new sponsor.
Boca Raton Bowl- Florida Atlantic vs. Miami (Ohio)
Cameilla Bowl- Ball State vs. Louisiana
Cure Bowl- Troy vs. Tulane
Las Vegas Bowl- LSU vs. Utah
New Mexico Bowl- Tulsa vs. Texas- San Antonio
New Orleans Bowl- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall
Fenway Bowl- Louisville vs. Temple
Frisco Bowl- Air Force vs. Baylor
Los Angeles Bowl- Arizona State vs. Boise State
Myrtle Beach Bowl- Liberty vs. UAB- The Flames are now 6-0 under coach Hugh Freeze. However they face a big test on Saturday when they travel to Virginia Tech.
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week 8 here at Last Word On College Football. It’s sure to be another newsworthy week ahead so we’ll see you right back here same time next week for our updated picks.