COVID Continues To Wreak Havoc With College Football
This past week was another crazy one in football as the COVID-19 pandemic continues affecting schedules. Ten games were either canceled or postponed over several difference conferences. Furthermore the Pac 12 barely got off the ground in their first week with the Arizona/Utah and California/Washington contests being wiped out. Cal and Utah are both in perilous situations for this week as well. On the field there were two huge match ups featuring top ten teams. As a result of those games it shook up our picks from last week. Obviously Notre Dame defeating Clemson had the biggest effect on our picks. Do the Tigers stay in the playoff? Let’s find out as we begin our bowl projections following week 10.
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1) Alabama vs. (4) Clemson- As a result of the Tigers’ loss to Notre Dame on Saturday not only do the Crimson Tide rise to Number 1 in the rankings for a 13th straight year but the top spot in the playoff. You can’t drop Clemson out of the playoff race after losing to the Fighting Irish because they were missing their Heisman candidate Trevor Lawrence.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2) Ohio State vs. (3) Notre Dame- The Buckeyes rolled over Rutgers and move up a spot with Clemson’s loss. We had the Notre Dame in the playoff last week however they also move up a spot with the win. Hopefully they’ll play much better than their last playoff effort in 2018.
College Football National Championship- January 11th- (1) Alabama vs. (2) Ohio State- This would be the fifth time in history the two schools have played. Alabama leads 3-1 but the Buckeyes won the last meeting 42-35 in the 2015 semi-final.
Now that we’ve gone through the playoff let’s move to the New Year’s Six games where we have a couple of changes here too.
New Year’s Six Selection Committe Games
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M- Both teams won handily on Saturday with the Sooners beating Kansas and the Aggies bombing South Carolina. This would be the first meeting between the two former conference mates since the 2013 Cotton Bowl.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Cincinnati vs. Florida- The Gators move back up to the New Year’s Six line after an emphatic 44-28 victory over Georgia. Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats keep on rolling after they defeated Houston 38-10.
Fiesta Bowl- January 2nd- BYU vs. Oregon- The Cougars got their shot in the national spotlight and didn’t disappoint blowing out Boise State 51-17. Zack Wilson threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns. The Ducks shook off a slow start before coasting past Stanford 35-14 in their opener.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Miami vs. Georgia- The Bulldogs should win out and finish 8-2 despite all their injuries. On the other side of the ball the Hurricanes nearly had their major bowl chances ended by NC State but rallied for a 44-41 win.
As we start going through the remaining games for this upcoming bowl season there are a few things to remember. First the Bahamas, Celebration, Fenway, Hawaii, Holiday, Quick Lane and Redbox Bowls are all canceled. In addition the Montgomery Bowl is taking the place of the Fenway and Las Vegas is still questionable.
Also for most leagues the wins and losses don’t really matter in 2020. However in the Pac 12 they are saying your record has to be .500 or better. Add that to the fact they are missing some of their bowl tie ins and it’s going to be difficult for many teams to get in. The same with the Big 10 who lost two of their games also.
Games Played Around The New Year
Armed Forces Bowl- December 31st- SMU vs. TCU
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- San Diego State vs. Western Michigan
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Ole Miss vs. Iowa State
Texas Bowl- December 31st- Arkansas vs. Kansas State- We’ve had the Razorbacks in this game for a few weeks now and honestly Sam Pittman should be the SEC Coach of the Year. On Saturday they rallied from down 13-0 to beat Tennessee.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Utah vs. Wake Forest
Birmingham Bowl- January 1st- Memphis vs. Tennessee- This one certainly makes for a fun interstate match up.
Citrus Bowl- January 1st– Auburn vs. Northwestern
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Missouri vs. Virginia Tech
Outback Bowl- January 2nd- Indiana vs. LSU
Continuing our bowl projections following week 10 as we move onto our next set of games you’ll notice December 26th is now a huge day for bowls with six games scheduled. Previously it was only the Independence Bowl.
Bowls Played Between Christmas and New Year’s
Cure Bowl- December 26th- Arkansas State vs. Florida Atlantic
First Responder Bowl- December 26th- Tulsa vs. Virginia
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 26th- Maryland vs. West Virginia- Following an impressive win over Penn State the Terrapins make their first appearance in our projections. The Mountaineers lost at Texas on a questionable call.
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Army vs. Washington- The Black Knights are the only team to officially accept a bowl bid.
LendingTree Bowl- December 26th- Appalachian State vs. UAB
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl- December 26th- Georgia Tech vs. South Carolina
Military Bowl- December 28th- Navy vs. Pittsburgh
Pinstripe Bowl- December 28th- Boston College vs. Purdue
Alamo Bowl- December 29th- Texas vs. USC
Cheez-It Bowl- December 29th- North Carolina vs. Oklahoma State
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 30th- North Carolina State vs. Wisconsin- At this point it’s difficult to put the Badgers in a bowl. Under normal circumstances they would be in a higher bowl. However they’ve already canceled two games due to COVID and a third leaves them out of the Big 10 title picture.
Los Angeles Bowl- December 30th- Boise State vs. Arizona State
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Iowa vs. Kentucky- What a fun match up this would be with Mark Stoops playing his alma mater. The Hawkeyes got their first win of the season drubbing Michigan State 49-7. Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt this Saturday after having a much needed bye week.
As we finish up our bowl projections following week 10 we look at the opening set of games which feature a couple of really interesting games.
Early Season Bowl Games
Frisco Bowl- December 19th- Houston vs. Texas San-Antonio
Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 21st- Charlotte vs. Kent State
Idaho Potato Bowl- December 21st- Buffalo vs. San Jose State
Boca Raton Bowl- December 22nd- Central Florida vs. Liberty- With two wins now over ACC schools what to do with the Flames becomes very interesting. Between BYU and Cincinnati they’re unlikely to rise high enough in the rankings to be the top Group of Five school.
Montgomery Bowl- December 23rd- Troy vs. Tulane
New Orleans Bowl- December 23rd- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall- On paper this is such a great match up why change it now.
New Mexico Bowl- December 24th- Louisiana Tech vs. Nevada- There’s a good chance this game gets moved to somewhere in Texas due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of New Mexico.
Camellia Bowl- December 25th- Louisiana vs. Miami (Ohio)
Still To Be Determined
Las Vegas Bowl- Mississippi State vs. Stanford- As mentioned earlier the status of this game is still up in the air but organizers say it’s happening. Because of this we are adding teams back in for this week.
It’s really odd to see bowl projections and not see, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State or Penn State in their this week. However there are other teams in the Big 10 doing much better and there is still time. Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week 10 here at Last Word On College Football.