Bowl Projections Following Week 11
Another Week of Cancelations
Once again this past week college football was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, much like the entire country. In total 13 games were canceled including four in the SEC alone. In addition, two of the four teams in the playoff had their games canceled. It wasn’t all gloom and doom as there was some really good football played over the weekend. How do our picks look in comparison to last week? Let’s take a look at our bowl projections following week 11.
A couple of things to remember for 2020 is that wins and losses really don’t matter as most conferences aren’t setting a minimum win number. However, the lone exception is the Pac 12 who are still mandating teams have at least a .500 record. As games continue to fall by the wayside we’ll see if they stick to it. It’s worth noting Big 12 Commissioner Robert Bowlsby said in an interview there is the possibility of pushing back the playoff and championship, though it’s unlikely.
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1)- Alabama vs. (4)- Clemson- The Crimson Tide’s game with LSU is one of the four that wasn’t played due to COVID. Currently, Alabam is scheduled to play Kentucky on Saturday. The Tigers had a week off after losing to Notre Dame. They should have Trevor Lawrence back for their game against Florida State, though they probably don’t need him to beat the Seminoles.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2)- Ohio State vs. (3) Notre Dame- As mentioned earlier the Buckeyes’ game against Maryland was canceled due to COVID. The Fighting Irish are the only playoff team that played on Saturday beating Boston College 45-31 on the road. Brian Kelly’s squad has the week off before a huge game next Friday at North Carolina.
College Football National Championship- January 11th- (1)- Alabama vs. (2) Ohio State- In a year of standout quarterbacks a finals matchup featuring Mac Jones and Justin Fields should guarantee a lot of points on the scoreboard.
Continuing our bowl projections following week 11 it’s time for the selection committee games. We had some tough choices this week on who to put in and leave out.
New Year’s Six Selection Committee Games-
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M- The winner of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game Saturday has the inside track to a trip to “Jerry World.” We’ve said for the last month Jimbo Fisher’s squad is running the table and we’re sticking to it.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Cincinnati vs. Florida- It was another impressive win for Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats as they blitzed East Carolina 55-17. They have a huge road test at Central Florida on Saturday. Kyle Trask staked his claim in the Heisman race with a six-touchdown performance in a 63-35 win over Arkansas.
Fiesta Bowl- January 1st- Oregon vs. Wisconsin- Here’s where it gets difficult as you have several teams worthy of a spot. The Badgers roared back into play with a 49-11 thrashing of Michigan. As a result, Wisconsin moves back into this game over BYU. A matchup with the Ducks gives us a Big 10- Pac 12 matchup, just not in the Rose Bowl.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Georgia vs. Miami- A two-loss Bulldog squad over BYU? Yes, that’s what we’re projecting. Unfortunately for the Cougars, their remaining schedule is nothing exciting and in the end, they get left out in favor of Georgia. The Hurricanes got a huge win over Virginia Tech but need some help to make the ACC title game.
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 looks less likely every week. One other thing to consider the Pac 12 is missing several of their bowl tie ins while the Big 10 is down two.
Games Played Around The New Year
Armed Forces Bowl- December 31st- BYU vs. SMU- As mentioned earlier we think the Cougars miss out on a New Year’s Six game and end up here.
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- San Diego State vs. Western Michigan
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Iowa State vs. Ole Miss
Texas Bowl- December 31st- Arkansas vs. Kansas State- Despite their big loss at Florida we’re keeping the Razorbacks in this game.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Boston College vs. Utah
Birmingham Bowl- January 1st- LSU vs. Memphis
Citrus Bowl- January 1st– Auburn vs. Indiana- The Hoosiers are one of the most exciting teams in college football this season. However, they have a huge test on Saturday when they face Ohio State.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Kentucky vs. North Carolina State- It was a tough week for the Cats as they lost their offensive line coach John Schlarman to cancer then beat Vanderbilt 38-35. These two teams have played twice in history with each having a win. The Wildcats won the last meeting back in 1970.
Outback Bowl- January 2nd- Missouri vs. Northwestern
Continuing our bowl projections following week 11 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- Florida Atlantic vs. Troy
First Responder Bowl- December 26th- TCU vs. Tulsa
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 26th- Maryland vs. West Virginia
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Army vs. Washington- The Black Knights remain the only team to formally accept a bowl bid.
LendingTree Bowl- December 26th- Appalachian State vs. UAB
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl- Mississippi State vs. Virginia- With the Las Vegas Bowl looking less likely by the week we’re moving the Bulldogs here in the place of South Carolina.
Military Bowl- December 28th- Navy vs. Pittsburgh
Pinstripe Bowl- December 28th- Nebraska vs. Virginia Tech
Alamo Bowl- December 29th- Texas vs. USC
Cheez-It Bowl- December 29th- North Carolina vs. Oklahoma State
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 30th- Iowa vs. Wake Forest
Los Angeles Bowl- December 30th- Boise State vs. Colorado
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Purdue vs. Tennessee
As we finish up our bowl projections following week 11 we look at the opening set of games that feature a couple of really interesting matchups.
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- The Flames get a chance to go 3-0 against the ACC when they play North Carolina State on Saturday.
Montgomery Bowl- December 23rd- Georgia Southern vs. Tulane
New Orleans Bowl- December 23rd- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall- The Thundering Herd moved to 7-0 on Saturday and all their wins have been by double figures. A matchup of two top 25 ranked teams makes this easily the most exciting early-season bowl game.
New Mexico Bowl- December 24th- Louisiana Tech vs. Nevada
Camellia Bowl- December 25th- Central Michigan vs. Louisiana
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week 11 here at Last Word On College Football. We’ll be back here next week with another updated set of picks. Next week is a big one as the first college playoff rankings are announced.