Schedules Continue To Be Impacted By COVID
This is an important week as the first college football rankings are released. In the process it gives everyone a good idea where the selection committee sees the top teams. Turning to action on the field, it was another crazy week in college football as more than a dozen games were either postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result teams were either scrambling for another opponent or left out totally. There were a few big games played, especially in the Big 10 and Big 12. Those results caused some changes in our New Year’s Six games. Who’s in and who’s out? Let’s find out as we begin our bowl projections following week 12.
As we go through the list of games remember a couple of things. Much like the classic game show “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” wins and losses don’t matter. Unless you’re playing in the Pac 12 then they do, but more on that later. In addition the NCAA dropped minimum win requirements for 2020 which means a three victory team could make a bowl. As you check out this week’s picks you can click here to see how things changed from week to week.
College Football Playoff
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1) Alabama vs. (4) Clemson- The Crimson Tide handed Kentucky their fifth worst loss in school history on Saturday, a 63-3 shellacking. They play Auburn in the annual “Iron Bowl” this week. Clemson got Trevor Lawrence back but ended up not playing Florida State after the game was called off just hours before it was to begin. The Tigers play Pittsburgh this week.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2) Ohio State vs. (3) Notre Dame– The Buckeyes held off a late rally by a really good Indiana club finally winning 42-35. Following a week off the Fighting Irish head to North Carolina on Friday for a huge matchup with the Tar Heels.
College Football National Championship- January 11th (1)- Alabama vs. (2)- Ohio State- Though both teams should get huge tests in their semi-final games were predicting the top two teams to make it through for an epic final.
Continuing on with our bowl projections following week 12 it’s New Year’s Six time. As we mentioned earlier a couple of losses affected the teams playing in these contests. In addition we welcome a new squad into the mix.
New Year’s Six Selection Committee Games
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M- Following two straight weeks of cancelations the Aggies will try again on Saturday against Ole Miss. The Sooners ripped Oklahoma State and have the inside track for the Big 12 title.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Cincinnati vs. Florida- The Bearcats survived their toughest remaining test with a 36-33 win at Central Florida. Kyle Trask threw three more touchdowns as Florida pulled away from Vandy 38-17.
Fiesta Bowl- January 1st- BYU vs. Oregon- The Ducks got all they could handle from UCLA before pulling out a 38-35 victory. As a result of Wisconsin’s loss and Georgia’s lackluster effort against Mississippi State we’re moving the 9-0 Cougars into New Year’s Six contention.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Miami vs. Northwestern- The Hurricanes’ game with Georgia Tech was one of the many canceled due to COVID-19 issues. It’s been rescheduled for December 19th, the same day as the ACC Championship game. At 5-0 Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats roar into south Florida following their big win over Wisconsin.
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 the Las Vegas still looks unlikely.
One other thing to consider the Pac 12 is missing several of its bowl tie-ins while the Big 10 is down two. However, due to the guidelines set forth by the Pac 12 they currently they only have five bowl eligible teams. As a result squads like California, UCLA, and Stanford aren’t eligible.
Games Played Around The New Year
Armed Forces Bowl- December 31st- TCU vs. Tulsa
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- San Diego State vs. Western Michigan
Liberty Bowl-December 31st- Kentucky vs. Kansas State- As mentioned earlier the Cats took a thumping 63-3 to Alabama, the fifth worst loss in school history. The Big 12 Wildcats were hammered by Iowa State on Saturday. These two teams have met four times in history with UK holding a 3-1 lead.
Texas Bowl- December 31st- LSU vs. Texas
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Colorado vs. Pittsburgh
Birmingham Bowl- January 1st- Arkansas vs. Memphis- These two neighboring schools haven’t played each other since 1998 and only five times in history, all during the 1990’s.
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Georgia vs. Wisconsin- This game features two teams who were in the New Year’s Six last week. However the Badgers lost to Northwestern and the Bulldogs barely beat Mississippi State so they now meet in Orlando.
Taxslayer Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Missouri vs. North Carolina State
Outback Bowl- January 2nd- Auburn vs. Indiana- We generally don’t like putting a team in the same game two years in a row but that’s what we’re doing with the Tigers. As mentioned previously the Hoosiers gave Ohio State all they could handle on Saturday.
Continuing our bowl projections following week 12 we head to the slate of games where you see lots of teams are traveling over Christmas as there are six games on December 26th.
Bowls Between Christmas And New Year’s
Cure Bowl- December 26th- Florida Atlantic vs. Georgia State
First Responder Bowl- December 26th- SMU vs. Virginia
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 26th- Maryland vs. West Virginia
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Army vs. Washington State- The Cougars are the final bowl eligible team out of the Pac 12 this week.
LendingTree Bowl- December 26th- Troy vs. UAB- A fun matchup between two Alabama schools.
Gasparilla Bowl- December 26th- Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee
Military Bowl- December 28th- Navy vs. Virginia Tech
Pinstripe Bowl- December 28th- Boston College vs. Iowa
Alamo Bowl-December 29th- Iowa State vs. USC
Cheez-It Bowl- December 29th- North Carolina vs. Oklahoma State
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 30th- Purdue vs. Wake Forest
Los Angeles Bowl- December 30th- Boise State vs. Washington
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Michigan vs. Ole Miss- As a result of their overtime win against Rutgers the Wolverines return to our projections.
As we finish up our bowl projections following week 12 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- Central Michigan vs. Louisiana Tech
Idaho Potato Bowl- Buffalo vs. San Jose State
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- Central Florida vs. Liberty– The Flames dropped their first game of the season 15-14 at North Carolina State. However this is such a fun matchup we’re keeping it.
Montgomery Bowl- December 23rd- Georgia Southern vs. Tulane
New Orleans Bowl- December 23rd- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall- On paper this looks like one of the best matchups in the bowl season.
New Mexico Bowl- December 24th- Kent State vs. Nevada
Cameilla Bowl- December 25th- Ball State vs. Louisiana
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week 12 here at Last Word On College Football. We’ll be back every week until the bowl announcements with updated picks.