Who’s In The Playoff?
Before we get started this week a big thank you to everyone who checked out our picks every week it’s greatly appreciated. With the COVID-19 pandemic still gripping our country many including yours truly wondered if we’d even get to this point. However, we did and now it’s time to enjoy one of the best times of the year, bowl season. As always if you want to follow how things changed from last week click right here. With all that out of the way let’s get to our final 2020 bowl projections.
College Football Playoff
Rose Bowl- January 1st- (2) Clemson vs. (3) Ohio State- The season’s biggest rematch came and as expected Trevor Lawrence and the Tigers came up victorious over Notre Dame. Justin Fields and the Buckeyes had trouble before finally winning 22-10 over Northwestern. This will be the fifth time in history the two schools have played with Clemson winning the previous four. In some late breaking news as a result of COVID restrictions in California the game is being moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- (1) Alabama vs. (4) Notre Dame- Nick Saban’s club had quite the battle with Florida in the SEC Championship game hanging on to win 52-46. However they still head to the playoff as the overwhelming favorite. Despite their loss to Clemson the Fighting Irish remain in the playoff.
College Football National Championship- January 11th- (1) Alabama vs. (2) Clemson- In Mac Jones vs Lawrence you have two of the three likely top vote getters for the Heisman Trophy. In addition you have yet another marquee match up between the most dominant teams in recent memory.
Now that we’ve given our playoff projections let’s now move onto the New Year’s Six games. There are some changes in this week’s games.
New Year’s Six Selection Committee Games
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M- The Sooners jumped out to a big lead over Iowa State before holding on 27-21. As a result they head to “Jerry World” as the Big 12 representative. Cyclones knocked off Oklahoma in a great Big 12 title game. On the other side of the ball the Aggies finally got back out on the field and did their best to impress the committee by drilling Tennessee. The two teams last met in the 2013 Cotton Bowl with A&M winning 41-13.
Peach Bowl- January 1st- Cincinnati vs. Florida- We could spend all day discussing the disrespect the selection committee showed the Bearcats. However Cincinnati got all the could handle from Tulsa winning on a last second field goal 27-24. Speaking of Florida they more than held their own against Alabama. As a result they stay in the New Year’s Six even with three losses.
Fiesta Bowl- January 1st- Iowa State vs. Oregon- With only 1,734 twists and turns in between the Pac-12 worked out just like we all thought it would with the Ducks winning. Mario Cristobal’s club stepped up when Washington couldn’t play and took down USC. The Cyclones take the place of Indiana this week. It was a tough decision to bump the Hoosiers.
Orange Bowl- January 2nd- Georgia vs. North Carolina- On paper this looks like a heck of a game between two teams that score tons of points. We’ll call it first one to 50 wins.
Yes you can sing that last headline to the tune of “The 12 Days Of Christmas.” Before we get into our next set of games let’s talk about all the bowls that aren’t happening. As the title suggests 12 bowls which have been cancelled. They are the Bahamas, Celebration, Fenway, Frisco, Hawaii, Holiday, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Pinstripe, Quick Lane, Redbox and the Sun. In addition the Armed Forces Bowl changed their matchup to Pac-12 versus the SEC. Furthermore for this year only the Montgomery Bowl takes the place of the Fenway.
Teams Opting Out Of A Bowl
Late Saturday night Penn State and USC became the latest teams opting out of a bowl. That leaves the Pac-12 with only three bowl eligible teams, Arizona State, Colorado and Oregon. In addition Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech from the ACC all opted out. In the case of the Hokies it breaks a 27 year consecutive bowl streak which was the longest in college football. While this helps the non-power five schools it makes it an absolute nightmare for projecting bowls. However we here at Last Word On College Football are always up for the challenge.
Games Played Around The New Year
Armed Forces Bowl- December 31st- Arizona State vs. Mississippi State
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Ball State vs. San Jose State- The organziners of the game want to match up the winners of the Mid-American and Mountain West. The Spartans deserve tons of credit for being one of the best stories in 2020.
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Tennessee vs. West Virginia
Texas Bowl- December 31st- Arkansas vs. TCU
Birmingham Bowl- January 1st- Boise State vs. Louisiana- Both teams need a game and this certainly makes for a great matchup.
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Auburn vs. Indiana- As mentioned earlier it was a really tough decision moving the Hoosiers out of the Fiesta Bowl. On the other side of the ball the Tigers won’t have Gus Malzahn on the sidelines after he was let go.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- North Carolina State vs. Ole Miss
Outback Bowl- January 2nd- Missouri vs. Northwestern
Games Between Christmas and the New Year
Military Bowl- December 28th- Nebraska vs. Navy
Cheez-It Bowl- December 29th- Miami (FL) vs. Oklahoma State
Alamo Bowl- December 29th- Colorado vs. Texas
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 30th- Iowa vs. Wake Forest
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Kentucky vs. Wisconsin- It’s possible the Wildcats end up in either the Liberty or Gator Bowls. However we think they stay close to home and make their sixth trip to Nashville, most of any school.
Heading onto our next set of games we look at the six games played the day after Christmas. Going forward many of these matchups are already set. Teams with an * next to their name have already accpeted a bid.
Day After Christmas Bowl Games
Cure Bowl- December 26th- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall
First Responder- December 26th- Tulsa vs. *Texas San-Antonio- In a bit of history the Roadrunners became the first team to accept two bowl bids in a season. Originally playing in the Frisco Bowl, they moved to First Responder when that game was cancelled.
Gasparilla Bowl- December 26th- Liberty vs. South Carolina- Since the Flames need a destination why not send them to sunny Florida to play the Gamecocks.
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 26th- Air Force vs. Texas Tech- The Falcons go as a replacement team for the Big 10.
Independence Bowl- December 26th- *Army vs. Minnesota- As a result of no Pac-12 team being available the Nittany Lions go to Shreveport as a replacement.
Lending Tree- December 26th-* Georgia State vs. *Western Kentucky
As we do every week we finish up with our final 2020 bowl projections with all the early season games.
Early Season Bowl Games
Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 21st- *Appalachian State vs. *North Texas
Idaho Potato Bowl- December 22nd- *Nevada vs. *Tulane
Boca Raton Bowl- December 22nd- *BYU vs. *Central Florida
Montgomery Bowl- December 23rd- *Florida Atlantic vs. *Memphis
New Orleans Bowl- December 23rd- *Georgia Southern vs. *Louisiana Tech
New Mexico Bowl- December 24th- *Hawaii vs. *Houston– As a result of COVID restrictions the game is being held in Frisco, Texas this year.
Cameilla Bowl- December 25th- Buffalo vs. UAB
Thanks for checking out our final 2020 bowl projections here at Last Word On College Football. In addtion don’t forget we’ll have previews and recaps of every game leading up to the National Championship on January 11th.