Big Changes In Our Playoff Teams
That giant “thud” you heard during the early part of the college football season was the hopes of many ACC squads. During the first two weeks of the year, the conference has struggled. Of course, if you are going to struggle it’s better to do it in September than late November. In addition, a surprising weekend result changed half our playoff teams from our preseason picks. As we begin our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections we welcome two new teams to the playoff.
College Football Playoff
Cotton Bowl- December 30th- Alabama vs. Oregon- The Crimson Tide passed their early test against Miami and had an easy time against Mercer. By virtue of their surprising 35-28 win over Ohio State, the Ducks jump into the playoff race.
Orange Bowl- December 30th- Georgia vs. Oklahoma– Following their big win against Clemson the Bulldogs not only move into the playoff but take the two seed. The Sooners struggled against Tulane but rebounded nicely blitzing Western Carolina 76-0 behind Spencer Rattler‘s five touchdown passes.
College Football National Championship- January 10th- Alabama vs. Georgia- A rematch of the SEC title game which just happened a month ago isn’t the most exciting match-up. However, as of right now they look like the two best teams in football.
Continuing with our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections we head now to the New Year’s Six games.
Selection Committee Games
Peach Bowl-December 3oth- Clemson vs. Notre Dame- The Tigers bounced back from the loss to Georgia with a 49-3 win over South Carolina State. D.J. Uiagalelei accounted for three touchdowns in the win. For a second straight week, the Irish flirted with disaster but defeated Toledo in the final minute.
Fiesta Bowl- January 1st- Cincinnati vs. Iowa- After being tied at the half the Bearcats ran off 35 unanswered and beat Murray State 42-7. They go in as the Group of Five representative. With Ohio State’s loss, the Hawkeyes may be the team to beat in the Big 10. Whether it’s enough to get them to the playoff remains to be seen.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- Ohio State vs. UCLA- As a result of their loss to Oregon the Buckeyes drop out of the playoff and head to Pasadena. Other than Oregon the biggest winner in the Pac-12 this week was UCLA who won by not playing. With Oregon moving up to the playoff and Stanford beating USC the Bruins move into the Rose Bowl. All-time the two schools are tied at four wins apiece with one tie. However, they haven’t played since 2001.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- Iowa State vs. Texas A&M- Despite their loss to Iowa the Cyclones are still projected as the Big 12 representative. On the other side of the ball, the Aggies’ playoff hopes were nearly derailed in a come from behind win over Colorado. However, the status of Haynes King’s leg injury is one to watch going forward.
Continuing our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections let’s head to the games around New Year’s Day. In case you haven’t heard the San Francisco Bowl, formerly the Redbox Bowl won’t be happening this year.
New Year’s Games
Texas Bowl- January 4th- Arkansas vs. TCU- The Razorbacks welcomed Texas to the SEC with a 40-21 blowout that wasn’t really that close. They’ll face another Lone Star State club in the Horned Frogs.
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Florida vs. Penn State- The Gators currently sit at 2-0 on the season. However, they have a quarterback controversy and have Alabama rolling in on Saturday. James Franklin’s Nittany Lions host Auburn this weekend in what’s suddenly a big-time game. The two schools have met three times in history with the Gators winning all three. In addition, all of the games happened in bowl games.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Kentucky vs. Michigan- Back in May Kentucky’s defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale took a similar job at Michigan. Following his departure, Kentucky’s Associate head coach Vince Marrow said “I know we’re a better program than Michigan right now.” No better way to find out than in Tampa in January. Sometimes you have to give the people what they want.
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Buffalo vs. Nevada– In case you hadn’t heard Barstool Sports bought the rights to the game. As a result, the game will be streamed rather than airing on the CBS Sports Network, and probably get more viewers.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Boston College vs. Arizona State
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl- December 31st- Virginia Tech vs. Auburn- Some would say the Tigers and Bo Nix have been the third-best team in the SEC so far. However, they have a big test this Saturday when they head to “Happy Valley” for a big game against Penn State.
Games Before The New Year
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 30th- Miami (Florida) vs. Ole Miss
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Indiana vs. LSU
Las Vegas Bowl- December 30th- Wisconsin vs. Utah
Alamo Bowl- December 29th- Texas vs. USC- A battle of two teams coming off disappointing losses. In fact, the Trojans’ loss to Stanford was so bad it finally cost Clay Helton his job.
Cheez-It Bowl- December 29th- North Carolina vs. Oklahoma State
Fenway Bowl- December 29th- Louisville vs. Memphis
Pinstripe Bowl- December 29th- Pittsburgh vs. Michigan State
Continuing our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections we now head to the games between Christmas and the New Year.
Bowl Games After Christmas
Birmingham Bowl- December 28th- Air Force vs. Mississippi State- As a result of no American Conference team being available the Falcons move into this game.
First Responder Bowl- December 28th- Army vs. Virginia
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 28th- Baylor vs. Minnesota
Holiday Bowl- December 28th- Boston College vs. Colorado
Liberty Bowl- December 28th- West Virginia vs. Missouri
Military Bowl- December 27th- Wake Forest vs. Central Florida
Quick Lane Bowl- December 27th- Maryland vs. Toledo
Christmas Holiday Games
Camiella Bowl- December 25th- Arkansas State vs. Central Michigan
Hawai’i Bowl- December 24th- Hawai’i vs. Tulane
We are in the home stretch with our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections time for a look at the pre-Christmas set of games.
Union Home Mortgage Bowl- December 22nd- South Carolina vs. SMU- It’s probably a stretch to have the Gamecocks in a bowl game right now. However, they are 2-0 and with some breaks could get to six wins.
Armed Forces Bowl- December 22nd- Army vs. Middle Tennessee
Frisco Bowl- December 21st- Houston vs. Texas San-Antonio
Idaho Potato Bowl- December 21st- Ball State vs. Fresno State
Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 20th- Coastal Carolina vs. Tulsa
As always we wrap up our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections with a look at the early season games, including a whopping seven games on December 18th alone. In fact, two of the best potential bowl matchups happen on this first weekend.
First Weekend Matchups
Bahamas Bowl- December 17th- Florida Atlantic vs. Western Michigan
Cure Bowl- December 17th- Appalachian State vs. Liberty- Much like last year the Flames have hopes of being the Group of Five representative. However many things would have to break in their favor. As a result, fans are treated to one of the best matchups of the whole bowl season.
Boca Raton Bowl- December 18th- South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky
Celebration Bowl- December 18th- Alcorn State vs. South Carolina State
Independence Bowl- December 18th- UAB vs. BYU
Lending Tree Bowl- December 18th- Eastern Michigan vs Troy
Los Angeles Bowl- December 18th- Boise State vs. Stanford- Long-time readers of our bowl projections know we’ve had UCLA in this game since last year. However, as mentioned earlier the Bruins moved way up the pecking order.
New Mexico Bowl- December 18th- Marshall vs. San Diego State
New Orleans Bowl- December 18th- Louisiana Tech vs. Louisiana- This is one of the best bowl games each season. Throw in a battle of in-state teams and this should be no exception.
Thanks for checking out our LWOS Week Two Bowl Projections. As we say every week, don’t like where your team is slotted? Just wait it will probably change every week until the official pairings are released.