Changes Abound Following Week Four
It was another crazy week in college football that featured six ranked teams losing. In addition, the ACC’s playoff hopes are pretty much on life support thanks to North Carolina State beating Clemson. If that wasn’t enough a huge win by Arkansas shook up our New Year’s Six games. As a result, things look quite different from last week. There’s a lot to dissect so let’s get right to it with our LWOS Week Four Bowl Projections.
College Football Playoff
Orange Bowl- December 31st- (1) Alabama vs. (4) Oklahoma- As expected the Crimson Tide had no trouble with Southern Mississippi winning 63-14 as current Heisman front runner Bryce Young threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns. We thought long and hard about dropping the Sooners after they squeaked past West Virginia 16-13. However, we’re keeping them in that four slot for now.
Cotton Bowl- December 31st- (2) Georgia vs. Oregon- The Bulldogs jumped out to a 35-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 62-0 dismantling of Vanderbilt. This week they host a suddenly big-time game against Arkansas. On the other side of the ball, the Ducks let Arizona hang around for three quarters before putting them away in a 41-19 victory.
College Football National Championship- (1) Alabama vs. (2) Georgia- We’ve said it almost every week a rematch of a game one month earlier doesn’t sound like the most exciting title game. However, four weeks into the season these two SEC clubs have firmly established themselves as the class of college football.
Continuing on with our LWOS Week Four Bowl Projections we turn to the selection committee games where, as we mentioned before, there are some changes.
Selection Committee Games
Peach Bowl- December 30th- Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest- With Clemson’s loss to North Carolina State, the ACC is wide open. You could make the case for Boston College, Virginia Tech, or Wake Forest. However, we are going with the unbeaten Demon Deacons. The Fighting Irish blitzed Wisconsin 41-13 in a statement game. Although Brian Kelly’s club can’t rest on their laurels as they host Cincinnati on Saturday.
Fiesta Bowl- January 1st- Cincinnati vs. Penn State- Speaking of the Bearcats they had this past week off as they get ready for that huge match-up with Notre Dame. While the other Group Of Five schools will be watching this one it’s highly likely even in a close loss UC remains the pick. The Nittany Lions went to 4-0 with a 38-17 win over Villanova.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- Ohio State vs. UCLA- Nothing seems to be easy this year for the Buckeyes as even in an easy win weird things happen as a player quit mid-game. You can make a real case for Iowa or Penn State to play in Pasadena. However, we are keeping OSU here for now.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- Arkansas vs. Oklahoma State- Four weeks into the season there’s no doubt the Razorbacks’ Sam Pittman is the coach of the year. They lost quarterback K.J. Jefferson to injury in their 20-10 victory over Texas A&M. However he did return late in the game. With Iowa State losing again we need a new team to represent the Big 12. Since the bowls rarely want a rematch from an early season game we’re going with the Cowboys over Texas.
Now that we’ve shown you our playoff teams and the selection committee games let’s move on with our LWOS Week Four Bowl Projections.
New Year’s Day Games
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Texas A&M vs. Iowa– These two schools have only met once in history with the Aggies winning 29-0 in 1931. Both of these teams along with Florida are still in strong consideration for selection committee games.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Florida vs. Michigan State– Here’s another battle of teams who’ve only played once in history. The Spartans won the 2000 Citrus Bowl over the Gators 37-34.
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Buffalo vs. Nevada
Tony Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Boston College vs. Arizona State
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl- December 31st- Clemson vs. LSU- The last time Dabo Swinney‘s club lost two games before October was 2014. Ironically it’s the last time they didn’t make the playoff. Ed Orgeron’s Tigers jumped out to a big lead versus Mississippi State then held on for a 28-25 win.
Texas Bowl- January 4th- Iowa State vs. Ole Miss
Games Before The New Year
Duke’s Mayo Bowl- December 30th- Kentucky vs. North Carolina- Two of the winningest teams in college basketball meet on the gridiron. Sounds like a great match up doesn’t it. The Tar Heels have been one of football’s biggest disappointments so far in 2021. However, a match-up of Sam Howell versus a strong Kentucky defense works for us. All-time the two schools are tied at five wins each.
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Michigan vs. Auburn
Las Vegas Bowl- December 30th- USC vs. Wisconsin
Alamo Bowl- December 29th- Oregon State vs. West Virginia- As a result of their big win over USC we welcome the 3-1 Beavers to our bowl projections.
Cheez-It Bowl- December 29th- North Carolina State vs. Texas
Fenway Bowl- December 29th- Pittsburgh vs. UCF
Pinstripe Bowl- December 29th- Louisville vs. Rutgers
Continuing our LWOS Week Four Bowl Projections we now head to the games between Christmas and the New Year.
Bowl Games After Christmas
Birmingham Bowl- December 28th- Georgia Tech vs. Memphis- It’s going to be a shame if Mississippi State doesn’t make a bowl due to the blown call against Memphis. We’re dropping them because it’s unlikely they get to six wins.
First Responder Bowl- December 28th- Houston vs. Virginia
Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 28th- Baylor vs. Minnesota
Holiday Bowl- December 28th- Virginia Tech vs. Washington
Liberty Bowl- December 28th- Kansas State vs. Missouri
Military Bowl- December 27th- Central Florida vs. Syracuse
Quick Lane Bowl- December 27th- Indiana vs. Toledo
Christmas Holiday Games
Camellia Bowl- December 25th- Central Michigan vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Hawaii Bowl- December 24th- SMU vs. Utah State
We are in the home stretch with our LWOS Week Three Bowl Projections time for a look at the pre-Christmas set of games.
Union Home Mortgage Bowl- December 22nd- Maryland vs. Miami (Florida)
Armed Forces Bowl- December 22nd- Army vs. Boise State
Frisco Bowl- December 21st- Air Force vs. Texas San-Antonio
Idaho Potato Bowl- December 21st- Bowling Green vs. Fresno State
Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 20th- Coastal Carolina vs. Marshall- The Chanticleers will be closely watching the Cincinnati-Notre Dame game as they could move up if the Bearcats lose big.
As always we wrap up our LWOS Week Three 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- The Flames’ chances of getting the Group of Five bid likely ended with their loss to Syracuse.
Boca Raton Bowl- December 18th- South Alabama vs. Western Kentucky
Celebration Bowl- December 18th- Alabama A&M vs. North Carolina Central
Independence Bowl- December 18th- UAB vs. BYU- Another team watching Saturday’s Cincinnati-Notre Dame game is the Cougars. Following their 4-0 start they’ve put themselves squarely in the mix for the Group of Five bid.
Lending Tree Bowl- December 18th- Eastern Michigan vs Troy
Los Angeles Bowl- December 18th- San Diego State vs. Stanford
New Mexico Bowl- December 18th- San Jose State vs. UTEP
New Orleans Bowl- December 18th- Louisiana Tech vs. Louisiana- This is one of the best bowl games each season. These two in-state schools have met 87 times in history. However, they haven’t played since 2015.
Thanks for checking out our LWOS Week Four 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. In fact, this is a huge week in college football headed by Arkansas visiting Georgia and Alabama hosting Ole Miss. That’s in addition to the aforementioned Cincinnati and Notre Dame clash.