One Day Until The Final Picks
As promised when we last talked on Tuesday, we are back with our Updated Championship Week Bowl Projections. While there were two games Friday night it was the Pac-12 title contest and the last “Pac-12 After Dark” which helped set not only our playoff teams but the selection committee games as well.
As anyone in Hollywood would tell you sequels are generally never as good as the original. For about 30 minutes it looked like the case again as Washington jumped out to a 20-3 lead. However behind Bo Nix Oregon came rallying back to take a 24-20 lead. But as they’ve done all year Michael Penix, Dillon Johnson and the Huskies answered every challenge. As a result they punched their ticket to the playoff winning 34-31.
Speaking of Washington going back to the preseason Last Word had them as the three seed in the playoff. After dropping out for a few weeks they returned in Week Seven, where they stayed the rest of the year. In fact, we were the only site to have them in the playoff consistently. Kalen DeBoer’s squad rewarded our faith in them. Now let’s get to our picks.
College Football Playoff
We’ll start off by saying these are based on all the favorites winning Saturday. If one or more loses then chaos will ensue.
Allstate Sugar Bowl: January 1st- (1)- Georgia vs. (4)- Florida State- The Seminoles may be without quarterback Tate Rodemaker for their battle against Louisville.
Prudential Rose Bowl: January 1st- (2)- Michigan vs. (3)- Washington- The Huskies high powered offense versus the Wolverines stout defense is a must-see game.
College Football National Championship: January 8th- (1)- Georgia vs. (2)- Michigan- Our title game remains the same as the last few weeks.
Heading into our next set of match-ups ups there are pretty much the same, for now.
Selection Committee Games
Goodyear Cotton Bowl: December 29th- Missouri vs. Texas- If losses by the top teams happen could the Longhorns sneak in as the fourth team?
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: December 30th- Tulane vs. Penn State- The Green Wave faces SMU for the AAC title later today. If Willie Fritz’s team wins then they are the Group Of Five team. Should the Mustangs win then things get interesting. It’s likely Liberty gets the nod after winning the Conference USA crown 49-35 over New Mexico State.
Capital One Orange Bowl: December 30th- Louisville vs. Ohio State– The Cards are pretty much locked into the Orange Bowl. Even if they lose to Florida State they should still be ahead of North Carolina State since they beat them earlier in the year.
VRBO Fiesta Bowl: January 1st- Oregon vs. Alabama- The team that didn’t win the Pac-12 title was slotted to go to Arizona and that’s the Ducks. On paper, this should be a whale of a game.
Continuing with our Updated Championship Week Bowl Projections let’s roll through the games by date. One thing to note there are no games on December 24th or 31st to not go up against the NFL schedule.
Games Around the New Year
Cheez-It Citrus Bowl: January 1st- Big 10 vs. SEC- Ole Miss vs. Iowa
ReliaQuest Bowl: January 1st- SEC vs. Big 10- LSU vs. Notre Dame
TransPerfect Music City Bowl: December 30th- SEC vs. Big 10- Auburn vs. Wisconsin- Last week it looked like the Aggies were headed for Nashville. However it now appears the Tigers are going there.
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: December 30th- MAC vs. MWC– Fresno State vs. Miami (Ohio)
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: December 29th- SEC vs. Big 10 or ACC/Notre Dame- North Carolina vs. Tennessee
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl: December 29th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. Pac-12- Miami (Florida) vs. USC
AutoZone Liberty Bowl: December 29th- Big 12 vs. SEC- SMU* vs. Iowa State- As a result of no SEC team being available we’re sending the Mustangs to Memphis.
Post Christmas Games
Quick Lane Bowl: December 26th- Big 10 vs. MAC- Minnesota vs. Ohio
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: December 26th- American/ACC/Big 12/ SEC- Duke vs. Kansas State
Guaranteed Rate Bowl: December 26th- Big 12 vs. Big 10- West Virginia vs. Northwestern
DirecTV Holiday Bowl: December 27th- ACC vs. Pac-12- Clemson vs. Oregon State- With D.J. Uiaglelei in the transfer portal this match-up doesn’t quite have the same excitement. However we are keeping it for now.
Military Bowl: December 27th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. American- Syracuse vs. Memphis
Duke’s Mayo Bowl: December 27th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. SEC- Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech- Barring some full-scale chaos on Saturday the Wildcats seemed locked into playing in Charlotte. Earlier in the week Duke looked like the likely opponent. However, it’s looking more likely that the Hokies will be the ACC representative. This is a rematch of the then Belk Bowl in 2019 the Cats won 37-30.
TaxAct Texas Bowl: December 27th- Big 12 vs. SEC- Kansas vs. Texas A&M
Wasabi Fenway Bowl: December 28th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. American- Boston College vs. South Florida
Bad Boy Motors Pinstripe Bowl: December 28th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big 10- Georgia Tech vs. Rutgers
Pop Tarts Bowl- December 28th: ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big 12- North Carolina State vs. Oklahoma State
Valero Alamo Bowl: December 28th- Big 12 vs. Pac-12- Oklahoma vs. Arizona
As we roll on with our Updated Championship Week Bowl Projections let’s move to the set of games just before Christmas. That includes a whopping seven games on December 23rd. Going through our last sets of games we had to get creative with some of these games so as to not have teams from the Sun Belt playing each other.
Games Right Before Christmas
76 Birmingham Bowl December 23rd: American vs. SEC- *Liberty vs. *Troy- The game has a new sponsor and would be one of the best of the bowl season.
Camellia Bowl- December 23rd: MAC vs. Sun Belt- Bowling Green vs. Marshall
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: December 23rd- Big 12 vs. Pool- Air Force vs. James Madison- It looks like the Dukes have found their bowl game. However, they will be without their coach Curt Cignelli who is headed to Indiana.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: December 23rd- MAC vs. MWC- Northern Illinois vs. Wyoming
68 Ventures Bowl: December 23rd- Pool vs. Sun Belt- Georgia Southern vs. Utah State
RS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl: December 23rd- Big 10 vs. Pac-12- Maryland vs. Utah
Easy Post Hawai’i Bowl: December 23rd- Conference USA/MWC/American- Coastal Carolina+ vs. San Jose State+- Earlier this week the Chanticleers and Spartans became the first teams to officially accept a bid.
Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl: December 22nd- American/ACC/Notre Dame/SEC- South Alabama vs. Central Florida
RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: December 21st- Group Of Five vs. Group Of Five- Old Dominion vs. New Mexico State
We wrap up our Updated Championship Week with the first set of bowls on the schedule. That includes a massive seven-game slate on December 16th alone.
First Weekend Games
Famous Toastery Bowl: December 16th- Conference USA vs. MAC- Eastern Michigan vs. Arkansas State*- The former Bahamas Bowl being played in Charlotte this year has a new sponsor.
Cricket Celebration Bowl: December 16th- MEAC vs. SWAC- Florida A&M vs. Howard+- The Bison became the first team to clinch a bowl bid by winning the MEAC.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: December 16th- Conference USA vs. Sun Belt- Louisiana+ vs. Jacksonville State+- It looks like Ticketmaster spoiled the unveiling of this contest which was found online Thursday night. Nonetheless, we now know where Jacksonville State is playing in its first bowl game.
Duluth Trading Cure Bowl: December 16th- Group Of Five vs. Group Of Five- Toledo vs. Appalachian State
Isleta New Mexico Bowl: December 16th- C-USA vs. MWC- Boise State vs. Western Kentucky
LA Bowl Hosted By Gronk: December 16th- Pac-12 vs. Mountain West- California vs. UNLV- We’re hearing the Bears are bowl eligible will reportedly make the short trip to LA.
Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl: December 16th-Big 12 vs. Pac-12- Texas Tech vs. UCLA- Sources tell Last Word the Bruins are expected to head to Shreveport. Unfortunately for many Bruin fans the “Independence From Chip Kelly” isn’t happening.
Myrtle Beach Bowl: American/MAC/Sun Belt- December 18th- Texas San-Antonio* vs. Georgia State
Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl: December 19th-Group of Five vs. Group Of Five- Rice vs. Texas State
*Denotes a replacement team.
+Denotes a team that has accepted a bid
Thanks for checking out our Updated Championship Week Bowl Projections here at Last Word On College Football. We’ll be back tomorrow with our final projections.