Upsets Alter The New Year’s Six Landscape
Another exciting week of college football is in the books and there were two major surprises. While none of those affected our playoff teams it did change the New Year’s Six games. Who are our playoff and New Year’s Six teams? Let’s get right to it with our bowl projections following week eight.
College Football Playoff
Peach Bowl- December 28th- (1)- Alabama versus (4)- Ohio State- The Crimson Tide had a tougher than expected time with Tennessee. However in the end they racked up their 13th straight win against the Vols. The bigger question is the status of Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle. He had surgery on it Sunday and will miss next week’s game against Arkansas. On the other side of the ball the Buckeyes rolled over Northwestern 52-3.
Fiesta Bowl- December 28th- (2)- Clemson versus (3)- Oklahoma- The Tigers struggled early before blowing out Louisville. For the Sooners Jalen Hurts only enhanced his case for the Heisman Trophy with a dominant performance against West Virginia.
College Football National Championship- (1)- Alabama versus (2)- Clemson- No matter how many twists and turns there are during the season the end result is still the same. The Crimson Tide and Tigers meet for the title once again.
Our next group of games sees changes in the Cotton and Rose Bowls.
New Year’s Six Games
Cotton Bowl- December 28th- SMU versus Notre Dame- Following Boise State’s surprising loss to BYU they are no longer the top Group Of Five school. At 7-0 SMU takes their place and faces a Fighting Irish club headed to Jerry World for a second straight year.
Orange Bowl- December 30th- Georgia versus Virginia- A 52-14 demolition of Duke put the Cavaliers squarely in the driver’s seat for the bid from the ACC. The Bulldogs beat Kentucky 21-0 in a game played in a monsoon. Whoever wins the battle in Jacksonville between the Florida and Georgia wins the SEC East and a likely bid to Miami.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- Penn State versus Oregon- With Wisconsin’s shocking loss to Illinois the undefeated Nittany Lions now head to Pasadena. By rallying late to win at Washington the Ducks all but punched their ticket to the Pac-12 title game.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- Baylor versus LSU- Joe Burrow and company had no trouble beating Mississippi State on the road. The Bears rallied once again to beat Oklahoma State 45-27. Texas could end up in with the Big 12’s bid but for now we are sticking with Baylor.
As we continue with our bowl projections following week eight let’s look at the other major bowl games.
New Year’s Eve and Day Games
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Wisconsin versus Florida- As mentioned earlier the loser of the Gators-Bulldogs game ends up in Orlando. As a result of their loss to Illinois the Badgers drop down from the Rose Bowl.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Auburn versus Minnesota- No story has been as good as the Golden Gophers in 2019. Their reward for a great season is a trip to Tampa in January where there’s probably an 80 degree temperature difference.
Alamo Bowl- December 31st- Texas versus Utah- Every year this game is one of the best bowls. A match up between Longhorns and Utes certainly fits that bill.
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Georgia State versus Fresno State
Belk Bowl- December 31st- Wake Forest versus Missouri- After their bad loss to Vandy the Tigers drop from the Gator to Belk Bowl this week. Of course we still don’t know if they will even be eligible for post-season play.
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Kentucky versus Texas Tech- The Wildcats have some work to do to get to six wins. However they play four of their last five at home. The Red Raiders replace TCU who we had in this spot last week.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Arizona State versus Virginia Tech- A trip to El Paso marks the 27th straight year the Hokies have been to a bowl.
We say this every week but the league to watch in the next couple of groups of games is the SEC. More than likely they aren’t going to have enough teams to fill their slots which means great things for some group of five schools. In addition pay attention to Missouri who is still waiting to hear from the NCAA concerning their bowl eligibility.
Games After New Year’s Day-
Birmingham Bowl- January 2nd- Cincinnati versus Liberty- With no SEC team to grab a bid the Flames get a much deserved post season berth.
Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Michigan versus Texas A&M
Idaho Potato Bowl- January 3rd- Ball State versus Utah State
Armed Forces Bowl- January 4th- Marshall versus Air Force- With no Big Ten team available the Thundering Herd get the nod as a replacement.
Mobile Bowl- January 6th- Toledo versus Louisiana
Post Christmas Games
First Responder Bowl- December 30th- TCU versus UAB- The Horned Frogs have some work to do if they want to make game in Dallas.
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Louisville versus South Carolina- Despite the blowout loss to Clemson the job Scott Satterfield has done with the Cardinals has been remarkable. Much like a few of their SEC brethren the Gamecocks still need some wins for bowl eligiblity.
Redbox Bowl- December 30th- Indiana versus USC
Camping World Bowl- December 28th- Pittsburgh versus Iowa State
Cheez-It Bowl- December 27th- Kansas State versus Wyoming- Even at 5-2 the Cowboys were left out of last week’s projections now they are back in. However they have a brutal end of the season schedule to get through.
Holiday Bowl- December 27th- Iowa versus Washington- The Huskies had a chance to upset Oregon and stake a claim for the Rose Bowl but blew a late lead losing 35-31.
Military Bowl- December 27th-Navy versus Duke
Pinstripe Bowl- December 27th- Florida State versus Michigan State
Texas Bowl- December 27th- Mississippi State versus Oklahoma State
Independence Bowl- December 26th- Buffalo versus North Carolina- The Braves take advantage with no SEC team to claim a bid. Mack Brown’s club gets the nod over Miami due to their 28-25 win earlier this year.
Quick Lane Bowl- December 26th- Nebraska versus North Carolina State
As we finish our bowl projections following week eight we look at all the early season bowl games.
Bowl Games Before Christmas
Bahamas Bowl- December 20th- Eastern Michigan versus Florida Atlantic
Frisco Bowl- December 20th- Temple versus Southern Mississippi
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- Memphis versus Western Michigan
Camellia Bowl- December 21st- Ohio versus Troy
Celebration Bowl- December 21st- Alcorn State versus North Carolina A&T
Cure Bowl- December 21st-Tulane versus Arkansas State
Las Vegas Bowl- December 21st- Boise State versus Washington State- The Broncos drop out of the Cotton Bowl and land in Las Vegas. Mike Leach on the Vegas strip for a few days, the possibilities are endless.
New Mexico Bowl- December 21st- Louisiana Tech versus San Diego State
New Orleans Bowl- December 21st- Appalachian State versus Western Kentucky
Gasparilla Bowl- December 23rd- Central Florida versus Florida International
Hawaii Bowl- December 24th- BYU versus Hawaii- With their upset win over Boise State the Cougars jump back into the bowl picture. While it’s possible to have another team here besides the Rainbows it just doesn’t make sense.
Thanks for checking out our bowl projections following week eight here at Last Word On College Football. Agree or disagree with our picks? Place your choices in the comment section below. We’ll see you next time as we update the projections until the picks come out in December.