Lots Of Changes This Week In the Playoff
Last weekend proved once again why college football is so great. Two more teams fell from the ranks of the unbeatens totally changing the playoff. How different are things from last week? Let’s look at how we think the committee should rank the teams with our bowl projections following week 11.
College Football Playoff
Peach Bowl- December 28th- (1) LSU versus (4) Oregon– We thought about both Georgia and Alabama but in the end went with the Ducks. The Tigers went into Tuscaloosa and handed the Crimson Tide their first home loss since 2015. That alone is reason enough to jump them from four last week to the top spot. The Ducks are getting no attention from the national media. However we are making them the first Pac-12 team in the playoff since Washington in 2016.
Fiesta Bowl- December 28th- (2) Ohio State versus (3) Clemson- The Buckeyes and Tigers swap spots in our projections this week. Clemson should never have been out of the top four but that’s the committee for you.
College Football National Championship- (1) LSU versus (2) Ohio State- Joe Burrow versus his former team- sign us up right now. Through the first 11 weeks of the season these have been the two best teams. Therefore it makes total sense for them to play for it all.
New Year’s Six/Selection Committee Games
Cotton Bowl- December 28th- Baylor versus Memphis- Each week the Bears seemingly tempt fate, yet they are still undefeated. There are several teams vying for the Group of Five berth. Those include Appalachian State, Boise State and Cincinnati. However when it is all said and done we think the Tigers get the nod.
Orange Bowl- December 30th- Georgia versus Virginia Tech- It’s really difficult to determine who gets the bid from the ACC. But as a result of the Hokies big win over Wake Forest they get the nod, at least for this week. The Bulldogs move over from the Sugar Bowl, where they had been previously.
Rose Bowl- January 1st- Minnesota versus Utah- If you’ve followed our posts over the last few weeks we’ve told you the Golden Gophers were a team to watch. After defeating Penn State they go to their first Rose Bowl since 1962. With Oregon moving up to the playoff the Utes head to Pasadena for the first time.
Sugar Bowl- January 1st- Alabama versus Oklahoma- When the season started we all thought we would see this game in the playoff. With four weeks remaining counting the conference championships both teams could still end up in the playoff. However no matter where it is Jalen Hurts versus Tua Tagovailoa is a match up everyone wants to see.
Now that we’ve finished the playoff and New Year’s Six games let’s look at the games of December 31 and January 1st. As we mention every week the SEC won’t have enough teams to fill all their slots. Furthermore Missouri still waits on their NCAA bowl ban appeal.
New Year’s Eve and Day Games
Citrus Bowl- January 1st- Florida versus Wisconsin- The Gators are still in the mix for the Orange Bowl. On the other side the Badgers could potentially make the Rose Bowl. Hard to believe this would be the first time these teams have ever met.
Outback Bowl- January 1st- Auburn versus Penn State- The Nittany Lions played in the Citrus Bowl last year so they likely head to Tampa this time.
Alamo Bowl- December 31st- Kansas State versus USC
Arizona Bowl- December 31st- Georgia Southern versus Wyoming
Belk Bowl- December 31st- SMU versus Wake Forest- With Kentucky’s loss to Tennessee they drop out of the game we’ve had them for the past couple of weeks. As a result the “Best Bowl” gets quite the interesting match up.
Liberty Bowl- December 31st- Mississippi State versus TCU- For this week we are taking Missouri out of bowl contention. They are replaced by the Bulldogs who make a relatively short trip to Memphis.
Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- Arizona State versus Miami (Florida)
Up next in our bowl projections following week 11 is the slate of games after New Year’s Day.
Post New Year’s Games
Birmingham Bowl- January 2nd- Tulane versus Liberty- With no SEC team available the Flames pick up the bid.
Taxslayer Gator Bowl- January 2nd- Michigan versus Tennessee- The Vols still need one win for eligibility but we like their chances. Texas A&M is also a possibility but they played here last year.
Idaho Potato Bowl- January 3rd- Toledo versus Utah State
Armed Forces Bowl- January 4th- Air Force versus Buffalo
Mobile Bowl- January 6th- Miami (Ohio) versus Louisiana
Continuing on with our bowl projections following week 11 let’s look now at the games following Christmas.
Post Christmas Bowl Games
First Responder Bowl- December 30th- Fresno State versus Florida Atlantic
Music City Bowl- December 30th- Kentucky versus Virginia- There’s still a chance the Cavaliers end up in the Orange Bowl. After blowing a double digit lead to Tennessee the Cats have some work to do to get to six wins. This would be Kentucky’s sixth trip to Nashville, the most of any school.
Redbox Bowl- December 30th- Indiana versus Stanford
Camping World Bowl- December 28th- Notre Dame versus Texas
Cheez-It Bowl- December 27th- Iowa State versus Nevada
Holiday Bowl- December 27th- Iowa versus Washington
Military Bowl- December 27th- Pittsburgh versus Navy
Pinstripe Bowl- December 27th- Louisville versus Illinois
Texas Bowl- December 27th- Oklahoma State versus Texas A&M- The organizers would love a Texas vs. Texas A&M match up. However this game between former conference foes is quite enticing.
Independence Bowl- December 26th- North Carolina versus California- With no SEC team available we are sending the Bears to Shreveport.
Quick Lane Bowl- December 26th- Florida State versus Michigan State- Losers of four straight the Spartans are struggling. However they should beat Maryland and Rutgers to get to six wins.
Time to wrap up our bowl projections following week 11 with all the games before Christmas and the crazy day of December 21st.
Bowl Games Before Christmas
Bahamas Bowl- December 20th- Ball State versus North Texas
Frisco Bowl- December 20th- Marshall versus Temple
Boca Raton Bowl- December 21st- Western Kentucky versus Western Michigan
Cameilla Bowl- December 21st- Central Michigan versus Georgia State
Celebration Bowl- December 21st- Alcorn State versus North Carolina A&T
Cure Bowl- December 21st- Arkansas State versus Central Florida
Las Vegas Bowl- December 21st- Boise State versus Washington State- The Cougars have been in this slot for weeks. However they currently sit at 4-5 and are on thin ice.
New Mexico Bowl- December 21st- UAB versus San Diego State
New Orleans Bowl- December 21st- Appalachian State versus Southern Mississippi- As mentioned earlier after beating South Carolina the Mountaineers still have Cotton Bowl hopes. However for now we are keeping them in New Orleans.
Gasparilla Bowl- December 23rd- Cincinnati versus Louisiana Tech
Hawaii Bowl- December 24th- BYU versus Hawaii
That wraps up our bowl projections following week 11 here at Last Word On College Football. Now we’ll see how close our picks match up to the selection committee.