College Football

Way-Way-WAY-Too-Early Bowl Projections

cfp-2

I usually don’t do this so early in the season.  We aren’t even at Halloween yet.  I am very thankful that Halloween doesn’t land on a Saturday like it did last year.  As a college football fan, it does not make things very easy.  At least my kids got a lot of candy.

So anyway, as I was saying, I don’t usually do this type of thing this early…well, at least publicly.  I do this from the end of week one to be honest with you.  Once I have the template up it makes it easier to swap teams in and out as I see fit.

First, let’s look at how the teams I originally projected to be in the College Football Playoff are doing:

  • LSU – LSU looked like a horrible pick early on with their two early losses. They have come on strong since then.  No real chance at the CFP but a very good chance at the New Year’s Six.  They would put the college football world on its ear if they could upset Bama in primetime in a couple of weeks.
  • Florida State – If it wasn’t for Louisville and North Carolina, the Noles would still be looking like a good pick. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset of Clemson this Saturday with the game in Tallahassee.
  • Michigan State – Ugh.
  • Oklahoma – I can honestly see the Sooners running the table now and winning the Big XII. Problem is, Houston has fallen off and even Ohio State lost meaning their strength of schedule has taken a hit.  So no CFP for them.

So there you go.  0-for-4.  Terrible.

Let’s look forward now.  First of all, my UPDATED College Football Playoff projections:

December 31, 2016 Fiesta Bowl #2 Washington #3 Ohio State
December 31, 2016 Peach Bowl #1 Alabama #4 Clemson

I think that is what almost everyone has at this point, although I know some will pick Michigan at this point.  I think Ohio State will win The Game and the Big Ten Championship to get in as the #3 seed.  The Big XII will be left out again so everyone will go on and on about how the conference is a mess (which isn’t altogether untrue) and if they had just expanded they would have got in or some shit like that.  I don’t think that’s the case but I do believe they should have expanded for other reasons.

Now, the New Year’s Six which is where the bulk of the debate will lie:

January 2, 2017 Sugar Bowl #7 Texas A&M #9 Oklahoma
January 2, 2017 Rose Bowl #8 Michigan #15 Utah
January 2, 2017 Cotton Bowl #6 Boise State #5 Baylor
December 30, 2016 Orange Bowl #11 Louisville #12 Tennessee

The two highest ranked teams not in the CFP, at this point, would be the two at-large teams going to the Cotton Bowl: Boise State and Baylor.  Boise is obvious.  I think Baylor will lose to Oklahoma (and thus the Big XII title) but win everything else, putting them at #6.  Oklahoma would get the Big XII’s Sugar Bowl spot and face old Big XII running mate Texas A&M.  Michigan and Louisville are easy calls, as is Utah who, other than Washington State, is the only team even close to Washington out in the Pac-12.  That last spot in the Orange Bowl will be interesting as it is contractually obligated to take the best Big Ten or SEC team left after the other bowls have selected.  I see it being Tennessee but there are upwards of five other teams (Wisconsin, Georgia, Penn State, LSU, Nebraska) who could be in play for that spot.  Much will be determined in the next couple of weeks as at least two of these teams will probably be out of luck for a NY6 spot.

Finally, here are the rest of the bowls:

January 2, 2017 Outback Bowl #20 LSU #19 Penn State
December 31, 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl Florida #16 North Carolina
December 31, 2016 Citrus Bowl #18 Georgia #14 Wisconsin
December 30, 2016 Arizona Bowl Colorado State Idaho
December 30, 2016 Music City Bowl Arkansas #23 Nebraska
December 30, 2016 Sun Bowl USC #25 Miami
December 30, 2016 Liberty Bowl Ole Miss Kansas State
December 29, 2016 Alamo Bowl #24 Washington State #22 West Virginia
December 29, 2016 Belk Bowl Auburn Pittsburgh
December 29, 2016 Birmingham Bowl NC State Temple
December 28, 2016 Texas Bowl Kentucky** Oklahoma State
December 28, 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl TCU #13 Florida State
December 28, 2016 Pinstripe Bowl Northwestern Virginia Tech
December 27, 2016 Cactus Bowl UCLA South Carolina**
December 27, 2016 Holiday Bowl #21 Iowa Colorado
December 27, 2016 Military Bowl Wake Forest USF
December 27, 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl Maryland Southern Miss
December 26, 2016 Independence Bowl Western Kentucky Georgia Tech
December 26, 2016 Quick Lane Bowl Indiana #10 Western Michigan
December 26, 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl Notre Dame Houston
December 24, 2016 Hawaii Bowl Hawaii Middle Tennessee
December 23, 2016 GoDaddy Bowl Toledo Arkansas State
December 23, 2016 Armed Forces Bowl Navy Texas**
December 23, 2016 Bahamas Bowl UCF** Central Michigan
December 22, 2016 Foster Farms Bowl Minnesota Stanford
December 22, 2016 Idaho Potato Bowl New Mexico Ohio
December 21, 2016 Poinsettia Bowl BYU South Alabama*
December 20, 2016 Boca Raton Bowl Cincinnati Louisiana Tech
December 19, 2016 Miami Beach Bowl Memphis Eastern Michigan
December 17, 2016 New Orleans Bowl Old Dominion Georgia Southern
December 17, 2016 Camellia Bowl Ball State Appalachian State
December 17, 2016 Cure Bowl Tulsa Troy
December 17, 2016 Las Vegas Bowl Arizona State #17 San Diego State
December 17, 2016 New Mexico Bowl Air Force UTEP**

Just like last season, I foresee some tie-ins not being filled.  Basically the bowl system is a bit broken (as I outlined HERE) and no one wants to fix it.  So you will see teams filling spots thanks to APR (Academic Progress Rate) and not based on performance on the field.  As of this time I see five spots (denoted by the ol’ double asterisk (**)) being filled by at-large teams with 5-7 records.  Really it’s a crapshoot at this point since I have no idea which schools do better with their students and which don’t.  All I know is that some schools will get a national audience for basically the first time ever and let’s hope they run with it.  Right now I have got Old Dominion going to their first bowl ever and Eastern Michigan, of all schools, getting to a bowl for the first time in about three decades.  Good for those two schools if that does, in fact, happen.  I will keep updating this the rest of the season.  Then we can look back and have a laugh at how wrong I was even with only six weeks left in the season.

Tomorrow I will post the college schedule and Friday, the NFL’s.  Have a happy hump day everyone!

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