OK more like the only rankings/bowl projections combo report. But I am technically correct with saying it’s the final one.
I figured I wouldn’t include my rankings with the weekly recap because the recap ended up being really long and I think I would have tired of reading it at that point. So it falls here. Here are what I think the rankings are at this point:
As you can see, not a whole lot of difference here. Not enough to argue about really since the conference championship games will even everything out, at least when it comes to the top four. Beyond that there will be a lot of debate for a couple of the spots (2nd SEC spot, 2nd at-large spot, etc.) but we expect that and the folks over at ESPN love that shit.
I might as well add my conference championship predictions here as well. Normally I would do them with the schedules but it fits better here. So here they are:
Western Kentucky over Louisiana Tech. I think this could get ugly.
Western Michigan over Ohio. It’s the MAC Championship. Expect the weird and wacky. I can see this one being real close, at least for three quarters.
San Diego State over Wyoming. Neither team has looked great lately. Winner, as far as I know, goes to the Las Vegas Bowl but we know how that sometimes works out.
Navy over Temple. By this time, the Midshipmen will know that they have no shot at the Group of Five New Year’s Six spot. They will still win this though, especially being at home.
Clemson over Virginia Tech. I honestly can’t see this one being close. Then again, North Carolina almost pulled off the upset last season so you never know.
Washington over Colorado. Either an ACC or Pac-12 upset would cause a bit of CFP chaos. I can’t see either happening. Washington, other than the hiccup against USC, has looked really good.
Wisconsin over Penn State. This game only matters if Washington or Clemson lose (I will explain a bit more below).
Alabama over Florida. Pray for the Gators.
With these predicted results, I can get to the bowl projections. These will be the last before this Saturday when they are updated on a near-hourly basis. I have included the rankings I think these teams will have come Sunday. Let’s start with the College Football Playoff:
|Fiesta Bowl||#2 Clemson||#3 Washington|
|Peach Bowl||#1 Alabama||#4 Ohio State|
I have added what I believe all the team’s CFP ranking will be come Sunday. I know somewhere I will be really wrong but who cares. Anyway, is there really a way to push Ohio State out of the top four? I believe no there isn’t. If somehow they were excluded, it would show that The Committee values conference championships over basically everything. I don’t think that should be the case and I don’t think they will be believe that either. I believe Clemson and Washington winning will make the top four relatively easy for The Committee, much to the chagrin of the Big Ten champ, whoever that may end up being.
Now on to the New Year’s Six spots and this is where it gets interesting since I am sure there are a few hundred of these out there and there’s at least 30 different possibilities.
|Sugar Bowl||#20 Auburn||#7 Oklahoma|
|Rose Bowl||#5 Wisconsin||#8 Colorado|
|Cotton Bowl||#9 Penn State||#12 Western Michigan|
|Orange Bowl||#11 Florida State||#6 Michigan|
Hot take is too strong a word for any conflicting idea here. At least I have ways to back up my thinking. So here goes:
- Big Ten Champ goes to Rose.
- Michigan is the best team (other than Ohio State) that will not play for a conference championship. There is spot in the Orange for the best SEC or Big Ten team left (or Notre Dame ahahahahahahahaha) so they will land there.
- I believe Oklahoma will win Bedlam so they get the Big XII spot in the Sugar.
- Washington being in the CFP means the 2nd selection from the Pac-12 goes to the Rose. I can’t see them picking USC over Colorado in this case.
- Penn State won’t fall far with a loss to Wisconsin. With no B1G tie-ins remaining in the NY6, they get a Cotton Bowl bid.
- Western Michigan will be PSU’s opponent as they get the G-5 NY6 spot.
- I believe FSU will be selected over Louisville to go to the Orange. You could go either way with this but a little home cooking always helps a bowl game’s attendance whether we like it or not.
- Here may be the biggest controversy: the SEC spot in the Sugar. Unless Florida pulls off an upset of monumental proportions, the SEC representative in the Sugar Bowl will be, by far, the worst team in the New Year’s Six. It would come down to LSU, Florida, and Auburn. I have projected Auburn to go but really, any of the three will do.
Finally, here are the rest of the bowl projections. An asterisk (*) means a bowl bid has been accepted.
|Outback Bowl||#21 Florida||#15 Nebraska|
|TaxSlayer Bowl||Tennessee||North Carolina|
|Citrus Bowl||#24 LSU||#25 Iowa|
|Music City Bowl||Georgia||Northwestern|
|Liberty Bowl||Arkansas||Kansas State|
|Alamo Bowl||#10 USC||#14 Oklahoma State|
|Belk Bowl||Kentucky||Virginia Tech|
|Texas Bowl||Texas A&M||TCU|
|Russell Athletic Bowl||#13 West Virginia||#17 Louisville|
|Cactus Bowl||Colorado State||Baylor|
|Holiday Bowl||Minnesota||Washington State|
|Military Bowl||Georgia Tech||Houston|
|Heart of Dallas Bowl||Army||#19 Western Kentucky|
|Independence Bowl||South Carolina||NC State|
|Quick Lane Bowl||Toledo||Boston College|
|St. Petersburg Bowl||Wake Forest||Temple|
|Hawaii Bowl||Hawaii||Middle Tennessee|
|Dollar General Bowl||Central Michigan||Troy|
|Armed Forces Bowl||#18 Navy||Appalachian State|
|Bahamas Bowl||Old Dominion*||Eastern Michigan*|
|Foster Farms Bowl||Indiana||#16 Stanford|
|Idaho Potato Bowl||#22 Boise State||Ohio|
|Poinsettia Bowl||BYU*||New Mexico|
|Boca Raton Bowl||USF||Southern Miss|
|Miami Beach Bowl||Tulsa||North Texas|
|New Orleans Bowl||Louisiana Tech||UL-Lafayette|
|Camellia Bowl||Miami-OH||South Alabama|
|Cure Bowl||UCF||Arkansas State|
|Las Vegas Bowl||Mississippi State||San Diego State|
|New Mexico Bowl||Air Force||UTSA|
There are not enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all the bowl spots (shocked face). Hawaii will go to the Hawaii Bowl with six wins (despite a 6-7 record). Army, even with two FCS wins, will get selected over any other 5-7 teams first. Then we come to the APR schools. Be smart, it could get you a bowl bid. Mississippi State and North Texas lead the way and are basically locks for bowl games. UL-Lafayette and South Alabama (with the help of a waiver and the Florida-LSU Sankey SEC Shitshow) need wins to go bowling. I believe they will both do that so we will be left with two 5-7 teams going bowling. If either of these two teams do not win their regular season finales on Saturday, next up are Texas and Northern Illinois. Whether the Horns would accept or not is up for debate. If they didn’t and they still needed another team, Cal would be up to bat. All very convoluted.
On top of that, there is a bit of a doomsday scenario for the entire bowl process. Let’s say Western Michigan loses the MAC Championship and Navy beats Temple for the AAC title. Navy will, chances are, be the top-ranked team in the CFP rankings. So now what? The Committee has to hold the rankings until Navy plays Army. Why? Because if Army defeats Navy after all this, there is no way Navy would get the G-5 spot. So this just doesn’t affect Navy and the Cotton Bowl. It would affect at least six other bowls (if not more) depending on which conferences are affected. It becomes a mess and would undermine this entire process in only its third season. Part of me would love to see this happen to see what the powers that be would do. On the other hand, I would like the rankings to come out and bowl bids accepted this weekend so we can get on with this.
Alright, tomorrow I will have the college football schedule which will be a lot smaller than usual (obviously). Friday you will get the NFL schedule and then plan on looking back every so often as I will be live-Tweeting and updating the blog as bowl bids are accepted and any big occurrences happen that would affect the bowl games. Have a great hump day everyone!