College Football

Final Rankings/Bowl Projections Combo Report

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:

#1 Alabama
#2 Ohio State
#3 Clemson
#4 Washington
#5 Wisconsin
#6 Michigan
#7 Colorado
#8 Penn State
#9 Florida State
#10 Oklahoma
#11 Oklahoma State
#12 USC
#13 West Virginia
#14 Western Michigan
#15 Florida
#16 Louisville
#17 Auburn
#18 Stanford
#19 Navy
#20 Virginia Tech
#21 LSU
#22 Iowa
#23 Nebraska
#24 Utah
#25 USF

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
Arizona Bowl Wyoming Idaho
Music City Bowl Georgia Northwestern
Sun Bowl Utah Pittsburgh
Liberty Bowl Arkansas Kansas State
Alamo Bowl #10 USC #14 Oklahoma State
Belk Bowl Kentucky Virginia Tech
Birmingham Bowl Vanderbilt Memphis
Texas Bowl Texas A&M TCU
Russell Athletic Bowl #13 West Virginia #17 Louisville
Pinstripe Bowl Maryland Miami
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!

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8 thoughts on “Final Rankings/Bowl Projections Combo Report

  1. I agree with most of what you say. But I do think that unless it is a nail-biting loss for Colorado (I am assuming a Washington win of some magnitude) that USC will end up in the Rose Bowl.

    Also, the NY6 picks are driven strictly by the committee rankings, right? So it’s not a “choice” in the traditional sense between FSU and Louisville but rather determined by the committee rankings.

    For kicks I played around with what the Bowls would look like using the old affiliations. Assuming Wash, Wisky, Bama, Clemson and OU win their conferences I think it would have come out like this:

    Rose – Wash-Wisky
    Sugar – Bama-Ohio St
    Orange – Clemson-Michigan
    Fiesta -OU-USC/Colorado

    Sugar becomes the de-facto title game.

    I wish we could go back to those days. And the worst day in the history of sports will be the day they expand the playoff to 8 teams.

    1. It wouldn’t surprise me to see USC leapfrog Colorado to go to the Rose. It would mean the Buffs fall more than three spots after losing to Washington. That’s the question: would The Committee do that?
      Yes the New Year’s Six is driven by rankings. All the conference champions not in the CFP are slotted in first (including the G-5 rep). The rest of the spots are then filled with the highest ranked team (using bowl tie-ins if they are present).
      I am torn about them going to eight. To be honest, I am liking the four and I hope they stay this way. I was never a fan of poll n’ bowl but nothing was worse than the BCS. Just an awful system.

    2. To further this, I should have included tie-ins in the post. They are as such:
      Sugar gets SEC #1 and Big XII #1
      Rose gets B1G #1 and Pac-12 #1
      Orange gets ACC #1 and SEC or B1G #2 or Notre Dame
      Cotton gets two at-large

  2. Count me in also as saying that the playoff should remain at four teams. The #5 team might have a legitimate gripe in certain years. It’s tough. But the 4 team system is the way to go.

  3. This is the scenario I have been dreading ever since talk of a playoff first threatened to become a reality: all Power 5 Conference Champs get automatic entry to the playoff.

    Just think of what THAT does to the FSU-Florida, UGA-Ga Tech, ND-USC/Stanford and other similar games on the last regular season weekend. It is only a matter of time until some coach in one of those games rests key players for the conference title game the next week thereby completely fucking a huge feature of CFB. I try not to be “that guy” who “knows better than other sports fans” but I can’t avoid it with CFB. If you want a large playoff you have no idea what the sport is about and you should kindly bugger off to any other North American sport, all of which have the large playoff circus you are looking for. Let us European soccer fans and CFB fans enjoy our sports that reward players for regular season excellence and fans for paying attention to the regular season. Rant over. 🙂

    1. Well I am not a soccer fan in the least (as many would know from reading posts I have made on the subject…then again I did watch overtime of the TFC-Impact game the other night). But I do understand what you mean.
      Having all five conference champs get in to the playoff is not the greatest idea in my opinion either. You will almost always have one that is truly outside the top eight. What then? The college football world, as insular as it is, would rightly blow its stack if the 11th-ranked team in the nation went on to win the title because they won their conference and was thus granted entry into the CFP.
      I still believe it’s almost time to break off the top 32/48/64/whatever teams and have them create their own division of NCAA or whatever they feel like calling it. Make it exclusive. Whatever it takes.

    2. I hope that you were not directing your rant at me Gordo. The 4 team playoff system is awesome & it better remain that way. I don’t want any playoff expansion.

      1. Definitely NOT directed at you. Not directed at anyone that has commented here. More a call to arms for all who think like us to defend against the onslaught from the hordes who would destroy the regular season and all its associated charms through some misguided effort to be “fair”. 🙂

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