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2014: Post Week Nine Bowl Projections

The SEC is eating itself alive, which only improves Michigan State's odds of making the playoff. But I still don't have them making the playoff.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not automatically excluding Ole Miss from the CFB Playoff for a few reasons. Primarily: 1) Death Valley; 2) Mad Hatter; and 3) the schedule. Their remaining games are against Auburn, Presbyterian, Arkansas and Mississippi State. Both Auburn and Miss State are at home and Arkansas couldn't win a game of importance to save their lives, so it's probable that the Rebs could win out, beat Georgia in the SEC Championship and get in.

Naturally, Alabama makes it in because they win out and miss the SEC Championship game after losing to the Rebels. Lucky them.

All of this comes at the expense of the number one team in the nation, who, unfortunately, I think loses their two remaining road contests at Alabama and Ole Miss. Sorry, Clanga. Oh and what about Auburn? They're 7-1 and have remaining trips at Georgia and Alabama. Again, they'll at the very least lose to Alabama and miss the playoff.

The remaining spots fall to Florida State and Oregon if they remain perfect. If not, I see Michigan State, Norte Dame or TCU sneaking in (assuming they stay perfect). I'm not too concerned about Notre Dame though, as I think Arizona State is going to run all over them.

As for our beloved conference, Michigan State either makes the playoff or a New Years Bowl and Ohio State should join them (in a New Years Bowl). Also, how bad is that Virginia Tech loss? The Buckeyes wouldn't even sweat making a New Years Bowl if their only loss was to Michigan State. Now they're going to be borderline due to losing to a team that was just punished by Miami. The same Miami team Nebraska punished. The same Nebraska team that Michigan State punished...for three quarters.

The West is a mess. Remember when Minnesota was a contender? Yeah, no. Contenders don't lose to the worst team in the Big Ten. Well obviously that leaves Wisconsin. Oh, Wisconsin who lost to Northwestern Wisconsin? That Wisconsin? The best of the bad options seems to be Nebraska, who is quietly taking care of business. Nebraska's only issue is that the remaining three teams on their schedule are Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Teams who are all jockeying for positions in the west themselves and want to spoil it for the Cornhuskers. I seriously think that the winner of the Big Ten West could have two or three losses.

The biggest winner last week was Illinois. They're currently 4-4 and have Iowa and Penn State at home and Ohio State and Northwestern on the road. Is there a possibility they could go 6-6? Well, Iowa loves losing games they have no business losing and Northwestern is pretty bi-polar at times. Why not? LOLJK. Yeah, Illinois isn't making a bowl game. A fluke is a fluke and that was a fluke. The only thing Tim Beckman secured is another few years of hilarity in Champaign. Thanks, Becks.

The Rules:

  • Four teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff.
  • Six bowls rotate for the semifinals: Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Peach.
  • The bowls hosting the semifinals this year are the Rose and Sugar.
  • If the Big Ten Champion is eligible for a non-playoff bowl when the Rose and Sugar Bowls are hosting the semifinals, as they are this year, the Big Ten Champion will appear in the Fiesta, Peach or Cotton Bowl, but NOT the Orange Bowl.
  • The highest ranked champion from the Group of Five mid-majors (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt) is guaranteed a spot in the non-playoff bowls if they fail to make the playoff.
  • The Big Ten Bowls are not necessarily in any order and should be broken into three tiers. First, the Citrus, Outback and Holiday are in the upper tier. The middle tier is Music City/TaxSlayer and San Francisco Bowl. The lower tier is whatever is left.

More rules/information appear below. Here's a look at the bowls themselves:

College Football Playoffs:

Bowl Location Date Opponents
Championship Arlington, TX 1/12/15 Semi Winner v. Semi Winner
Rose Pasadena, CA 1/1/15 No. 2 v. No. 3
Sugar New Orleans, LA 1/1/15 No. 1 v. No. 4

New Year's Bowls (Non-Playoff Bowls):

Bowl Location Date Opponents
Cotton Arlington, TX 1/1/15 At-Large
Fiesta Glendale, AZ 12/31/14 At-Large
Orange Miami, FL 12/31/14 ACC vs. Big Ten/Notre Dame
Peach Atlanta, GA 12/31/14 At-Large

Big Ten Bowls:




Last 5

Rose Bowl or Playoff

Pasadena, CA or Playoff Site

Pac-12 or Playoff Team


Citrus Bowl or Orange Bowl*

Orlando, FL or Miami, FL



Outback Bowl

Tampa, FL



Holiday Bowl

San Diego, CA



Music City or TaxSlayer Bowl**

Nashville, TN or Jacksonville, FL



San Francisco Bowl

San Francisco, CA



Pinstripe Bowl

New York City, NY



Quick Lane Bowl

Detroit, MI



Heart of Dallas or Armed Forces Bowl****

Fort Worth, TX or Dallas, TX



* - The Big Ten, along with the SEC, will be eligible to face the ACC representative in the Orange Bowl at least three out of the eight seasons that it does not host a semifinal for the Playoff over a 12-year span. Notre Dame will be chosen the other two years if eligible. (It's from Wikipedia so it must be true). Also note that if the Big Ten is chosen for the Orange Bowl they give up their spot in the Citrus Bowl.

** - The Big Ten and ACC will switch between the Music City and Gator Bowl (now simply known as the TaxSlayer Bowl). In 2014 the Big Ten has the TaxSlayer Bowl.

*** - The San Francisco Bowl was the Fight Hunger Bowl and the Quick Lane Bowl is the new Detroit bowl game.

**** - The Big Ten and Big 12 will rotate these bowls in alternating years. In 2014 the Big Ten has the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Now for the projections.

Bowl Projections:




Rose Bowl

Florida State v. Ole Miss

Undefeated v. SEC Champ

Sugar Bowl

Oregon v. Alabama

Pac-12 Champ v. One loss SEC

Cotton Bowl

Michigan State v. Baylor

I had TCU v. MSU but they played each other in the BWW Bowl a while ago. I think the committee will want a Texas team to play in the Cotton Bowl, however.

Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State v. Mississippi State

#2 Big Ten v. 2/3/4 SEC

Orange Bowl

Clemson v. TCU

ACC runner-up v. #1/2 Big 12

Peach Bowl

Notre Dame v. ECU

ECU is the best of the G5

Citrus Bowl

Nebraska v. Auburn

Big 10 runner up v. the next best SEC

Outback Bowl

Wisconsin v. Missouri

Did you know Missouri is 6-2?

Holiday Bowl

Minnesota v. UCLA

I think Goldy is still in good shape despite that embarrassing loss

TaxSlayer Bowl

Maryland v. LSU

This spot is open depending on how Maryland bounces back from their punishment via Wisconsin

San Francisco Bowl

Iowa v. Utah

Someone has to go West

Pinstripe Bowl

Penn State v. Pittsburgh

Fanbase proximity and neat rivalry

Quick Lane Bowl

Rutgers v. Boston College

Old Big East game

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Northwestern v. Middle Tenn


Queso Bowl Participants:



  • No. 1 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Indiana
  • No. 2 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Purdue
  • No. 3 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Michigan
  • No. 4 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Illinois

Illinois makes a HUGE JUMP thanks to their win against Minnesota. Indiana now takes the number one spot as they're winless in the Big Ten and Purdue and Michigan fall behind as they both having losing records. You're the best, Illiini!