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2014: Post Week Six Bowl Projections

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Welcome to the playoff, Sparty. Welcome to a New Year's Bowl, Brutus. Welcome to the postseason, Northwestern.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

/crumples up bowl projections worksheet

/throws worksheet in flaming dumpster that is Michigan football

Well then. Last week makes make a guy wonder why he even spends any time predicting on what will happen in the coming weeks of college football. Bonkers. Absolutely bonkers. There's really no other way to describe it.

On the national scale it probably makes more sense to talk about the teams who didn't lose. There are only nine undefeated teams remaining in the Coaches Poll: Florida State, Auburn, Baylor, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Mississippi State, TCU, Arizona and Georgia Tech. At least two of those teams will lose this weekend as Auburn and Mississippi State are scheduled to face each other in Starkville and TCU travels to Waco to play Baylor. Florida State and Notre Dame are scheduled to play in two weeks and the Egg Bowl wraps up the regular season for Ole Miss and MSU, so hypothetically, only five of the previously listed teams could finish undefeated. Naturally, that isn't going to happen but it's always fun to dream.

The bigger question is what last weekend does for the College Football Playoff. I'm still skeptical about Florida State going undefeated but until they lose, they're in. Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma lost last weekend, making way for teams like Auburn, Baylor and...Michigan State. The Spartans are one of the biggest benefactors of the crazy weekend, moving up to 8th in the AP Poll. If the Spartans go undefeated, as I think they will, they'll make the playoff simply by attrition. Go Green and what not.

This also sets up things for Ohio State to make a New Year's Bowl. If the Buckeyes finish the season 10-2 with their only losses being to Virginia Tech and Michigan State, they should easily be in the top 15, if not the top 10.

In case you missed it: Northwestern won and Wisconsin lost so that will obviously influence the projections. The best thing to happen last week to Minnesota and Iowa was not to play. Seriously.

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.

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:

Bowl

Location

Date

Opponent

Rose Bowl or Playoff

Pasadena, CA or Playoff Site

Various

Pac-12 or Playoff Team

Citrus Bowl or Orange Bowl*

Orlando, FL or Miami, FL

Various

SEC or ACC

Outback Bowl

Tampa, FL

1/1/15

SEC

Holiday Bowl

San Diego, CA

12/27/14

Pac-12

Music City or TaxSlayer Bowl**

Nashville, TN or Jacksonville, FL

Various

SEC

San Francisco Bowl

San Francisco, CA

12/30/14

Pac-12

Pinstripe Bowl

New York City, NY

12/27/14

ACC

Quick Lane Bowl

Detroit, MI

12/26/14

ACC

Heart of Dallas or Armed Forces Bowl****

Fort Worth, TX or Dallas, TX

12/26/14

C-USA

* - 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) on alternate years. 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:

Bowl

Matchup

Why

Rose Bowl

Auburn v. Baylor

SEC Champ v. Big 12 Champ

Sugar Bowl

Florida State v. Michigan State

Undefeated FSU v. Big 10 Champ

Cotton Bowl

Alabama v. Oregon

Its what everyone wants

Fiesta Bowl

Ole Miss v. Ohio State

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

Orange Bowl

Clemson v. Mississippi State

ACC runner-up v. 2/3/4 SEC

Peach Bowl

Georgia v. Marshall

Committee wants a home team v. the best of the Group of 5

Citrus Bowl

Nebraska v. Missouri

Big 10 runner up v. That team Indiana beat

Outback Bowl

Iowa v. Texas A&M

It's either Iowa or Wisconsin in this spot

Holiday Bowl

Wisconsin v. Arizona

If Iowa goes to Outback, Wisconsin goes here and vice versa

TaxSlayer Bowl

Penn State v. South Carolina

Poor Hatin' Ass Spurrier

San Francisco Bowl

Northwestern v. Stanford

Here comes Fitzgerald

Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers v. Virginia Tech

Rutgers actually has a worse record than Minnesota and Maryland but they're in NY so...

Quick Lane Bowl

Minnesota v. North Carolina

that leaves Minnesota here...

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Maryland v. UTSA

and Maryland here. #MEEPMEEP

Queso Bowl Participants:

Rotel_queso_medium

via content.dollargeneral.com

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

Hey good job Illinois! You're officially the worst! And as bad as Michigan is I still think they finish the season on the edge of bowl eligibility. Hell, an upset will get Michigan bowling in my opinion.

Disagree? Hit the comments.