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2014: Post Week Thirteen Bowl Projections

The Battle for the Axe is the battle for the West and the battle for the LOL HAT is a battle for bowl eligibility. We totally saw these things coming to start the season.

Eric Francis/Getty Images

My insistence of putting Florida State ahead of Alabama in the bowl rankings stop this week as it’s clear that the Crimson Tide will finish the season as the #1 team. Other things in case you missed it:

  • Arkansas upset #8 Ole Miss. Well, upset probably isn’t a good word. How about "took them behind the woodshed and beat them like a red-headed stepchild"? 30-0. It was only a matter of time before Bielema started winning those close games.
  • The race for the Pac-12 south is between ASU, UCLA and Arizona, all of who are 9-2 (6-2). Arizona plays ASU this Friday so that should clear up their tiebreaker and the Bruins finish the season with Stanford at home. UCLA already defeated Arizona earlier in the year and are currently 8th in the Playoff Poll so assuming they win, they’ll likely take a spot in the New Year’s Bowls.
  • Missouri is currently leading the SEC East. Yes, the Missouri that Indiana beat. The same one. However, the Bulldogs are done with their SEC schedule, sitting at 6-2 while the Tigers still have to play Arkansas this weekend. Should Arkansas win the Tigers wouldn’t make the SEC Championship as they already lost to Georgia earlier in the season.
  • Louisville beat Notre Dame. LOL NOTRE DAME.

Meanwhile, in our beloved conference, this weekend will determine who represents the Big Ten West in the B1G Championship game. Wisconsin, or Minnesota? Nebraska and Iowa will be playing for the vaunted third place title this Friday in Iowa City. In the East? It’s been decided. Ohio State. The sleeper game of the week is the battle for the LOL HAT. With Illinois upset of Penn State (LOL) both the Wildcats and Illini sit at 5-6. So not only is it a battle for the HAT, it’s a battle for the postseason. C’mon Northwestern. Do us this solid. Let the Illini win. That means more Beckman. Which means more LOLZ.

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



Foster Farms 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 Foster Farms 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

Oregon v. Florida State

Pac 12 Champ v. Undefeated

Sugar Bowl

Alabama v. TCU

SEC Champ v. Big 12 Champ

Cotton Bowl

Ohio State v. Baylor

#1 Big Ten v. #2 Big 12

Fiesta Bowl

Boise State v. UCLA

Boise State is ranked ahead of Marshall v. #2 Pac 12

Orange Bowl

Duke v. Mississippi State

GTech loses Championship, Duke has better record and beat GTech v. 2/3 SEC

Peach Bowl

Michigan State v. Georgia

I think the committee puts Georgia here regardless

Citrus Bowl

Wisconsin v. Ole Miss

B1G Championship game runner up v. the next best SEC

Outback Bowl

Minnesota v. Missouri

If Indiana can do it, Goldy can do it

Holiday Bowl

Iowa v. USC

It's either Nebraska or Iowa and Iowa beats Nebraska so...

TaxSlayer Bowl

Nebraska v. Florida

A battle of coachless teams?

Foster Farms Bowl

Maryland v. ASU

Maryland has farms apparently

Pinstripe Bowl

Penn State v. Boston College

Boston College is in Penn State's backyard, per James Franklin

Quick Lane Bowl

Northwestern v. NC State

A closer team would be better for this bowl

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Rutgers v. Rice


Queso Bowl Participants:



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

Good job good effort Michigan.