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2014: Post Week Fourteen Bowl Projections


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HAT and bowl game?! Just as we all expected.
HAT and bowl game?! Just as we all expected.
David Banks/Getty Images

For weeks I've had TCU over Baylor because I was assuming that Baylor would slip up against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech or Kansas State. Now, it's likely that Baylor won't be slipping up against anyone. Furthermore, it doesn't matter. TCU took the coveted four spot in this weeks College Football Playoff Rankings and unless they lose to Iowa State (LOL) I don't see them giving it up. Baylor struggled against Texas Tech and probably won't look their sharpest against Kansas State.

So obviously the question is: Why TCU if they got beaten by Baylor? Well, it appears that losing to a team with the exact same record isn't that big of a deal if the other team loses to a middling squad like, say, West Virginia. Apparently the CFP Committee will forgive you if something like that happens. The greater issue is that if Baylor is left out and both Big 12 teams finish with the exact same record the people who are clamoring for an 8-Team Playoff will shout "See, we told you that we needed more teams! They should play to see who's better."

They did play to see who is better. Baylor won. THE FIX IS IN.

Sorry Bears. Don't lose to Holgo and these things wouldn't happen.

Can you imagine a scenario where an SEC team wasn't in the inaugural college football playoff? Well, it's absolutely possible. See, if they lose to SEC East Champion Indiana...err...Missouri and Ohio State or Baylor win out there's no way the Committee lets a team who didn't even win their conference into the Playoff. Wait? What's that? Something about TCU?

Move along. Nothing to see here.

This isn't a Big 10 Championship Game preview but I'm thinking that Ohio State wins regardless of who starts at QB. Be it PLAY SCHOOL they even have anyone else left to play QB? The winner of the Championship game will make the New Years Day Bowls and the loser likely falls to...THE OUTBACK?! Michigan State twiddles their thumbs as they await their New Years Day Bowl matchup. It isn't bad to be Sparty right now.

Can you imagine Wisconsin winning, though? If they do I think THREE Big 10 schools make New Years Day Bowls. Ohio State is ranked 5th, MSU 8th and Wisconsin 13th. A Wisconsin win would put them in the top 10, Ohio State wouldn't drop out and MSU wouldn't move. That would put three Big 10 schools in the top 10. I could get on board with that. If that happened I would say MSU in the Orange Bowl and Ohio State/Wisconsin in another New Year's Bowl. We'd also lose our spot in the Citrus Bowl (we're going to anyway).

The two big shockers last weekend were Rutgers and Illinois. Rutgers was already bowl eligible but I didn't see them beating a Maryland team that looked pretty good...right up until they played Rutgers. I would compliment Illinois but instead I'll just thank Northwestern. Thank you Northwestern for taking one for the team. More years of Tim Beckman is the gift that keeps on giving. We won't forget it.

Off to the projections with a NEW RULE.

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. HOWEVER, the highest ranked SEC/Big Ten non-champion will be opposite the ACC team.
  • Each Big Ten bowl has agreed to select at least five different teams over the next six years. (Source)
  • 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

Mississippi State v. Arizona

10th ranked team v. AZ, who is currently ranked 7th and should be a top 10ish team even after losing the Pac 12 Championship

Orange Bowl

Georgia Tech v. Michigan State

ACC runner up vs. Highest ranked Big 10/SEC non-champion

Peach Bowl

Boise State v. Ole Miss

I know that Ole Miss is 9-3 but they beat MSU and Kansas State will lose to Baylor, meaning Ole Miss jumps them

Citrus Bowl

Clemson v. Missouri

As the Big 10 goes to the Orange Bowl, we lose our Citrus Bowl spot

Outback Bowl

Wisconsin v. Georgia

Wisconsin gets the shaft, unless they win and then its PARTY

Holiday Bowl

Nebraska v. USC

It's either Nebraska or Iowa and Iowa beat Nebraska for 3 quarters and well..there's 4 quarters in a football game so...

TaxSlayer Bowl

Minnesota v. LSU

That should be entertaining

Foster Farms Bowl

Iowa v. Stanford

Final score: 6-4

Pinstripe Bowl

Penn State v. Boston College

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

Quick Lane Bowl

Illinois v. Virginia Tech

This is a nice thing

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Maryland v. Marshall

Remember when Marshall was a New Years Bowl team?

Cactus Bowl
Rutgers v. Washington
We needed a bowl, the Big 12 had one

Queso Bowl Participants:



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