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2014: Post Week Five Bowl Projections

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Even after a wacky weekend in the Big Ten there isn't much shakeup in the bowl projections.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

On the national scale I think Florida State is a beatable football team. The problem is that I don't think there's anyone left on their schedule that can beat them. Notre Dame? Nah. Louisville? Maybe with Charlie still there. Florida? LOL. There's always the possibility that Duke or Virginia Tech could pull something wacky if they made the ACC Championship game but I'm not going to hold my breath. Other than Florida State's close call with NC State everything remained the same with the remaining top three teams: Alabama, Oregon and OU.

On the Big Ten front the craziness that was last weekend didn't shake much up on the bowl front. By that I mean I don't have any teams becoming bowl eligible or any dropping out of contention. I already had Minnesota going bowling, I still think Northwestern's schedule won't allow them more than 5 wins and Michigan was already eating plenty of Ro-Tel over the holidays.

With that said, lets get to it.

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

Alabama v. Oregon

SEC Champ v. Pac-12 Champ

Sugar Bowl

Florida State v. Oklahoma

Undefeated FSU v. Big 12 Champ

Cotton Bowl

Baylor v. Michigan State

Galaxy Class offense v. Galaxy Class defense

Fiesta Bowl

Texas A&M v. UCLA

2/3/4 SEC v. 2/3 Pac-12

Orange Bowl

Clemson v. Auburn

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

Wisconsin v. Missouri

Big 10 runner up v. That team Indiana beat

Outback Bowl

Nebraska v. Mississippi State

Nebraska, with the next best record, takes on MSU

Holiday Bowl

Ohio State v. USC

A good old fashioned Rose Bowl matchup

TaxSlayer Bowl

Iowa v. Ole Miss

I always have Iowa going to the Gator Bowl (they never go)

San Francisco Bowl

Penn State v. Arizona

Following their Northwestern loss I have PSU going 7-5

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: Purdue
  • No. 2 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Michigan
  • No. 3 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Illinois
  • No. 4 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Indiana
  • No. 5 Seed in the Ro-Tel Queso Bowl: Northwestern

As bad as Purdue is I still don't think they're worse than Michigan. Trust me, I just watched Danny Etling play. However, there's still plenty of time for Michigan to awful it up. Indiana and Northwestern are right on the cusp for bowl games. An upset here or there and they're right in the mix.

Disagree? Hit the comments.