I'll be honest with y'all: I literally got a migraine typing this all up and trying to figure out bowl projections this morning. Hence their tardiness. Sorry about that one.
There's no making sense of the playoff picture right now, save for the fact that Alabama's gonna be at the top. There are just so many questions: Do two teams from one conference make it in? (I still don't think so.) How far will Washington fall? (Not very, in my mind.) Will OSU being on the outside looking in at the B1GCCG damn them to the Rose Bowl? (Probably.)
With that said, let's get to 'em:
|Bowl||Date||Tie 1||Tie 2||Comments|
|Cure||17-Dec||AAC||Boston College**||Sun Belt||Appalachian State||I feel bad sending the Mountaineers here, because they deserve much better. 5-7 Boston College bowls, somehow.|
|Camelia||17-Dec||MAC 3||Miami Hydroxide||Sun Belt||South Alabama||The Jags make it to 6-6 and play a hot, hot Miami Hydroxide.|
|New Orleans||17-Dec||Sun Belt||Arkansas State||C-USA||Louisiana Tech||The Bulldogs make NOLA after a C-USA CCG loss. They face the Sun Belt runners-up.|
|New Mexico||17-Dec||C-USA||UTSA||MWC||New Mexico||Does the best New Mexico team…maybe ever?...go any farther? I don't think Vegas is that eager for the Lobos.|
|Las Vegas||17-Dec||MWC||Air Force||Pac12 6||Arizona State||This will be high-scoring and fun.|
|Miami Beach||19-Dec||AAC||Central Florida||MAC||Central Michigan||A Battle of the Centrals in Miami Beach. Why not?|
|Boca Raton||20-Dec||AAC||Houston||C-USA||Western Kentucky||They find a good matchup after all for the Cougars, who get the C-USA champion 'Toppers.|
|Poinsettia||21-Dec||BYU||BYU||MWC||San Diego State||After losing the MWC Championship game, the Aztecs stay close to home. BYU awaits.|
|Potato||22-Dec||MAC 2||Ohio||MWC||Wyoming||A loss in the MAC championship sends the Bobcats to the frozen blue turf.|
|Bahamas||23-Dec||AAC||Tulsa||MAC||Toledo||I maintain that the Bahamas just requests whichever MAC and AAC teams score the most.|
|Armed Forces||23-Dec||Big XII 7-8||Baylor||AAC (Navy)||Navy||With Seth Russell out, Baylor limps to a 6-6 finish. Navy's locked in here.|
|Dollar General||23-Dec||MAC||Western Michigan||Sun Belt||Troy||:(((((((((( row the boat|
|Hawaii||24-Dec||MWC||Hawaii||C-USA||Middle Tennessee State||4-7 Hawaii has games with Fresno and Umass to get to 6-7 and bowling, somehow.|
|Independence||26-Dec||ACC||Army*||C-USA/SEC||Southern Miss||Army fills this slot when the ACC can't, and they get a middle-of-the-road Southern Miss filling in for the SEC.|
|Quick Lane||26-Dec||ACC||Eastern Michigan*||B1G 8-9||Indiana||Detroit's gonna have to do, as Indiana's not going back to NYC and the 4-5 (B1G) Gophers won't be making a return trip here. They face an excited and close-to-home EMU club filling in for the ACC.|
|St. Petersburg||26-Dec||ACC/C-USA||North Texas||AAC||South Florida||A home matchup for the Bulls is too good to pass up. They get the 5-7 Mean Green.|
|Cactus||27-Dec||Big XII 6||Kansas State||Pac12 7||Mississippi State**||A 5-7 SEC school makes a bowl on APR. I…I don't know what to say.|
|Heart of Dallas||27-Dec||B1G 8-9||Northern Illinois**||C-USA||Old Dominion||At 5-7, Northern Illinois is the last team to sneak in on APR. Old Dominion somehow finishes 9-3. Seriously.|
|Military||27-Dec||ACC||Wake Forest||AAC||Temple||Temple falls to Navy in the AAC championship and gets stuck here.|
|Holiday||27-Dec||B1G 2-4||Iowa||Pac12 3||Utah||Iowa turned their season around and guaranteed some sun. Kirk Ferentz announces after the game that he bought all of Tijuana.|
|Russell Athletic||28-Dec||ACC 2||Virginia Tech||Big XII 3||West Virginia||AWWWWW YISSSSSSS GET THAT BLACK DIAMOND POLISHED UP|
|Pinstripe||28-Dec||ACC 3-6||Georgia Tech||B1G 5-7||Maryland||The rollin' Ramblin' Wreck get a favorable matchup with a Maryland team that essentially has nowhere else to go.|
|Texas||28-Dec||Big XII 4||Texas||SEC 3-8||LSU||A 6-5 LSU team invades Houston and its fans drink the town dry in comraderie with Longhorns happy to be bowling.|
|Foster Farms||28-Dec||B1G 5-7||Northwestern||Pac12 4||Stanford||NERD FIIIIIIIGHT. But seriously, how about the Stanford turn-around?|
|Alamo||29-Dec||Big XII 2||Oklahoma State||Pac12 2||USC||A loss in the Pac-12 title game sends the Trojans here.|
|Belk||29-Dec||ACC 3-6||Miami||SEC 3-8||South Carolina||Wake gets bumped for Miami, and the 'Canes get a decent matchup.|
|Birmingham||29-Dec||AAC||Memphis||SEC 9||Kentucky||This feels like a worse matchup than it probably is, all things considered.|
|Sun||30-Dec||ACC 3-6||Pitt||Pac12 5||Colorado||Sure, this can be a game that happens. Pitt's all excited and whatnot now, and Colorado will just be happy to go bowling.|
|Music City||30-Dec||B1G 5-7||Minnesota||SEC 3-8||Arkansas||Man, how long has it been since the Gophers have been to the Glen Mason Memorial Bowl? We get a 2002 rematch!|
|Arizona||30-Dec||MWC||Texas Tech*||Sun Belt||Idaho||Texas Tech makes it to 6-6 and bowls against a Vandals club which is in line to win 8 games.|
|Liberty||30-Dec||Big XII 5||TCU||SEC 3-8||Ole Miss||A potentially fun game close enough to home for both sides.|
|Citrus||31-Dec||ACC/B1G 2-4||Florida State||SEC 2||Tennessee||This is a sexy matchup for NYE: A decent Florida State team close to home, and a bunch of inbreds that travel well.|
|TaxSlayer||31-Dec||ACC 3-6||North Carolina||SEC 3-8||Florida||A 7-5 Florida team on a 3-game losing streak gets a lovely consolation prize. The mess that is the ACC Coastal shakes out…somehow.|
|Outback||2-Jan||B1G 2-4||Nebraska||SEC 3-8||Georgia||I'll take 8-4 UGA over a 7-5 Florida that's lost 3 straight. Huskers stay east thanks to a top-heavy Big Ten. Yes, it's a repeat of 2013-14. Don't @ me.|
New Year's Six Bowls
|Bowl||Date||Tie 1||Tie 2||Comments|
|Cotton||2-Jan||At-Large||Penn State||At-Large||Boise State||You could probably flip-flop Penn State and Ohio State, if you really wanted to. Boise State's back in the MWC driver's seat, and a win over SDSU in the final puts them here. Sorry, WMU :(|
|Rose||2-Jan||B1G 1||Ohio State||Pac12 1||Washington State||A loss in the Apple Cup still earns the Cougs a helluva matchup.|
|Sugar||2-Jan||Big XII 1||Oklahoma||SEC 1||Texas A&M||Auburn's loss means we flip-flop back to the Aggies here. Oklahoma and Washington are in a horse race to the finish to get the #4 seed, and right now I have the Huskies making it.|
|Orange||30-Dec||ACC 1||Louisville||B1G/SEC/ND||Wisconsin||Louisville loses the tiebreaker to Clemson and gets the Orange as a reward.|
College Football Playoff
|Bowl||Date||Tie 1||Tie 2||Comments|
|Fiesta||31-Dec||CFP2||Michigan||CFP3||Clemson||Michigan still wins the B1G. Clemson still has the tiebreaker on Louisville and takes the ACC.|
|Peach||31-Dec||CFP1||Alabama||CFP4||Washington||The Huskies win out, exacting revenge on the Trojans along the way.|
- That's four 5-7 teams bowling, in case you were counting: Boston College, North Texas, Mississippi State, and NIU.
- The ACC and SEC are really stupid and cause a lot of headaches.
- I know the Quick Lane is a disappointing placement for the Hoosiers, but I think it's there or the Heart of Dallas Bowl after the Pinstripe opts for Maryland. If you wanted to do some mental gymnastics you could send them west to the Foster Farms, send Northwestern to the Pinstripe, and slot the Terps in Detroit, but that makes substantially less sense to me.
- I almost put USC over Wazzu in the Rose Bowl, but an excited 11-1 Cougs fanbase to the Rose? Hell yeah, man. You could make a case for an excited Penn State to join them, but I think Ohio State's CFP ranking keeps them afloat.
- That said, you could just as easily opt for the badgers against Boise in the Cotton and bump Penn State up to the Orange if a loss in the CCG sends wisconsin tumbling.
- How excited will a Gophers fanbase on a three-game losing streak be for the Music City Bowl? I mean, they have all those wonderful memories of the early aughts to fall back on, but will that be enough to drive attendance? If you don't want it, I graciously volunteer the 'Cats instead.
- Seriously, I have no fucking clue. College football is a big, glorious mess, and I love every second of it.