Good afternoon. Or morning. Whatever. By the time this drops, I’ll be in midair, riding first class for the first time in my life. Thanks, Delta upgrades!
College Football Playoff
Dec. 31 | 2:30pm | ESPN | Arlington, TX
Dec. 31 | 6:30pm | ESPN | Miami Gardens, FL
New Year’s Six Bowls
Dec. 30 | 6pm | ESPN | Atlanta, GA
Jan. 1 | 12pm | ESPN | Glendale, AZ
Jan. 1 | 4pm | ESPN | Pasadena, CA
Jan. 1 | 7:45pm | ESPN | New Orleans, LA
Big Ten Bowls
Quick Lane Bowl
Dec. 27 | 10am | ESPN | Detroit, MI
[B1G 8] Nevada Wolf Pack* vs. [MAC] Ball State Cardinals
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Dec. 28 | 9:15pm | ESPN | Phoenix, AZ
Dec. 29 | 1:15pm | ESPN | The Bronx, NY
Music City Bowl
Dec. 30 | 2pm | ESPN | Nashville, TN
Las Vegas Bowl
Dec. 30 | 9:30pm | ESPN | Las Vegas, NV
Jan. 1 | 11am | ESPN2 | Tampa, FL
Jan. 1 | 12pm | ABC | Orlando, FL
Full Bowl Projections
- Iowa wins the Big Ten Championship. One-loss Alabama beats Georgia in a tight SEC Championship. Search your hearts, and you know I’m right—we are all sinners in the hands of an angry God, and this is our penance.
Does Iowa pick up a single first down against Georgia?
YeS, yOu FiLtHy OtE hAtEr
...can you punt for a first down?
- Loser of the Big Ten Championship Game goes to the Rose Bowl. Let’s say that’s Ohio State—who gets Penn State at home—but really it’ll be Iowa.
- Two-loss Penn State is more than good enough for the Fiesta Bowl, but the oddness of the Orange-Cotton combination in the Playoff means it’s a crapshoot for who they face. Could it be the best of the rest in the SEC, like an Arkansas or Florida? Unless there are two NY6-worthy teams in either of the Big XII or SEC—or if Wake can really climb into the Top 12ish...it could be a BYU kind of situation if the Cougars can get by Baylor this weekend?
- Yes, that means Michigan gets to take their turn playing “lesser” competition, just like wisconsin and Penn State before them. A no-win bowl game feels perfect here.
- A resurgent Sparty eventually falls in the East—maybe as far as fourth through only the fault of “Hey, it’s a really tough division”—but a trip to Florida isn’t the worst consolation prize.
- At this point I’d take Nebraska over Minnesota, wisconsin, and Purdue. Of course, the Huskers have a proclivity for spinning the ol’ chamber and pointing the gun right at their crotch, but if not, I don’t think an appearance in warmer climes is out of the question. 6-6 (4-5) isn’t the sexiest record to bring to the Outback Bowl, but...who else do you suggest?
- Minnesota, you say? Nah. They were just there in 2019-20. We’ll take the Gophers back to the Glen Mason Memorial Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, where WSR can enjoy a hangover with the sweet chime of CLANGA in the background.
- Oh, right—a Rivalry Week loss to wisconsin elevates the badgers to Vegas over the Gophers. And won’t a wisconsin-Arizona State matchup be fun?
- An omission from last week! 3-3 Rutgers now faces these teams: @Northwestern, @Illinois, wisconsin, @Indiana, @Penn State, Maryland. Dear God...talk to your kids about a bowl-bound Rutgers.
- There’s still enough there: @Minnesota, Indiana, @Rutgers. Maryland needs two, and they’ll get them. A trip to Phoenix is more reward than Locks & Co. deserve, but there you are.
- No Purdue or Indiana yet, but four unranked teams each on the schedule should be hope for the Boilermaker and Hoosier faithful—the Bucket game as a bowl play-in would be aces.
- A side note—I am praying for the best to happen in the ACC, which is Wake Forest winning the conference (with a loss or two would be hilarious) and Notre Dame finishing outside the Top 15 in the CFP Poll, giving us something dumb like the Irish in the Fenway Bowl. Exactly what they deserve.
- Special shoutout to Northern Illinois kicker John Richardson, who kicked five field goals in the Huskies’ 22-20 road win over Toledo.
- We could be looking at another year of the MAC with more teams than they have bids—I am not here for any of them missing out, particularly the Ball States and Eastern Michigans of the world. Seeing the Eagles make their way to Quick Lane in Detroit would be fun.
- A DWT;WT team giveth, and that team taketh away. With the San Jose State loss to Colorado State, I don’t know if I see the Spartans bowling. They’d need to upset San Diego State on Friday night or trip up Nevada on the road, otherwise they’re looking at a 3-1 record against @UNLV, Wyo, USU, Fresno. It’s...doable...but man, squeaky bum time now for Brent Brennan’s squad.
Explain in the comments why I’m wrong. I won’t be looking at them when I land, but you can explain anyway.