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Clemson is now in the Playoff...until they aren't. Iowa is in the B-DUB Citrus Bowl. Do you like overpriced wings? I hope so.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, it's easier to write bowl projections when you can simply assume that certain teams are going to go undefeated and make the Playoff. Unfortunately, it never works out like that but everyone losing won't stop me from being insanely optimistic!

The more you read about TCU and Baylor the more you think that it just isn't going to work. TCU has a good amount of injuries. Baylor's defense isn't that good. Add to the fact that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are looking solid and you start to wonder if either team is going to make it to November 27th unscathed. What if Baylor beats Oklahoma, Oklahoma beats TCU and TCU beats Baylor? Who will be the One True Champion then? And if it somehow does end up like that, shouldn't all three teams make a Playoff/NY6 Bowl?

I'm a big Utah fan. Actually, I'm a big Utah State fan but I love all teams in Utah aside from BYU. I just can't get on board with them making the Playoff because they'll slip up somewhere along the line. That would make room for a team like Clemson, who has passed every test and only has the following "difficult" games remaining on their schedule: Georgia Tech, FSU and at South Carolina. Georgia Tech is 2-3, FSU squeezed by Wake and BC and South Carolina already lost to Kentucky and Missouri. Things are looking up for the Tigers...until they Clempson and lose to someone like Syracuse.

Boise State takes the spot in the Fiesta Bowl. They're the only G5 team ranked so they're the only viable choice at this point. Houston is still barely getting votes.

Is Alabama really going to play in the Sugar Bowl three straight years? Well, considering Alabama fans will show up anywhere and people will watch because it's Alabama...I guess so?

Around the Big Ten, there are a few shake-ups. With Iowa beating Wisconsin, I've got them jumping all the way to the Citrus Bowl. They're interchangeable with Northwestern and Michigan, methinks. Michigan continues to look good (albeit against nobodies...BYU was a pretender) so they'll be in the Holiday Bowl. Should Northwestern beat Iowa, they'll go to the Citrus, Michigan will go to the Outback and Iowa will go to the Holiday. Nebraska and Minnesota continue to look awful and slide down the totem pole while Penn State and Indiana move up.

Yes, I see that Illinois is 4-1. I also don't see a game that they'll be favored in aside from Purdue remaining on their schedule. It's either going to take an upset against a ranked team or an upset on the road for Illinois to get that sixth win. I'm not holding my breath.

The Rules:

  • Four teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff.
  • Six bowls rotate for the semifinals: Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Peach.
  • The bowls hosting the semifinals this year are the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl.
  • As the Rose Bowl is not hosting a semi-final, it will select the Big Ten Champion. However, if the Big Ten Champion is a playoff team, the Rose Bowl will select a Big Ten replacement.
  • 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 has a six-year contract with the eight non-playoff bowl games (aside from the Pinstripe, which is an eight-year contract). Per the terms of that contract, the bowls are to select at least five different Big Ten schools over six years.
  • The non-playoff bowl games are informally broken down into three tiers. Tier 1: Holiday, Citrus and Outback. Tier 2: Pinstripe, Music City/TaxSlayer and Foster Farms. Tier 3: Quick Lane and Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces.
  • Over a six-year agreement, signed in 2013, the Big Ten and ACC must appear in three Music City and three TaxSlayer Bowls.
  • Over a six-year agreement, signed in 2013, the Big Ten and Big 12 must appear in three Heart of Dallas and three Armed Forces Bowls. In 2015 the Big 10 will play in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Bowl Projections:

Last 2 Matchups

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX


LSU (2) v. Clemson (3)

MSU v. Baylor
Okie State v. Mizzou

Capital One Orange Bowl
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL


Ohio State (1) v. TCU (4)

Miss St. v. G-Tech
Ohio State v. Clemson

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NOLA


Baylor v. Alabama
Big 12 v. SEC

Ohio State v. Alabama
OU v. Alabama

Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA


MSU v. Utah
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Oregon v. FSU
MSU v. Stanford

Fiesta Bowl
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ


Notre Dame v. Boise State
At-Large v. At-Large

Boise State v. Arizona
UCF v. Baylor

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Georgia Dome, ATL, GA


Texas A&M v. Stanford
At-Large v. At-Large

TCU v. Ole Miss
Texas A&M v. Duke

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL


Iowa v. Ole Miss
Big 10 v. SEC

Minnesota v. Mizzou
Wisconsin v. SCar

Outback Bowl
Raymond James, Tampa, FL


Northwestern v. Florida
Big 10 v. SEC

Wisconsin v. Auburn
Iowa v. LSU

National University Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA


Michigan v. UCLA
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Nebraska v. USC

TaxSlayer/Music City Bowl
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL or
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN


Wisconsin v. Georgia
Big 10/ACC v. SEC

Iowa v. Tennessee*
Nebraska v. Georgia

Foster Farms Bowl
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA


Penn State v. Arizona State
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Maryland v. Stanford

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, NY, NY


Indiana v. Duke
Big 10 v. ACC

Penn State v. BC
Notre Dame v. Rutgers

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, MI


Nebraska v. Pittsburgh
Big 10 v. ACC

Rutgers v. UNC

Armed Forces Bowl
AGC Stadium, Fort Worth, TX


Minnesota v. Air Force
Big 10 v. MWC

New Bowl

* - Last 2 refers to appearances in the TaxSlayer Bowl.