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POST WEEK ELEVEN BOWL PROJECTIONS: FIGHT ON IRISH

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Notre Dame is now projected to win out and take the #4 spot in the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

November continues to take its toll on potential playoff teams.

Baylor, a team with an OMG SO SHINY offense fell victim to Big Game Bob and the Oklahoma Sooners. Oregon, a team that was left for dead, upset Stanford. LSU followed up their demoralizing loss to Alabama with another demoralizing (or embarrassing) loss to Arkansas. Yes, Arkansas. The team that lost to Toledo.  Finally, Utah, who was already a long shot at 10th, lost to Arizona.

Of the current top four, Clemson and Alabama seem to have the easiest path remaining to stay undefeated. Regarding Clemson, Wake Forrest and South Carolina both having losing records and while UNC is a vastly improved team, I'll take Clemson any day of the week. Alabama somehow gets to play an FCS team in November and a hilarious Auburn squad before playing Florida in the SEC Championship. Yes, Florida is a very good team. Alabama is just better.

Notre Dame has a ranked team left in Stanford and Ohio State has two in Michigan and Michigan State. Oh, and Ohio State has to play the winner of the Big Ten West. If Iowa should win out, Ohio State will play three top 15 teams to close out their schedule.

I've been of the opinion for a couple weeks now that the Big 12 is going to cancel itself out of the Playoff and while TCU and Baylor have dropped out of the discussion, the Oklahomas are storming back into the mix of things. Should Oklahoma State beat Baylor and OU beat TCU, Bedlam will decide whether or not the Big 12 Champion will make the Playoff. If Oklahoma State wins out (and they won't because November), it won't be a question. If OU wins...yikes. We're gonna have trouble.

PS: Oklahoma fans are mad:

HOW COULD ANYONE DARE SUGGEST THIS?

...

...

Oh.

Not much changes in our beloved conference. If Iowa wins the Big Ten, they're in the Playoff. If they lose, Rose Bowl. I recently suggested that Wisconsin could slip into the New Year's Six but as they're currently 25th I think it's a long shot for them to make too much noise. Same goes for Northwestern, who would finish 10-2 if they beat Wisconsin this weekend.

Ugh. Indiana is so close. So close. Hopefully, this tough stretch didn't break them and they finish out with convincing wins over Maryland and Purdue to go 6-6. Illinois is a long shot to get to six wins as Minnesota is playing possessed and Northwestern is pretty darn good. Regardless, it's November and something ridiculous is bound to happen.

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:

Bowl
Date
Matchup
Last 2 Matchups

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

12/31/15

Clemson (2) v. Ohio State (3)

MSU v. Baylor
Okie State v. Mizzou

Capital One Orange Bowl
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

12/31/15

Alabama (1) v. Notre Dame (4)

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

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NOLA

1/1/16

Oklahoma State v. Florida
Big 12 v. SEC

Ohio State v. Alabama
OU v. Alabama

Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

1/1/16

Iowa v. Stanford
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Oregon v. FSU
MSU v. Stanford

Fiesta Bowl
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

1/1/16

Oklahoma v. Houston
At-Large v. At-Large

Boise State v. Arizona
UCF v. Baylor

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

12/31/15

Michigan State v. UNC
At-Large v. At-Large

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

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL

1/1/16

Wisconsin v. Ole Miss
Big 10 v. SEC

Minnesota v. Mizzou
Wisconsin v. SCar

Outback Bowl
Raymond James, Tampa, FL

1/1/16

Northwestern v. Georgia
Big 10 v. SEC

Wisconsin v. Auburn
Iowa v. LSU

National University Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

12/30/15

Michigan v. UCLA
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Nebraska v. USC

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

1/2/16
12/30/15

Penn State v. LSU
Big 10/ACC v. SEC

Iowa v. Tennessee*
Nebraska v. Georgia

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

12/26/15

Indiana v. Oregon
Big 10 v. Pac-12

Maryland v. Stanford

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, NY, NY

12/26/15

Illinois v. Louisville
Big 10 v. ACC

Penn State v. BC
Notre Dame v. Rutgers

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, MI

12/28/15

Central Michigan** v. Virginia Tech
Big 10 v. ACC

Rutgers v. UNC

Armed Forces Bowl
AGC Stadium, Fort Worth, TX

12/29/15

Washington** v. Air Force
Big 10 v. MWC

New Bowl

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

** - Replacement team.