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POST WEEK FOUR BOWL PROJECTIONS: UTE THUNDER

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Because you know you want to see Iowa play Stanford.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than to be good. In TCU's case, they're both. Down four with less than 0:30 on the clock on a 4th and goal, this happened:

TCU won 55-52. Meanwhile, Baylor abused Rice 70-17. Assuming everything goes to plan, the winner of the November game in Fort Worth should decide the "One True" Big 12 Champion and also who will take one of the Playoff spots. Lots of people like Baylor. I like TCU.

Ole Miss struggled against Vanderbilt but still managed to pull off the 27-16 victory. Of course, if the Rebs weren't being protected by the SEC's agenda (tinfoil hat time) things might've gone differently and this wouldn't have happened:

Oh well. The Rebs schedule is suddenly tough, as they have to travel to take on 4-0 Florida and an undefeated (as of now) Memphis. The final two games of the season against LSU and at Mississippi State will either make or break the Rebels. Win and they'll face Georgia in the SEC Championship game. Lose, and make way for someone like LSU.

If you still considered Oregon a viable NY6 team after losing to Michigan State...lol. A 62-20 dismantling at the hands of the Utah Utes has Oregon looking like they'll be spending their holidays in Texas. Overall, the Pac-12 is still a crapshoot. UCLA is undefeated but still has to play Stanford, Utah and USC on the road. Utah's toughest remaining road test is at USC. The Bruins are the default choice but even one slip up and someone like Utah could be in the mix.

In the Big Ten WOOOO INDIANA 4-0 WOOOO. Gameday won't be coming to Bloomington (Clemson is still going to lose) but it's legitimately entertaining to see Indiana playing solid football and entering conference play undefeated. Sure, they could end up 6-6 but just enjoy the ride, Hoosiers. Minnesota almost lost to a MAC team...again...but pulled off a 27-24 victory against Ohio after the Bobcats' hopes were dashed by a questionable call. See:

What you're witnessing here is Ohio down 24-27 in the 4th quarter with only :07 seconds left on the clock. The Bobcats are setting up for a LONG 53-yard field goal when Minnesota decides to make the terrible decision to ice the kicker and call timeout. Ohio's kicker then does what nearly every kicker does in that situation and takes a practice kick. Usually, that isn't a big deal. Usually.

But here, the referees decided to throw a flag and penalize Ohio five yards for delay of game. This made the field goal a 58-yarder and forced Ohio to abandon the attempt and instead call a passing play, that failed and ended the game. I don't believe I've ever seen a flag thrown on a practice kick like that. They definitely didn't throw one against Marshall Keohn when he took his practice attempt against Pittsburgh and those were laughable ACC referees.

It probably didn't matter anyway. Ohio's kicker, Josiah Yazdani, had only attempted one 50+ yarder his entire career and missed. But it sure would've been nice to see whether or not he could actually hit it!

Northwestern also didn't look too impressive against Ball State but still came away with a W. The Wildcats and Gophers meet this weekend so we'll have a better idea of the quality of each team by Saturday afternoon.

Is Michigan a contender? Should Purdue join the MAC? Is Mike Riley the right man for the job? Should Maryland hire Greg Schiano?

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 Year/
Last 3 (B1G)

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

12/31/15

Ole Miss (2) v. UCLA (3)

MSU v. Baylor

Capital One Orange Bowl
Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL

12/31/15

Ohio State (1) v. TCU (4)

Miss St. v. G-Tech

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NOLA

1/1/16

Baylor v. Georgia
Big 12 v. SEC

Ohio State v. Alabama

Rose Bowl Game
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

1/1/16

Michigan State v. Utah
Big 10 v. Pac-12

MSU, UW, UW

Fiesta Bowl
U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ

1/1/16

Notre Dame v. Houston
At-Large v. At-Large

Boise State v. Arizona

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

12/31/15

Clemson v. Alabama
At-Large v. At-Large

Ole Miss v. TCU

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL

1/1/16

Wisconsin v. Mississippi State
Big 10 v. SEC

MN, UW, NU

Outback Bowl
Raymond James, Tampa, FL

1/1/16

Michigan v. Texas A&M
Big 10 v. SEC

UW, IA, UM

National University Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

12/30/15

Iowa v. Stanford
Big 10 v. Pac-12

NU

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

1/2/16
12/30/15

Nebraska v. Missouri
Big 10/ACC v. SEC

IA, NU, NW*

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

12/26/15

Minnesota v. California
Big 10 v. Pac-12

MD

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, NY, NY

12/26/15

Northwestern v. Va Tech
Big 10 v. ACC

PSU

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit, MI

12/28/15

Penn State v. Pittsburgh
Big 10 v. ACC

RU

Armed Forces Bowl
AGC Stadium, Fort Worth, TX

12/29/15

Indiana v. Air Force
Big 10 v. MWC

New Bowl

* - Last 3 refers to appearances in the TaxSlayer Bowl.