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Updated 2014 bowl projections: BCS rematch for College Football Playoff

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The 2014 season's mayhem weekend struck, leaving every set of predictions in tiny bits. Though the BCS is no more, the reassembled projections give us the same result at the moment. Full picks below!

Eleven of the country's top 25 teams lost in Week 6, including seven previously undefeated teams and three teams that were in last week's College Football Playoff predictions. And even though this weekend showed the titanic folly of trying to predict any college football anything, let's do it again!

College Football Playoff

Rose No. 2 Auburn No. 3 Mississippi State 1/1/2015 Pasadena, CA
Sugar No. 1 Florida State No. 4 Oklahoma 1/1/2015 New Orleans, LA

Florida State has been the easy No. 1 choice since January. It's good to have easy choices at times like these.

Next, the SEC West is getting at least one team in. Let's just accept that. Two from that division is also hard to avoid at this point in history. I currently have three four teams finishing 10-2, with identical conference records: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. How do you separate those, if they all pound on each other the rest of the way?

The Tigers have one clear edge: strength of schedule. A road trip to Kansas State should hold up as the best out-of-conference venture by anyone in the SEC West, though West Virginia continues to boost Alabama. Auburn has the toughest remaining SEC East game of any West team, though, a trip to Georgia. For what it's worth, the Tigers are also the most proven over the last year or so.

That would set up a rematch of the BCS era's final championship game, if No. 1 and No. 2 win their semifinals. "Meet the new boss" is a thing people say sometimes.

MSU is also here, by virtue of likely being one of the country's four most impressive so far and having a friendly schedule from here on out. Unless the Bulldogs suffer a major upset, MSU winning one game from among Auburn at home, Alabama on the road, and Ole Miss on the road would mean 10 wins. If three teams are deadlocked at a projected 10-2, let's go with the one likeliest to get there. (So, yes, I did just pick the team with the hardest schedule because it's the hardest and the team with the easiest schedule because it's the easiest. There is no law against my behavior.)

That would give us a semifinal rematch between Week 7's biggest game, a War Eagle trip to Starkville. While the selection committee could easily fudge its numbers and avoid that by sending MSU to face FSU, it hasn't indicated it'll do that. It hasn't indicated a lot of things.

The Sooners are also here, but slip from No. 2 to No. 4 after falling to TCU. I'd already penciled OU in for a loss at TCU (wish I'd taken a photo for you!) and think an 11-1 record is still on the way, but obviously a win against the Frogs would've increased confidence, rather than decreased it.

New Year's bowls

Cotton Baylor Michigan State 1/1/2015 Arlington, TX At-large
Fiesta Oregon Notre Dame 12/31/2014 Glendale, AZ At-large
Orange Clemson Ole Miss 12/31/2014 Miami, FL ACC 1 vs. Big Ten/Notre Dame/SEC
Peach East Carolina Alabama 12/31/2014 Atlanta, GA At-large

Out are Stanford and Texas A&M, for the time being, and BYU for good. Barging in are Notre Dame and Ole Miss, with Oregon tumbling down from the Playoff level (no one has any clue what to make of the Pac-12, but let's say the Ducks are able to heal up somewhat and finish 10-3 or better). Alabama and Auburn switch tiers.

Most of these are simple. The Orange takes the ACC's highest non-Playoff team and the top team from that listed cluster; the Spartans get a slight boost due to so many teams now being likely to finish with losses [as commenter SpartanDan reminds me, the Big Ten champ can't go to the Orange]. The rest are determined more or less by geography. One of these eight teams must be from a non-power conference, and we'll ride with ECU despite a concerning showing against SMU.

All the rest

As always, bowls and conferences pick matchups based on money, not rankings.

Bowl Date Location Ties
GoDaddy Northern Illinois South Alabama 1/4/2015 Mobile, AL MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Birmingham Memphis Northwestern* 1/3/2015 Birmingham, AL American vs. SEC 9
Alamo TCU Stanford 1/2/2015 San Antonio, TX Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2
Armed Forces Houston Maryland 1/2/2015 Fort Worth, TX American vs. Army/Big 12 7/Big Ten
Cactus Texas USC 1/2/2015 Tempe, AZ Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7 (MWC conditional)
TaxSlayer Iowa South Carolina 1/2/2015 Jacksonville, FL ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Citrus Ohio State Georgia 1/1/2015 Orlando, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2
Outback Wisconsin Missouri 1/1/2015 Tampa, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk Georgia Tech Arkansas 12/30/2014 Charlotte, NC ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Music City Virginia Tech Tennessee 12/30/2014 Nashville, TN ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
San Francisco Minnesota UCLA 12/30/2014 San Francisco, CA Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Liberty West Virginia LSU 12/29/2014 Memphis, TN Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8
Russell Athletic Louisville Kansas State 12/29/2014 Orlando, FL ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3
Texas Oklahoma State Texas A&M 12/29/2014 Houston, TX Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8
Holiday Nebraska Arizona 12/27/2014 San Diego, CA Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3
Independence North Carolina Louisiana Tech 12/27/2014 Shreveport, LA ACC vs. SEC 10 (C-USA conditional)
Military Temple NC State 12/27/2014 Annapolis, MD American vs. ACC
Pinstripe Duke Penn State 12/27/2014 New York, NY ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
Sun Miami Arizona State 12/27/2014 El Paso, TX ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5
Bitcoin UCF Middle Tennessee 12/26/2014 St. Petersburg, FL American vs. C-USA (ACC conditional)
Quick Lane Virginia Indiana 12/26/2014 Detroit, MI ACC vs. Big Ten
Heart of Dallas Rutgers UTEP 12/26/2014 Dallas, TX Big Ten/Big 12 7 vs. C-USA
Bahamas Marshall Toledo 12/24/2014 Nassau, BS C-USA vs. MAC 4/5
Hawaii Western Kentucky Fresno State 12/24/2014 Honolulu, HI C-USA vs. MWC 2-7
Boca Florida Atlantic Ohio 12/23/2014 Boca Raton, FL C-USA vs. MAC 4/5
Poinsettia San Diego State Navy 12/23/2014 San Diego, CA MWC 2-7 vs. Navy
Miami Beach Cincinnati BYU 12/22/2014 Miami, FL American vs. BYU
Camelia Akron Arkansas State 12/20/2014 Montgomery, AL MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3 (ACC conditional)
Las Vegas Colorado State Utah 12/20/2014 Las Vegas, NV MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 6
New Mexico UTSA Nevada 12/20/2014 Albuquerque, NM C-USA vs. MWC 2-7
New Orleans UL Lafayette Utah State 12/20/2014 New Orleans, LA Sun Belt 1 vs. MWC 2-7
Potato Bowling Green Boise State 12/20/2014 Boise, ID MAC 2 vs. MWC 2-7
Hey, we finally joined Facebook!

Yell at me all you like, but please go easy on me for the Pac-12 parts. The Pac-12 has become impossible to pick, and it does not have enough bowl slots to go around. Oregon State and Washington are the odd teams out this time.

Shuffling abounds, with TCU making the biggest jump among the non-New Year's Six bowls. Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado State, and Georgia Tech also make noteworthy gains.

The Huskies and Pitt leave us, with Virginia and Northwestern coming aboard. Also without landing spots are Air Force, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Texas State, and ULM. Basically, more teams need to lose.

Your turn

What do you think?