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2014 bowl and Playoff projections, Week 2: Let's put UGA in and see what happens

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With minimal evidence, it's time to revise the college football postseason forecast. Right now, how can you not picture Georgia in the top four?

Scott Cunningham

We've seen one week of college football. We knew little coming in, and anything we think we've learned so far is tainted with some combination of overreaction and confirmation bias, chances are. But glimpses are glimpses, and we can assemble the pieces we have.

For comparison, the preseason picks.

College Football Playoff

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

Only one change in the projected top four this week. Alabama slides out, and Georgia enters.

College football rankings

I wanted to wait and make sure UGA handled South Carolina before trying this out, but there's slim proof to this point that Alabama is the better team in 2014. We might believe it is, and it very well might be. But Bama has room for growth in the passing game on both sides of the ball, whereas the Bulldogs just might not fool with passing. Georgia's beating of Clemson, and beating is the right word, was the most impressive all-around victory we've seen since some point last season.

After next weekend, either the Ducks remain or Michigan State takes their place -- the two play each other in Eugene. We'll be waiting a while for Oklahoma's first test, and if Florida State's close call against Oklahoma State was an aberration, the same goes for the Noles.

And if FSU hangs onto No. 1 for the year, it gets the only award the committee can grant a team already in the top four: quasi-home-field advantage. It gets to play in New Orleans instead of California, basically.

New Year's bowls

Cotton Baylor Alabama 1/1/2015 Arlington, TX At-large
Fiesta USC Michigan State 12/31/2014 Glendale, AZ At-large
Orange Virginia Tech Texas A&M 12/31/2014 Miami, FL ACC 1 vs. Big Ten/Notre Dame/SEC
Peach East Carolina Wisconsin 12/31/2014 Atlanta, GA At-large

As always, the Orange is the simple choice here, since it takes the ACC's best non-Playoff team. Louisville shows signs of being that good, but the Hokies have a very friendly schedule and could solidify with an out-of-conference knockout of a wounded Ohio State next week.

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The other side of the Orange goes to the top team in that listed pileup, and ... I really don't know who's going to shut down the Aggies. Sure, South Carolina's biggest weakness, its young secondary, lines up perfectly with A&M's biggest strength, its massive receivers, meaning that game might not've meant that much. But let's ride the wave for now.

The rest of these games will be decided by the selection committee's rankings and geography, as long as one mid-major makes it. I'm sticking with ECU, which has a reasonable AAC schedule and has three shots at taking down a power-conference team.

Wisconsin's smooth schedule and proven performance against LSU when at full strength make it a better bet right now than Ohio State to reach 10 or 11 wins, and USC looked something like unstoppable against Fresno State, or at least like the opposite of however UCLA looked against Virginia.

South Carolina's back in the Belk, which is where I had it in January before moving it higher and higher all offseason. If offseasons lasted a couple months longer, I might've had South Carolina in the Super Bowl.

And everything else

GoDaddy Northern Illinois South Alabama 1/4/2015 Mobile, AL MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Birmingham UCF Tennessee 1/3/2015 Birmingham, AL American vs. SEC 9
Alamo Oklahoma State UCLA 1/2/2015 San Antonio, TX Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2
Armed Forces Houston UTEP* 1/2/2015 Fort Worth, TX American vs. Army/Big 12 7/Big Ten
Cactus West Virginia Arizona State 1/2/2015 Glendale, AZ Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7 (MWC conditional)
TaxSlayer Minnesota Florida 1/2/2015 Jacksonville, FL ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7* vs. SEC 3-8
Capital One Michigan LSU 1/1/2015 Orlando, FL Big Ten 2-4/ACC* vs. SEC 2
Outback Ohio State Auburn 1/1/2015 Tampa, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk North Carolina South Carolina 12/30/2014 Charlotte, NC ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Music City Clemson Mississippi State 12/30/2014 Nashville, TN ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7* vs. SEC 3-8
San Francisco Iowa Stanford 12/30/2014 San Francisco, CA Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Liberty TCU Ole Miss 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 Texas Missouri 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 Georgia Tech UL Monroe* 12/27/2014 Shreveport, LA ACC vs. SEC 10 (C-USA conditional)
Military Texas State* Miami 12/27/2014 Annapolis, MD American vs. ACC
Pinstripe Pitt Maryland 12/27/2014 New York, NY ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
Sun Duke Washington 12/27/2014 El Paso, TX ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5
Bitcoin Rice* Middle Tennessee 12/26/2014 St. Petersburg, FL American vs. C-USA (ACC conditional)
Detroit Notre Dame* Akron* 12/26/2014 Detroit, MI ACC vs. Big Ten
Heart of Dallas Oregon State* North Texas 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 Ball State 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 Ohio Arkansas State 12/20/2014 Montgomery, AL MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3 (ACC conditional)
Las Vegas Boise 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 Colorado State 12/20/2014 New Orleans, LA Sun Belt 1 vs. MWC 2-7
Potato Bowling Green Utah State 12/20/2014 Boise, ID MAC 2 vs. MWC 2-7

* Filling in for another conference.

Some fiddling throughout, but nothing drastic. The Big 12 sees the most internal juggling, mainly due to Oklahoma State not missing a beat and Texas' sudden injury issues. Ball State, Colorado State, Tennessee, UTEP, and West Virginia crowd their way in, with Buffalo, Northwestern, Texas Tech, Troy, and Washington State leaving for the time being.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.