Last week's picks, for comparison.
College Football Playoff
|Rose||No. 2 Alabama||No. 3 Oklahoma||1/1/2015||Pasadena, CA|
|Sugar||No. 1 Florida State||No. 4 Oregon||1/1/2015||New Orleans, LA|
A little bit of a rearranging here after Week 4's results. Oregon slips to No. 4, with injury issues having the Ducks looking likelier to drop a game along the way. Healthy Ducks might be the best group in the country, but let's see if they can heal before returning them higher than No. 4. The others are solid; I don't know who in the ACC can possibly beat FSU, if Clemson couldn't with Jameis Winston out, and both Bama and OU are starting to look frightening.
If the selection committee lives up to its tough talk about valuing strength of schedule, it could be that Week 3 win over Michigan State that ends up getting a one-loss Oregon into the Playoff, at the expense of ...
New Year's bowls
|Cotton||Baylor||Michigan State||1/1/2015||Arlington, TX||At-large|
|Orange||Clemson||Texas A&M||12/31/2014||Miami, FL||ACC 1 vs. Big Ten/Notre Dame/SEC|
|Peach||East Carolina||Auburn||12/31/2014||Atlanta, GA||At-large|
... that same Michigan State team. The Spartans look more and more like a decent bet to reach 12-1, getting Nebraska and Ohio State at home and, uh, getting to play Michigan anywhere. If they ended up at No. 5, they're a sure fit for the Orange Bowl, which takes the top-rated team from among the Big Ten or SEC (or Notre Dame). But let's say they fall just shy, behind one- or two-loss Aggies.
The other side of the Orange is trickier, since it goes to an ACC team no matter what. Virginia Tech's been the pick here for a few weeks, but the ACC Coastal has begun its dark work of having all seven of its members go 8-4 or so. That means it's either Clemson or Louisville, and if you watched what the Tigers' defensive front did against a rattled FSU last night, you take Clemson, even with a potential loss to South Carolina on the way (no guarantee, by the way).
The two changes this week are unbeaten BYU and overlooked Stanford replacing the "embarrassing" (Steve Spurrier's word) Gamecocks and UCLA, which was kind of just here to represent the Pac-12 South. Geography then assigns the matchups.
ECU is an even easier pick for the automatic mid-major slot this time around, having bombed North Carolina with 70 points and leaving little doubt it would win that damn Coastal if somehow given the opportunity.
(These are four great games, by the way.)
SB Nation Live
And all the rest
As always, bowl slotting is not based on conference standings. Bowls and conferences base bids as much on potential attendance and TV ratings as they do on team quality.
|GoDaddy||Northern Illinois||South Alabama||1/4/2015||Mobile, AL||MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2|
|Birmingham||Memphis||Arkansas||1/3/2015||Birmingham, AL||American vs. SEC 9|
|Alamo||Kansas State||UCLA||1/2/2015||San Antonio, TX||Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2|
|Armed Forces||Houston||Minnesota||1/2/2015||Fort Worth, TX||American vs. Army/Big 12 7/Big Ten|
|Cactus||Texas||Washington||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|
|Capital One||Wisconsin||Georgia||1/1/2015||Orlando, FL||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2|
|Outback||Ohio State||Missouri||1/1/2015||Tampa, FL||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Belk||Louisville||Tennessee||12/30/2014||Charlotte, NC||ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Music City||Virginia Tech||Mississippi State||12/30/2014||Nashville, TN||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
|San Francisco||Penn State||Arizona State||12/30/2014||San Francisco, CA||Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4|
|Liberty||West Virginia||Ole Miss||12/29/2014||Memphis, TN||Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Russell Athletic||Notre Dame||Oklahoma State||12/29/2014||Orlando, FL||ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3|
|Texas||TCU||LSU||12/29/2014||Houston, TX||Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Holiday||Nebraska||USC||12/27/2014||San Diego, CA||Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3|
|Independence||Miami||Florida||12/27/2014||Shreveport, LA||ACC vs. SEC 10 (C-USA conditional)|
|Military||UCF||Georgia Tech||12/27/2014||Annapolis, MD||American vs. ACC|
|Pinstripe||Pitt||Michigan||12/27/2014||New York, NY||ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7|
|Sun||Duke||Arizona||12/27/2014||El Paso, TX||ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5|
|Bitcoin||ULM*||Middle Tennessee||12/26/2014||St. Petersburg, FL||American vs. C-USA (ACC conditional)|
|Detroit||North Carolina||Indiana||12/26/2014||Detroit, MI||ACC vs. Big Ten|
|Heart of Dallas||Oregon State||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||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||Boston College*||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 another conference's unfilled spot.
Joining us this week are Arkansas, Boston College, and Indiana, crowding out Akron, Louisiana Tech, and Rice, teams that still look like decent bets to reach six wins. Each power conference got at least a little rearranging.
I have no satisfactory explanation for Florida, Michigan, or Texas still being here, but let's give each another game or two before booting.
What do you think?