Hello, how are you? I'm fine, thank you. You're now reading a weekly list of guesses as to which college football teams will play in which bowl games at the end of the year. It's too early to do this, which is why it's guessing. Sounds fun!
The main thing this week: running very low on reasons to expect Ohio State in the College Football Playoff instead of Michigan. The Wolverines have plainly been better so far, and their potential Big Ten East championship meeting is in Ann Arbor.
Still leaning on OSU eventually becoming what a roster this loaded should be, and the Buckeyes did pull away to beat Maryland by 21 points despite following 2014 Florida State's Let A Bad Team Stay Pretty Close For A Long Time recipe to the letter again. But if Ohio State looks mediocre next week against Penn State as Michigan beats Michigan State, it might be time to see what a switch looks like.
For now, here are picks for every bowl game. You won't like them all, but we'll still be friends!
|College Football Playoff|
|National Championship||Alabama||Ohio State||January 11||Glendale, AZ||Cotton winner vs. Orange winner|
|Cotton||No. 2 Ohio State||No. 3 Clemson||December 31||Arlington, TX||Playoff rankings top 4|
|Orange||No. 1 Alabama||No. 4 Baylor||December 31||Miami||Playoff rankings top 4|
The rest of the Playoff holds steady this weekend. Alabama and Clemson outlasted disappointing rivals, while Baylor is sailing miles above of the rest of the Big 12, at very least until it starts playing OK teams.
Also next week, Baylor looks to avenge its only 2014 loss, against West Virginia. Bama gets top-10 Texas A&M, and Clemson tries to score like six points on Boston College's defense, which should be enough to win.
|New Year's Six bowls|
|Fiesta||Houston||Utah||January 1||Glendale, AZ||At-large|
|Rose||Michigan||Stanford||January 1||Pasadena, CA||Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1|
|Sugar||TCU||Texas A&M||January 1||New Orleans||Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1|
|Peach||Florida State||Notre Dame||December 31||Atlanta||At-large|
Not really quite convinced the Utes will rank ahead of LSU or UCLA in the final Playoff rankings (which help determine these games), but it feels pretty good to put Utah in the sub-marquee group for now. Let's see how LSU looks once the bulk of its schedule finally arrives and let's see how the Bruins bounce back from a two-score loss to Arizona State.
I realize this is talking up Michigan's postseason chances while running down the team to which it's lost (as if a Fiesta Bowl is bad), but life is long and hard. Also the Utes currently have a negative yards-per-play differential, ranking No. 63 in the country against FBS opponents there.
The upset-surviving TCU takes over for non-survivor Oklahoma.
Otherwise, Week 6 affirmed pretty much everything in this bunch.
|Bowl (* = filling another conference's bid)||Conferences ties, not based on standings|
|Alamo||Oklahoma||UCLA||January 2||San Antonio||Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2|
|Cactus||West Virginia||Arizona||January 2||Tempe, AZ||Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7|
|Liberty||Kansas State||Georgia||January 2||Memphis||Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8|
|TaxSlayer||Penn State||Kentucky||January 2||Jacksonville, FL||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Citrus||Michigan State||Florida||January 1||Orlando||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2|
|Outback||Iowa||Ole Miss||January 1||Tampa||Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Belk||Duke||Tennessee||December 30||Charlotte||ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Birmingham||Memphis||Arkansas||December 30||Birmingham, AL||American vs. SEC 9|
|Holiday||Wisconsin||USC||December 30||San Diego||Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3|
|Music City||Louisville||Mississippi State||December 30||Nashville||ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Arizona||Rice||Utah State||December 29||Tucson||C-USA vs. MWC|
|Armed Forces||Indiana||Air Force||December 29||Fort Worth, TX||Big Ten vs. MWC|
|Russell Athletic||North Carolina||Oklahoma State||December 29||Orlando||ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3|
|Texas||Texas||LSU||December 29||Houston||Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8|
|Military||Virginia Tech||Navy||December 28||Annapolis, MD||ACC vs. American|
|Quick Lane||Miami||Minnesota||December 28||Detroit||ACC vs. Big Ten|
|Foster Farms||Nebraska||Arizona State||December 26||Santa Clara, CA||Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4|
|Heart of Dallas||Texas Tech||Marshall||December 26||Dallas||Big 12 7 vs. C-USA|
|Independence||San Jose State*||Missouri||December 26||Shreveport, LA||ACC vs. SEC (C-USA backup)|
|Pinstripe||Pitt||Northwestern||December 26||New York City||ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7|
|St. Petersburg||Akron*||Middle Tennessee||December 26||St. Petersburg, FL||American vs. C-USA|
|Sun||NC State||Cal||December 26||El Paso||ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5|
|Bahamas||Old Dominion||Ohio||December 24||Nassau, BS||C-USA vs. MAC 4/5|
|Hawaii||Temple||BYU||December 24||Honolulu||American vs. MWC/BYU|
|GoDaddy||Toledo||Georgia Southern||December 23||Mobile, AL||MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2|
|Poinsettia||San Diego State||Illinois*||December 23||San Diego||MWC vs. Army|
|Boca Raton||East Carolina||Northern Illinois||December 22||Boca Raton, FL||American vs. MAC|
|Potato||Bowling Green||Colorado State||December 22||Boise, ID||MAC 2 vs. MWC|
|Miami Beach||Cincinnati||Western Kentucky||December 21||Miami||American vs. C-USA|
|Camelia||Western Michigan||Arkansas State||December 19||Montgomery, AL||MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3|
|Cure||Tulane||South Alabama||December 19||Orlando||American vs. Sun Belt|
|Las Vegas||Boise State||Oregon||December 19||Las Vegas||MWC 1/BYU vs. Pac-12 6|
|New Mexico||Southern Miss||New Mexico||December 19||Albuquerque||C-USA vs. MWC|
|New Orleans||Appalachian State||Louisiana Tech||December 19||New Orleans||Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA|
Leaving us this week Boston College and Georgia Tech, who combined for roughly 17 yards on Saturday (not looking this up). Joining us: Texas and Akron, just the latest thing Texas and Akron have in common.
The weekly apology for not finding Leonard Fournette a better bowl is here.
Arizona fans, your spot is unfair, but the easy travel, good matchup and attention paid to Rich Rodriguez against the school that sued him would make up for it, right?
* * *SB Nation presents: No one wants to face Michigan