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Updated 2015 bowl projections, with Stanford replacing Baylor in the College Football Playoff

Let's make some new predictions for every bowl game, from the National Championship to the New Orleans. It'll be fun!

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Three quick things:

1. Stanford smothered an OK Washington on Saturday and has a chance to juuust about lock up the Pac-12 North next week at Washington State. Meanwhile, Baylor lost starting quarterback Seth Russell for a period that could include the Bears' tough games. Gotta wait and see how Baylor does without him before moving them back up. Can't really pencil a team in for a one-loss season when it's trotting out an unknown QB, because when has a Playoff team ever done that before?

2. At this point, we can start thinking about how the Playoff committee really evaluates things. The Cardinal should have an excellent schedule by committee metrics, with as many as nine bowl-eligible opponents (seriously, that's the committee's standard for a quality opponent) and perhaps five in the top 25. Alabama could have about 10 and five, while Ohio State's likely to finish a bit behind in both. Clemson, with perhaps only six bowl opponents, could have a tough case for No. 1 if everybody has a loss. I'll put the Tigers down for 13-0 at the moment, but I've got Ohio State losing at Michigan.

3. This is all just guessing based on what we've seen and how things could shake out. Let's have fun thinking about the Playoff we're gonna get to see soon.

College Football Playoff
National Championship Alabama Ohio State January 11 Glendale, AZ Cotton winner vs. Orange winner
Cotton No. 2 Alabama No. 3 Stanford December 31 Arlington, TX Playoff rankings top 4
Orange No. 1 Clemson No. 4 Ohio State December 31 Miami Playoff rankings top 4

Hey, Ohio State fans mad about ranking No. 4 here, your team is pretty good at winning national championships when it ranks No. 4 in the Playoff, right?

New Year's Six bowls
Fiesta Notre Dame Houston January 1 Glendale, AZ At-large
Rose Michigan State USC January 1 Pasadena, CA Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1
Sugar Baylor LSU January 1 New Orleans Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1
Peach Florida Michigan December 31 Atlanta At-large

The hardest question here is basically, "Who wins the Pac-12 South: UCLA, USC or Utah?" The Trojans now have a tiebreaker edge over the Utes and get the Bruins at home right after those Bruins have to travel to Utah. They're probably a good bit better than their 4-3 record suggests anyway.

Baylor doesn't fall too far, because it's still loaded everywhere and because one Big 12 tiebreaker element (hooray, the Big 12 has tiebreakers now!) kind of comes down to margin of victory, a Bears specialty.

Ole Miss beating Texas A&M probably removes the Aggies from Sugar Bowl contention, while also raising the spectre of a team that lost to Memphis taking the spot. The SEC East champion could also take it, but I think the Gators would enjoy replacing Florida State in the Peach Bowl just fine.

Houston remains my non-power autobid as the AAC's top teams just keep piling up resumes for when they eventually start knocking each other off. Toledo's still in it, as is mayyybe Appalachian State, but that's about it.

Notre Dame's here. Sure.

Bowl (* = filling another conference's bid) Conferences ties, not based on standings
Alamo TCU Utah 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 Texas Tennessee 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 Iowa Ole Miss January 1 Orlando Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2
Outback Wisconsin Georgia January 1 Tampa Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk Duke Auburn December 30 Charlotte ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Birmingham Memphis Arkansas December 30 Birmingham, AL American vs. SEC 9
Holiday Northwestern UCLA December 30 San Diego Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3
Music City North Carolina 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 Oregon* Air Force December 29 Fort Worth, TX Big Ten vs. MWC
Russell Athletic Florida State Oklahoma December 29 Orlando ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3
Texas Oklahoma State Texas A&M December 29 Houston Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8
Military Boston College Navy December 28 Annapolis, MD ACC vs. American
Quick Lane NC State Central Michigan* December 28 Detroit ACC vs. Big Ten
Foster Farms Minnesota Arizona State December 26 Santa Clara, CA Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Heart of Dallas Texas Tech Western Kentucky December 26 Dallas Big 12 7 vs. C-USA
Independence Akron* Louisiana-Lafeyette* December 26 Shreveport, LA ACC vs. SEC (C-USA backup)
Pinstripe Pitt Nebraska December 26 New York City ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
St. Petersburg Buffalo* Southern Miss December 26 St. Petersburg, FL American vs. C-USA
Sun Louisville 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 San Jose State* 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 Kansas State* December 23 San Diego MWC vs. Army
Boca Raton Temple 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 Marshall December 21 Miami American vs. C-USA
Camelia Western Michigan Arkansas State December 19 Montgomery, AL MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3
Cure East Carolina South Alabama December 19 Orlando American vs. Sun Belt
Las Vegas Boise State Washington State December 19 Las Vegas MWC 1/BYU vs. Pac-12 6
New Mexico Middle Tennessee 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: Illinois, Missouri and Virginia Tech, depriving us of a 3-0 25OT VT-Mizzou bowl.

Joining us: Buffalo, CMU and Washington State, which suddenly has five wins and hosts Colorado.

Elsewhere: Boise State remains up top in the MWC, as one of Utah State's forecasted losses indeed happened. Oklahoma State and Texas A&M reunite, as do TCU and Utah. Texas Tech and WKU strive for 200 points. Hey Rich Rodriguez, remember WVU?

[Update: Switched this up a little bit since publish. Wasn't happy with UCLA in the New Year's Six over Michigan. This has meant Oregon plummeting past teams with excited fans and/or obvious geographic ties.]


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