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New bowl projections, with Notre Dame's College Football Playoff case topping Oklahoma's

Below are picks and guesses for every bowl game, from the Playoff to the New Orleans. Let's disagree together as good friends!

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Let's say three Playoff teams come from Clemson, the SEC and the Big Ten. Let's say the Pac-12's out. That leaves the Big 12 and Notre Dame, since the committee's refused to rank non-power teams anywhere near contention range. And since Oklahoma's looked better than Oklahoma State in more weeks than vice versa, let's say the Playoff debate comes down to Sooners vs. Irish for the fourth spot.

OU could finish with nine wins over .500 or better teams, a committee-certified schedule stat, while Notre Dame could have only five. And Oklahoma could have wins over three committee-ranked teams, or four if Tennessee sneaks in at 8-4.

But the Irish can trump that. The already-beaten Navy, Pitt, Temple, USC and the still-to-come Stanford can finish ranked, and each could still win its division (Pitt's a longshot right now, sure). Being the de facto champion of both the American and the Pac-12 would nullify the committee's vague conference championship bonus at least somewhat, right? Hard to slam the Irish for not being in a conference if they pull that off.

The committee prefers to compare wins, but comparing losses will be a thing, too. Notre Dame's loss is a two-point road squeaker to current No. 1 Clemson, while Oklahoma lost convincingly to currently 4-6 Texas.

Speaking of Texas, the committee declares it compares games against common opponents. ND destroyed the Longhorns, putting the transitive margin of victory in the Notre Dame-Texas-Oklahoma chain of Sooner discomfort at 42 points.

Fair or not, one thing about picking a Playoff team is being able to defend it to humans later on, and an insignificant thing like 2015 Texas could end up making it really hard to explain Oklahoma making it in over Notre Dame.

Anyway, here are some guesses for each bowl.

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

Starting to think Bama claims the No. 1 spot away from the Tigers sooner than later. Almost every team Alabama's beaten still has a winning record, and the Tide are out here completely humiliating people. One loss to Ole Miss is still a thing people cling to (because it's still hilarious, and because people are tired of Alabama), but this team looks just as overwhelming to the committee as it does to you and me.

The only reward for being No. 1 is getting to go to a slightly closer bowl, though. Everybody goes pretty far to play a tough game.

I had Michigan knocking Ohio State out of the Playoff last week, and that might flip back and forth again before November 28. We'll see.

And this means Tuesday's likely Playoff top four staying unchanged through December, which sounds absurd.

New Year's Six bowls
Fiesta Baylor Michigan State January 1 Glendale, AZ At-large
Rose Iowa Stanford January 1 Pasadena, CA Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1
Sugar Oklahoma Florida January 1 New Orleans Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1
Peach Florida State Navy December 31 Atlanta At-large

Lotta shaking up here since last week.

Stanford's out of the Playoff and in as the Rose Bowl favorite. Iowa's the clear leader for the other side, if Ohio State's in the Playoff.

If Florida loses to Florida State and Alabama to have three losses, the SEC might still not have a great choice for its Sugar spot, unless LSU bounces back strong from losing two in a row. Can't bet on the Tigers right now, though. OU falls to the other side of the Sugar.

I've had Houston in as my non-power autobid for months and still love the Cougars. But Navy's good, and preparing option rookies for that offense on a short week is gonna be rough.

Baylor's in here as a one-loss, and then there's a big pile of two-loss teams. Michigan State's schedule is gonna hold up really well (so, REMATCH of maybe 2014's best game), and then ... FSU over Oklahoma State and others? I guess?

Everything else:

Bowl (* = filling another conference's bid) Conferences ties, not based on standings
Alamo Oklahoma State Utah January 2 San Antonio Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2
Cactus West Virginia USC January 2 Tempe, AZ Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7
Liberty Kansas State Arkansas January 2 Memphis Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8
TaxSlayer Penn State Ole Miss January 2 Jacksonville, FL ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Citrus Michigan LSU January 1 Orlando Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2
Outback Northwestern Tennessee January 1 Tampa Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk Virginia Tech Mississippi State December 30 Charlotte ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Birmingham Houston Auburn December 30 Birmingham, AL American vs. SEC 9
Holiday Wisconsin UCLA December 30 San Diego Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3
Music City Pitt Georgia December 30 Nashville ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Arizona Arizona* Nevada December 29 Tucson C-USA vs. MWC
Armed Forces Arizona State* Utah State December 29 Fort Worth, TX Big Ten vs. MWC
Russell Athletic North Carolina TCU December 29 Orlando ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3
Texas Texas Tech Texas A&M December 29 Houston Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8
Military Miami Memphis December 28 Annapolis, MD ACC vs. American
Quick Lane Duke Minnesota December 28 Detroit ACC vs. Big Ten
Foster Farms Nebraska Oregon December 26 Santa Clara, CA Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Heart of Dallas Central Michigan* Western Kentucky December 26 Dallas Big 12 7 vs. C-USA
Independence Buffalo* Louisiana-Lafeytte* December 26 Shreveport, LA ACC vs. SEC (C-USA backup)
Pinstripe Louisville Indiana December 26 New York City ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
St. Petersburg Temple Southern Miss December 26 St. Petersburg, FL American vs. C-USA
Sun NC State Washington State 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 Washington* BYU December 24 Honolulu American vs. MWC/BYU
GoDaddy Bowling Green Georgia Southern December 23 Mobile, AL MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Poinsettia San Diego State Akron* December 23 San Diego MWC vs. Army
Boca Raton East Carolina Western Michigan December 22 Boca Raton, FL American vs. MAC
Potato Toledo Boise State December 22 Boise, ID MAC 2 vs. MWC
Miami Beach Cincinnati Marshall December 21 Miami American vs. C-USA
Camelia Northern Illinois Appalachian State December 19 Montgomery, AL MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3
Cure USF South Alabama December 19 Orlando American vs. Sun Belt
Las Vegas Air Force Cal 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 Arkansas State Louisiana Tech December 19 New Orleans Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA


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