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New 2015 College Football Playoff and bowl projections, with UCLA joining top 4

Now that we have multiple pieces of dubious evidence on every team in the country, let's update picks for every bowl game. No, let's.


How are you today?

Good, I hope. I bet your team did fine on Saturday, but if it didn't, I bet it will do fine next Saturday.

With that in mind, I'd like to offer you some updated bowl projections. I do this every week, you see, adjusting things as we learn a little bit more about each team. This all might seem like wild overreaction, but that's OK, because sometimes it's fun to look ahead and think about sports games that might happen.

Both of the top rungs get changes this time around, but not really any tied to the biggest games from Saturday, Michigan State over Oregon or Oklahoma over Tennessee. Neither result was that big of a surprise, although the way the Vols fought does earn them a reassessment. BYU beating Boise State does shake things, begrudgingly.

So, hope you have a nice Sunday! If not, well, we'll try all this again next week.

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

The Bruins join the top circle after an easy win at UNLV, perhaps boosted by Week 1 victim Virginia nearly beating Notre Dame. I'd pegged the Ducks to lose at Michigan State and had them in the Playoff anyway, so I'm not too worried about Oregon bouncing back. But let's try out UCLA up here for a while and see how it feels. How does it feel? I'm nervous.

New Year's Six bowls
Fiesta Houston Notre Dame January 1 Glendale, AZ At-large
Rose Michigan State Oregon January 1 Pasadena, CA Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1
Sugar Baylor Ole Miss January 1 New Orleans, LA Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1
Peach Georgia Tech Texas A&M December 31 Atlanta, GA At-large

Moving up: Georgia Tech, for no gigantic reason. Well, new Florida State QB Everett Golson looked shaky against USF, while the Jackets scored 65 points against an OK Tulane defense, so that's a reason. Picking the ACC winner is very hard.

Moving down: Notre Dame, which lost starting QB Malik Zaire for the season. These two movers play each other in six days, FWIW.

Elsewhere, if you wave a bigass Texas flag and set it to Future after upsetting Louisville, you get bumped up to the non-power autobid. Those are the rules, and Houston has followed them.

Really, I wouldn't mind keeping Boise State here despite a Hail Mary loss at the immortal BYU, since almost every other non-power either already has a loss or has a likely one inbound soon. That makes UH an interesting case; what's the Cougars' toughest game left? At UCF, which started 0-2? Hosting a fellow pretty good AAC team? Navy on a short week seems gross, but otherwise, there's nothing super scary. The Mountain West going 0-11 out-of-conference this week also hurts Boise's chances a bit.

Bowl Conferences ties, not based on standings
Alamo Oklahoma USC January 2 San Antonio, TX Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2
Cactus Oklahoma State Stanford January 2 Tempe, AZ Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7
Liberty Texas LSU January 2 Memphis, TN Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8
TaxSlayer Minnesota Arkansas January 2 Jacksonville, FL ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Citrus Michigan Georgia January 1 Orlando, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 2
Outback Nebraska Tennessee January 1 Tampa, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk Clemson Florida December 30 Charlotte, NC ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Birmingham Memphis Kentucky December 30 Birmingham, AL American vs. SEC 9
Holiday Wisconsin Arizona State December 30 San Diego, CA Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3
Music City Virginia Tech Auburn December 30 Nashville, TN ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Armed Forces Penn State Air Force December 29 Fort Worth, TX Big Ten vs. MWC
Russell Athletic Florida State West Virginia December 29 Orlando, FL ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3
Texas Kansas State Missouri December 29 Houston, TX Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8
Military North Carolina Navy December 28 Annapolis, MD ACC vs. American
Quick Lane Pitt Ball State December 28 Detroit, MI ACC vs. Big Ten
Foster Farms Iowa Cal December 26 Santa Clara, CA Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Heart of Dallas Miami Marshall December 26 Dallas, TX Big 12 7 vs. C-USA
Independence Duke Mississippi State December 26 Shreveport, LA ACC vs. SEC (C-USA backup)
Pinstripe Louisville Northwestern December 26 New York, NY ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
St. Petersburg East Carolina Old Dominion December 26 St. Petersburg, FL American vs. C-USA
Sun NC State Arizona December 26 El Paso, TX ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5
Bahamas Rice Ohio December 24 Nassau, BS C-USA vs. MAC 4/5
Hawaii Temple BYU December 24 Honolulu, HI American vs. MWC/BYU
GoDaddy Toledo Georgia Southern December 23 Mobile, AL MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Poinsettia San Diego State Texas State December 23 San Diego, CA MWC vs. Army
Boca Raton UCF Western Michigan 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, FL American vs. C-USA
Camelia Northern Illinois Appalachian State December 19 Montgomery, AL MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3
Cure Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette December 19 Orlando, FL American vs. Sun Belt
Las Vegas Boise State Utah December 19 Las Vegas, NV MWC 1/BYU vs. Pac-12 6
New Mexico UTEP Utah State December 19 Albuquerque, NM C-USA vs. MWC
New Orleans Arkansas State Louisiana Tech December 19 New Orleans, LA Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA

Leaving us since last week: New Mexico and South Carolina.

Joining us: Tulane, with Houston's ascent freeing up an AAC spot, and Kentucky, which beat South Carolina.

Moving around: Toledo up! Tennessee up-ish! Auburn down-ish! Some other stuff!


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