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New bowl projections, with Ole Miss in the College Football Playoff

Let's guess about some sports! Specifically, every college football bowl game for 2015.

I don't know if Ole Miss would beat Alabama if they started their game over. Or if they did it again after that.

The Rebels needed four turnovers to pin the Tide's shoulders down, and then a fifth to hold them there. They scored on a wild goose of a helmet doink prayer that should have been intercepted.

And none of that matters at all. Ole Miss is 3-0, with two obliterations of weak teams and a win in Tuscaloosa. The likely hardest game on its schedule is out of the way. While tough games remain, the two teams you'd agree have talent comparable to the Rebels' -- LSU and Texas A&M -- have to go to Oxford.

So it's reasonable to say that if Ole Miss plays like it did Saturday night the rest of the way, it might not need near as many breaks in any other game. The SEC champ likely has room for a loss on its resume anyway, since this means pretending the Rebels win that, too.

Yep, this means hyping up the Rebels a year after they collapsed from No. 3 to getting destroyed by TCU. 2014 was a memorable year, certainly, and without question the year that came before the one we're projectin' right now. It's fun to do sports guesses.

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

Notre Dame is back up here after outgaining No. 14 Georgia Tech by 120 yards, all with a new QB. The Jackets were one of my two pegged losses for the Irish. Health is a large and growing concern, but everybody has problems.

Baylor replaces TCU for now. I've presumed Baylor's better and now worry Oklahoma might be better than Baylor, and what had looked like a schedule advantage for the Frogs (Baylor at home) now just looks hard (Baylor on a short week after a trip to Oklahoma). TCU just allowed 37 points to SMU while suffering two more injuries, and depth is a bigger concern for TCU than for Notre Dame.

Ohio State has only looked like an elite team for about three or four quarters all year. Ole Miss has for at least twice that. This is an end-of-season projection, and the Bucks will get it together, but if the Playoff committee convened right now, Ohio State wouldn't rank No. 1. They're gonna have to start blasting average teams to rank up top in the first official standings.

New Year's Six bowls
Fiesta Houston UCLA January 1 Glendale, AZ At-large
Rose Michigan State Oregon January 1 Pasadena, CA Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1
Sugar Oklahoma Alabama January 1 New Orleans, LA Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1
Peach Clemson Texas A&M December 31 Atlanta, GA At-large

No Pac-12 in the Playoff at the moment. This conference is going to eat itself, and anyone getting out with one loss seems unlikely. Oregon's defense inspires no confidence, and UCLA nearly became BYU's latest last-minute victim. Just put Cal up here and get it over with.

Sticking with Houston as the non-power auto-bid. Boise State might still be the best, but the Mountain West looks awful, going 2-21 out-of-conference in the last two weeks. The AAC's champ will have a big leg up, and the MAC's might, too.

Clemson moves up. The ACC spot could change hourly.

Oh, hey, Bob Stoops.


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Bowl (* = filling another conference's bid) Conferences ties, not based on standings
Alamo TCU Arizona State 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 Tennessee January 2 Memphis, TN Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8
TaxSlayer Minnesota Kentucky 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 LSU January 1 Tampa, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk Georgia Tech Florida December 30 Charlotte, NC ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Birmingham Memphis Mississippi State December 30 Birmingham, AL American vs. SEC 9
Holiday Wisconsin Cal 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 Louisville Navy December 28 Annapolis, MD ACC vs. American
Quick Lane Pitt Ball State* December 28 Detroit, MI ACC vs. Big Ten
Foster Farms Iowa USC December 26 Santa Clara, CA Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Heart of Dallas Texas Tech Marshall December 26 Dallas, TX Big 12 7 vs. C-USA
Independence Duke Middle Tennessee December 26 Shreveport, LA ACC vs. SEC (C-USA backup)
Pinstripe NC State 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 North Carolina 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 Boston College* December 23 San Diego, CA MWC vs. Army
Boca Raton Miami* Western Michigan December 22 Boca Raton, FL American vs. MAC
Potato Northern Illinois Colorado State December 22 Boise, ID MAC 2 vs. MWC
Miami Beach Cincinnati Western Kentucky December 21 Miami, FL American vs. C-USA
Camelia Bowling Green 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

Rearranged: lots of little stuff, but it sure seems bowls will lobby to land LSU due to Leonard Fournette.

Joining us: Texas Tech, which picked up an unexpected win and made me change one down the line, too. Boston College and Middle Tennessee, which see spots open up.

Leaving us: Arkansas, which ... this is awkward ... might not win again until Halloween. Texas State, which lost at home to Southern Miss. And UCF, which has done this: