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Updated College Football Playoff and bowl projections, with Notre Dame replacing Oregon

Here are some picks for every bowl game, altered based on a mere 1/12 of your team's season.

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One thing people like to tell each other after teams have played one game each is that teams have played one game each. This is not much evidence, and it's not much reason to reject the thoughts we've had for eight months. Those thoughts were very important, seeing as we gathered them when no games were happening.

It might seem like overreaction to bump Notre Dame from the New Year's Six games to the Playoff after the Irish merely defeated the Texas Longhorns. If that's all it takes to get in, more than four teams will probably make the Playoff this year.

But we can learn a lot from one week, and Saturday, ND bombed a Texas defense that was top-10 in stats advanced and non a year ago, and if that can continue against a schedule full of famous teams, I think the Irish can make it in with one loss.

(And this isn't that much of a bandwagoning; ND was the first team out of the Playoff in the previous projections.)

The other top three remain for now. Conference championship bumps would seem to elevate these others over ND in the eyes of the committee, all other things being similar.

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

I think Alabama looked better than Ohio State in Week 1, but OSU's wonderfully breezy schedule makes any other prediction for the final No. 1 slot silly. Some will bring up Florida State slipping in the Playoff rankings despite an undefeated record last year, but Florida State didn't completely dunk on teams like the Buckeyes seem capable of doing. Obliterating a weak schedule should be at least as impressive as squeaking past an OK schedule, presuming such an obliteration happens.

New Year's Six bowls
Fiesta Boise State UCLA 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 Florida State Texas A&M December 31 Atlanta, GA At-large

Oregon slides down, and if the Ducks are down here, that probably means they got tangled in one too many shootouts and also lost to Michigan State in East Lansing on September 12. That's how I have it drawn up, which would make this the Ducks-Spartans rubber match in the Rose Bowl. That sounds pretty good, right?

The other change since last time: Texas A&M takes over for Auburn. A bit more convinced so far by the Aggies' defensive overhaul than the Tigers', and Auburn has the harder schedule the rest of the way.

Bowls 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 Auburn January 1 Tampa, FL Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Belk Clemson Tennessee December 30 Charlotte, NC ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Birmingham Houston South Carolina 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 Florida 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 Georgia Tech 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 Memphis 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 Akron December 24 Nassau, BS C-USA vs. MAC 4/5
Hawaii Tulane BYU December 24 Honolulu, HI American vs. MWC/BYU
GoDaddy Western Michigan Appalachian State December 23 Mobile, AL MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Poinsettia Utah State Texas State December 23 San Diego, CA MWC vs. Army
Boca Raton UCF Bowling Green December 22 Boca Raton, FL American vs. MAC
Potato Toledo 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 Georgia Southern December 19 Montgomery, AL MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3
Cure Temple Louisiana-Lafayette December 19 Orlando, FL American vs. Sun Belt
Las Vegas San Diego State Utah December 19 Las Vegas, NV MWC 1/BYU vs. Pac-12 6
New Mexico UTEP New Mexico 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

Texas down! Penn State down! Maryland's leaving! Northwestern's here! Stanford down! Here comes Cal! Some other adjustments! I'll do 13 more weekly guesses until the people in charge tell me the right answers!


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