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Updated bowl projections, with Clemson and Washington in the College Football Playoff

Let's predict who'll be in every bowl game at the end of 2016, after a big Week 5 helped define a couple Power 5 races.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Week 5 gave us a pretty good idea of how half the Playoff race is shaping up at the moment. If we assume the Big Ten and SEC are each likely to be represented, and that the ACC and Pac-12 are ahead of the Big 12 and the American for the other two spots, then we might actually have a very good idea of how the field will play out.

So it's time to update these weekly bowl projections. As always, this is based on my guess of how the rest of the season will play out, after picking a winner and a loser for every game remaining on the schedule.

Below are picks for the entire Playoff, the rest of the New Year's Six, and every other bowl game as well. Things will change next week and every week thereafter, and then we'll have an actual bowl season! Won't that be fun?

Three of four Playoff teams swap this week. Two of those changes were pegged to this weekend anyway.

College Football Playoff
Fiesta
Dec. 31, Glendale, AZ
Clemson Ohio State Playoff rankings top 4
Peach
Dec. 31, Atlanta
Alabama Washington Playoff rankings top 4
National Championship
Jan. 9, Tampa
Alabama Ohio State Fiesta winner vs. Peach winner

Washington obliterated Stanford and is now the obvious Pac-12 favorite. It seems likely a Pac-12 champ can weather a loss and still make it in.

Clemson beat Louisville and could lose at Florida State in a few weeks and still make it. (The issue of whether Louisville can also make the Playoff, even if Clemson's the division champion, is now being raised. Let's wait a few weeks and ponder this.)

I'm also bumping Ohio State over Michigan this week. OSU still ain't played nobody other than Oklahoma, whereas Michigan's beaten good Colorado and Wisconsin teams, but I do not picture the Buckeyes only beating the Badgers 14-7. I've anticipated swapping OSU and UM all season long until they actually play, because the margins are very close.

New Year's Six bowls

OK, hang on. Before we go any further, I have a proposal that is against the rules.

This year, the only New Year's Six game that isn't locked into conferences is the Cotton, which is guaranteed the highest-ranking mid-major champion. That means there's only one spot in the NY6 that won't be based on conference affiliations in the committee's final rankings, and that spot will just go to the highest-ranked team left over.

At the moment, I have Miami in that spot, which would mean Houston-Miami in Texas. I also have Louisville-Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl.

Let us propose that the committee, with the blessings of ESPN and the affected bowls, pulls off a mutually beneficial switch.

Cotton
Jan. 2, Arlington, TX
Houston Texas A&M At-large
Rose
Jan. 2, Pasadena, CA
Michigan Stanford Big Ten 1 vs. Pac-12 1
Sugar
Jan. 2, New Orleans
Oklahoma Tennessee Big 12 1 vs. SEC 1
Orange
Dec. 30, Miami
Louisville Miami ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND

This would mean two ACC teams in one game, but South Florida native Lamar Jackson going home to play the Canes as the state of Texas' two best teams play in JerryWorld? That's way better than what the contracts would dictate.

Bowl 
Conference selection order, not based on standings
Outback
Jan. 2, Tampa
Wisconsin Florida Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Citrus
Dec. 31, Orlando
Nebraska Ole Miss Big Ten 2-4/ACC vs. SEC 2
TaxSlayer
Dec. 31, Jacksonville
Florida State Missouri ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Music City
Dec. 30, Nashville
Penn State Arkansas ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Liberty
Dec. 30, Memphis
Oklahoma State LSU Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8
Sun
Dec. 30, El Paso, TX
Wake Forest Arizona State ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5
Arizona
Dec. 30, Tucson
Utah State Georgia Southern MWC vs. Sun Belt
Alamo
Dec. 29, San Antonio
TCU Utah Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2
Belk
Dec. 29, Charlotte
Virginia Tech Georgia ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Birmingham
Dec. 29
Temple Syracuse** American vs. SEC 9
Foster Farms
Dec. 28, Santa Clara, CA
Minnesota Colorado Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Pinstripe
Dec. 28, New York City
Pitt Maryland ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
Russell Athletic
Dec. 28, Orlando
North Carolina West Virginia ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3
Texas
Dec. 28, Houston
Baylor Auburn Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8
Cactus
Dec. 27, Tempe, AZ
Texas Washington State Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7
Heart of Dallas
Dec. 27
Iowa WKU Big Ten vs. C-USA
Holiday
Dec. 27, San Diego
Michigan State UCLA Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3
Military
Dec. 27, Annapolis, MD
Notre Dame USF ACC vs. American
Independence
Dec. 26, Shreveport, LA
Kansas State* Northwestern** ACC vs. SEC
St. Petersburg
Dec. 26
Georgia Tech Cincinnati ACC vs. American
Quick Lane
Dec. 26, Detroit, MI
Army* Indiana ACC vs. Big Ten
Hawaii
Dec. 24, Honolulu
MTSU Cal* C-USA vs. MWC
Dollar General
Dec. 23, Mobile, AL
WMU South Alabama MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Armed Forces
Dec. 23, Fort Worth, TX
Texas Tech Navy Big 12 vs. Navy
Bahamas
Dec. 23, Nassau
Tulsa Akron American vs. MAC
Potato
Dec. 22, Boise, ID
CMU Air Force MAC 2 vs. MWC
Poinsettia
Dec. 21, San Diego
BYU San Diego State BYU vs. MWC
Boca Raton
Dec. 20
Memphis Southern Miss American vs. C-USA
Miami Beach
Dec. 19
UConn Ohio American vs. MAC
Las Vegas
Dec. 17
Boise State USC MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 6
Camelia
Dec. 17, Montgomery, AL
Toledo Troy MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3
Cure
Dec. 17, Orlando
EMU* UL Lafayette American vs. Sun Belt
New Mexico
Dec. 17, Albuquerque
Marshall New Mexico C-USA vs. MWC
New Orleans
Dec. 17
Appalachian State LA Tech Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA

* = filling another conference's bid
** = projected 5-7 team, but bowl-eligible based on APR scores

This whole department is a total mess. Having a hard time right now seeing how we're gonna fill all these bowl slots without dipping into the sub-.500 teams again.

Most noteworthy exit: Oregon, which has made bowls in 18 of the last 19 years, including two national championship games.

Joining us this week: Eastern Michigan, which is 4-1 and on pace for its first bowl since 1987.