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Updated bowl projections after Week 5, with Clemson jumping Bama at No. 1

Let’s guess matchups for every bowl game, from the College Football Playoff on down.

Clemson v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

With September done, here's your weekly look at the updated bowl picture. After each weekend, I adjust a wins-and-losses board with every FBS game, then guess how the whole thing will play out. It's fun to look ahead!

Few humongous changes after Week 5, which was one of the least eventful college football weekends in recent memory, though it still offered a little clarity in places. For one thing, we have a new projected No. 1.

College Football Playoff

  • Championship (Atlanta): Alabama vs. Clemson
  • Sugar (New Orleans): No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
  • Rose (Pasadena, CA): No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oklahoma

Three of these teams are obvious at this point. Despite Alabama's ridiculous point totals, I think the committee would rank Clemson No. 1 right now, based on its dominance against a great schedule. That schedule advantage looks likely to continue.

The Big Ten/Pac-12 spot remains the challenge to pick. Washington's yet to play a really good team, and Washington State's yet to play a road game, so the Pac-12's tough to include for now. Penn State looks amazing, but Wisconsin has the schedule less likely to produce a loss. (This sounds like picking Clemson because of its hard schedule and Wisconsin because of its easy schedule, and yep, it kind of is. Getting to 12-1 is the first goal, but sorting out the 12-1 teams is a matter of parsing schedules.)

New Year's Six

  • Peach (Atlanta): Georgia vs. Ohio State
  • Orange (Miami): Miami vs. Penn State
  • Fiesta (Glendale, AZ): Washington vs. Michigan
  • Cotton (Arlington, TX): TCU vs. San Diego State

The Orange is the only automatically filled-in NY6 game this year, taking the next ACC team up and the next Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame team. I moved the Canes up for this week, but let's see if they can finally get past Florida State. Also, Miami in that spot could make this really close to being Mark Richt vs. Georgia.

San Diego State still leads the non-power autobid race and has a workable schedule, but if the Aztecs lose, USF-UCF could end up one step shy of a play-in game.

The other games in this group go to the next highest-ranked committee teams, paired to give us at least one blockbuster game. I had USC losing to Wazzu anyway, so I would've kept the Trojans in this group, but they're banged-up and don't have a bye for a long time, so Michigan slides up. Pac-12 champ Washington would deserve a prominent opponent, so former BCS-buster TCU gets to see what it's like to risk losing a big bowl to a mid-major.

Everything else

  • Citrus (Orlando): Notre Dame vs. Florida
  • Outback (Tampa): Maryland vs. Auburn
  • Liberty (Memphis): Kansas State vs. Kentucky
  • TaxSlayer (Jacksonville): Louisville vs. Tennessee
  • Arizona (Tucson): Wyoming vs. Idaho
  • Music City (Nashville): Purdue vs. Texas A&M
  • Sun (El Paso): NC State vs. Stanford
  • Belk (Charlotte): Georgia Tech vs. South Carolina
  • Alamo (San Antonio): Oklahoma State vs. USC
  • Camping World (Orlando): Florida State vs. Texas
  • Military (Annapolis, MD): Virginia vs. Navy
  • Texas (Houston): West Virginia vs. Mississippi State
  • Pinstripe (New York City): Virginia Tech vs. Michigan State
  • Independence (Shreveport, LA): Duke vs. Vanderbilt
  • Cactus (Tempe): Texas Tech vs. UCLA
  • Heart of Dallas: Colorado vs. Indiana
  • Quick Lane (Detroit): Wake Forest vs. Northwestern
  • Holiday (San Diego): Iowa vs. Washington State
  • Foster Farms (Santa Clara, CA): Minnesota vs. Oregon
  • Hawaii: SMU vs. Hawaii
  • Dollar General (Mobile): Toledo vs. Arkansas State
  • Armed Forces (Fort Worth): Army vs. North Texas
  • Birmingham: USF vs. LSU
  • Potato (Boise): NIU vs. Utah State
  • Bahamas: Southern Miss vs. EMU
  • St. Petersburg: Memphis vs. FAU
  • Frisco (TX): Houston vs. Cal
  • Boca Raton: UCF vs. WKU
  • Camellia (Montgomery, AL): WMU vs. Appalachian State
  • New Mexico (Albuquerque): UTSA vs. Boise State
  • Las Vegas: Colorado State vs. Utah
  • Cure (Orlando): Ohio vs. Old Dominion
  • New Orleans: Troy vs. Louisiana Tech

Maryland and Michigan State rejoin us!

As always, I apologize for what happens to Pac-12 teams here. The Pac-12's rigid order and short list of options is a challenge every week. Also, I apologize in general for overrating and/or underrating your team.

What do you think?