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New bowl projections after 2017’s wildest weekend yet

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

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

After six straightforward weeks, college football finally erupted in Week 7. Seven ranked teams lost to unranked teams, including four in the top 10 and two undefeated New Year’s Six mid-major contenders.

After updating a picks board with every completed and remaining FBS game of the season, here’s how the postseason picture lays out right now. These will all be updated again next week, as they have been every week of the season so far. Guessing is fun!

College Football Playoff

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

After all that, we’re right about back where we started, and we’ve got a pair of heated rubber matches in the semifinals. The Alabama-Georgia winner is the only easy choice left.

This week, I dropped Wisconsin, but not really due to anything Wisconsin did wrong against Purdue, and Washington. Oklahoma’s back in after only one week out, while Clemson just slides down. I still have the Tigers finishing 12-1.

The list of other current Power 5 unbeatens: Miami, Penn State, TCU, and Wisconsin. Right now, I’m picking Ohio State to knock out two of those teams, TCU to lose at Oklahoma, and Miami to lose to Clemson in the ACC Championship. Any of this might change next week and every week thereafter.

New Year's Six

  • Peach (Atlanta): Penn State vs. UCF
  • Orange (Miami): Miami vs. Georgia
  • Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.): Stanford vs. Wisconsin
  • Cotton (Arlington, Texas): TCU vs. Washington

This year, the Orange automatically gets the top ACC and Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame leftovers. I didn’t force this matchup just to get us Mark Richt vs. Kirby Smart, but it’s clearly on the table.

With San Diego State losing, UCF is the current leader for the automatic mid-major New Year’s Six spot, since USF hasn’t beaten any good teams. The two play each other at UCF in November, and there will likely be a lot on the line.

The other spots here go to the committee’s highest-ranked at-larges.

Everything else

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

The biggest name leaving us this time: the Florida Gators. That canceled game against FCS Northern Colorado could keep UF from .500, but I’m not gonna speculate two months ahead of time about how the NCAA might or might not handle any exemptions for a team that had a weather cancelation.

The most noteworthy team joining us this time: UAB is here!

Mike Leach vs. Paul Johnson? I’m not sure what more I can do for you than that.

The biggest thing to keep in mind: These are not based entirely on current or final standings. Each conference has its own bowl rules, but bowl games prefer matchups that will bring in fans and make money, not bowl games that reward teams that played well. Often, those two things are the same. Often, they’re not.

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?