College football’s Week 6 gave us our biggest upset of the season so far. With Oklahoma falling to Iowa State as a 31-point favorite, we’re down to two obvious Playoff favorites: Alabama and Clemson, same as it seemingly always was.
Below, a fully updated look at the bowl picture, from the Playoff through the New Orleans Bowl. Each week, I go through the remaining schedule and count up predicted wins and losses, then see how the postseason would play out based on that. It’s fun! We’ll do it again next week!
College Football Playoff
- Championship (Atlanta): Alabama vs. Clemson
- Sugar (New Orleans): No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Washington
- Rose (Pasadena, CA): No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Wisconsin
The Big Ten is still tough to pick, but we can probably rule out Michigan for now. I’m taking Wisconsin over Penn State (and Ohio State) at the moment, partly because schedule odds give the Badgers a better chance of reaching the Big Ten Championship and partly because UW has yet to face any scares this year, unlike PSU.
Washington could lose at Stanford and still win the Pac-12 and make it in. The rest of the Huskies’ tough games are at home. The Big 12 looks more likely to eat itself.
New Year's Six
- Peach (Atlanta): Georgia vs. Ohio State
- Orange (Miami): Miami vs. Penn State
- Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.): Oklahoma vs. San Diego State
- Cotton (Arlington, Texas): TCU vs. Auburn
Auburn joins this group, and Oklahoma falls down. Washington State won its first game of the year that I’d had down for a loss, so the Cougs are now right outside this group.
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.
San Diego State still leads the non-power autobid race (especially if Stanford keeps winning) 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. We also have to avoid an Oklahoma-Auburn bowl rematch.
- Citrus (Orlando): Notre Dame vs. Kentucky
- Outback (Tampa): Michigan vs. Tennessee
- Liberty (Memphis): Kansas State vs. LSU
- TaxSlayer (Jacksonville): Louisville vs. Florida
- Arizona (Tucson): Wyoming vs. WMU
- Music City (Nashville): Purdue vs. South Carolina
- Sun (El Paso): NC State vs. Oregon
- Belk (Charlotte): Georgia Tech vs. Texas A&M
- Alamo (San Antonio): Oklahoma State vs. Washington State
- Camping World (Orlando): Florida State vs. Texas
- Military (Annapolis, Md.): Virginia vs. Navy
- Texas (Houston): Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State
- Pinstripe (New York City): Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
- Independence (Shreveport, La.): Wake Forest vs. Northwestern
- Cactus (Phoenix): West Virginia vs. UCLA
- Heart of Dallas: Colorado vs. Indiana
- Quick Lane (Detroit): Duke vs. Minnesota
- Holiday (San Diego): Michigan State vs. USC
- Foster Farms (Santa Clara, Calif.): Iowa vs. Stanford
- Hawaii: SMU vs. Hawaii
- Dollar General (Mobile): Toledo vs. Appalachian State
- Armed Forces (Fort Worth): Army vs. MTSU
- Birmingham: USF vs. Vanderbilt
- Potato (Boise): CMU vs. Utah State
- Bahamas: Southern Miss vs. EMU
- St. Petersburg: Memphis vs. FAU
- Frisco (Texas): Houston vs. Fresno State
- Boca Raton: UCF vs. WKU
- Camellia (Montgomery, Ala.): NIU vs. Arkansas State
- New Mexico (Albuquerque): UTSA vs. Boise State
- Las Vegas: Colorado State vs. Utah
- Cure (Orlando): Tulane vs. Ohio
- New Orleans: Troy vs. Louisiana Tech
Fun game: try to predict the SEC’s fourth-most enticing team. Florida? Tennessee? Texas A&M? I have a bunch of teams finishing around 7-5, but Kentucky gets the Citrus spot for now, since UK’s fans would at least be excited about that.
FSU looks wildly overrated here, but the Noles have some time to right themselves as their schedule lightens up.
Tulane joins us!
As always, I apologize for what happens to Pac-12 teams here. The Pac-12's rigid order and short list of options are challenges every week. Also, I apologize in general for overrating and/or underrating your team.