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2017 bowl projections: If Vegas is right, here’s your postseason and Playoff

Let’s use win totals to project how college football’s bowl season will line up.

We have another big piece of data with which we can forecast the 2017 college football season: what odds makers think. So let’s predict all of bowl season, based almost entirely on how win total over/unders see the regular season playing out.

These aren’t my projections, exactly. I used regular season win totals by South Point Sportsbook to create crude conference standings (even though win totals don’t distinguish between conference wins and non-con wins), then slotted teams accordingly. I gave eligibility to teams projected at 5.5 wins, just to have enough teams.

It gets messy in some points, since bowls do not claim teams strictly based on standings and because bowls usually try to avoid rematches and repeats, but I tried to stick more closely to the standings than I would in my own personal picks. I’ll do my own projections in August and then update them every week thereafter, getting emails the entire time about (1.) it being too early for anyone to care about them and (2.) people caring about what they disagree with.

Here we are:

2017 bowl projections, based on win total over/unders

Bowl Team Team Ties
Bowl Team Team Ties
National Championship (Atlanta) Rose winner vs. Sugar winner
Sugar (New Orleans) #1 Ohio State #4 USC Playoff semifinals
Rose (Pasadena, CA) #2 Alabama #3 Oklahoma Playoff semifinals
Peach (Atlanta) Clemson USF CFP at-large
Orange (Miami) Florida State Penn State ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND
Fiesta (Glendale, AZ) Auburn Washington CFP at-large
Cotton (Arlington, TX) Louisville Wisconsin CFP at-large
Citrus (Orlando) Virginia Tech Georgia Big Ten 2-4/ACC vs. SEC 2
Outback (Tampa) Michigan LSU Big Ten 2-4 vs. SEC 3-8
Liberty (Memphis) Baylor Kentucky Big 12 5 vs. SEC 3-8
TaxSlayer (Jacksonville) Pitt Florida ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Arizona (Tucson) UNLV Georgia State MWC vs. Sun Belt
Music City (Nashville) Iowa Arkansas ACC 3-6/Big Ten 5-7 vs. SEC 3-8
Sun (El Paso, TX) Virginia UCLA ACC 3-6 vs. Pac-12 5
Belk (Charlotte) NC State Texas A&M ACC 3-6 vs. SEC 3-8
Alamo (San Antonio) Texas Stanford Big 12 2 vs. Pac-12 2
Camping World (Orlando) Miami Oklahoma State ACC 2 vs. Big 12 3
Military (Annapolis, MD) North Carolina Houston ACC vs. AAC
Texas (Houston) TCU Tennessee Big 12 4 vs. SEC 3-8
Pinstripe (New York City) Notre Dame Nebraska ACC 3-6 vs. Big Ten 5-7
Independence (Shreveport, LA) Georgia Tech Missouri ACC vs. SEC
Cactus (Tempe, AZ) Kansas State Utah Big 12 6 vs. Pac-12 7
Heart of Dallas West Virginia Western Kentucky Big 12 vs. C-USA
Quick Lane (Detroit, MI) Iowa State Indiana ACC vs. Big Ten
Holiday (San Diego) Northwestern Oregon Big Ten 2-4 vs. Pac-12 3
Foster Farms (Santa Clara, CA) Minnesota Colorado Big Ten 5-7 vs. Pac-12 4
Hawaii (Honolulu) Oregon State Boise State AAC vs. MWC
Dollar General (Mobile, AL) WMU Arkansas State MAC 1 vs. Sun Belt 2
Armed Forces (Fort Worth, TX) Army BYU Army vs. Big Ten
Birmingham UCF Vanderbilt AAC vs. SEC 9
Potato (Boise, ID) Toledo Wyoming MAC 2 vs. MWC
Bahamas (Nassau) Southern Miss Ohio C-USA vs. MAC
St. Petersburg Navy MTSU AAC vs. C-USA
Frisco (TX) Tulsa Colorado State AAC vs. At-large
Boca Raton Memphis ODU AAC vs. C-USA
Camellia (Montgomery, AL) Miami (OH) Troy MAC 3 vs. Sun Belt 3
New Mexico (Albuquerque) UTSA New Mexico C-USA vs. MWC
Las Vegas San Diego State Washington State MWC 1 vs. Pac-12 6
Cure (Orlando) Temple Wake Forest AAC vs. Sun Belt
New Orleans Appalachian State Louisiana Tech Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA

In some spots, I used general schedule of strength as a tiebreaker of sorts. For example, I decided Ohio State would rank ahead of Bama here, since their numbers could mean OSU beats three 10-win teams, compared to Bama’s one, if everything plays out as envisioned. That’s a simplistic way to judge SOS, just like the Playoff committee’s way.

Texas gets maybe the biggest bump over the standings, due to Oklahoma State having been in the Alamo last year and UT being a huge, nearby team.

Highlights include a Bama-Oklahoma rematch minus Bob Stoops, Bret Bielema vs. his alma mater, just about the noisiest Pinstripe Bowl possible, Paul Johnson maybe getting a chance to beat a fifth different SEC East team in two years (this was one of the few I rigged in the name of a stupid storyline), and a Cactus Bowl that will finish in 59 minutes of real time somehow.

What do you think?