College football is almost over. It just started. These things are always one and the same. With just a few weekends left, here’s the postseason picture, updated after Week 10’s games.
Each week, I update a board of projected winners for every FBS game, tally up records, and guess what the Playoff committee and bowl committees would do with the results. Things get closer and closer to eventual accuracy as Selection Sunday nears, but more importantly, it’s some weekly fun!
Below, projections for all 40 2018 bowl games. A lot of these will change dramatically over the next month, so if you don’t like where your team is listed, I bet a few wins on the field will change things!
First, the College Football Playoff
- Cotton (Arlington, TX): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Notre Dame
- Orange (Miami): No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Michigan
- Championship (Santa Clara, CA): No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Clemson
Alabama’s in the Playoff. Done. Next. Clemson’s in, assuming Pitt doesn’t drop its biggest BS upset bomb ever. The Irish path is apparent, though they could stand to beat mediocre teams more handily. And I’ll keep Michigan in here yet again, though I’m hearing fewer and fewer complaints from Ohio State fans by the week, for some reason.
This brings us back to a familiar question: why predict Michigan will rank ahead of Notre Dame in December, considering the Irish won in September?
Well, the committee doesn’t use head to head as the only deciding factor between two teams. It lists it as one of several criteria it uses if it thinks teams are otherwise equal. I think on the year as a whole, Michigan’s already been a better team than Notre Dame has. Plus, looking forward: 13th game, conference title, and so forth.
Next: the rest of the New Year’s Six
- Sugar (New Orleans): Oklahoma vs. Georgia
- Rose (Pasadena, CA): Ohio State vs. Washington State
- Peach (Atlanta): LSU vs. West Virginia
- Fiesta (Glendale, AZ): Kentucky vs. UCF
The Sugar and Rose remain the same as the last few weeks.
Florida losing an upset to Missouri and Penn State losing way worse than anticipated to Michigan mean the floor’s wide open for any Power 5 team with a shot at 10-2, and we might see the rare 9-3 team make it. NC State, you were my last team out here, and I apologize to you.
UCF’s a shaky bet to win out, but the committee seems committed to apologizing for 2017. I almost wish we could get an AAC vs. MWC play-in game of some sort, but that might be kind of insulting to everyone.
And now, everything else
- Citrus (Orlando): Penn State vs. Florida
- Outback (Tampa): Michigan State vs. Mississippi State
- Gator (Jacksonville): Purdue vs. South Carolina
- Holiday (San Diego): Iowa vs. Washington
- Liberty (Memphis): Baylor vs. Tennessee
- Military (Annapolis, MD): Cincinnati vs. Georgia Tech
- Sun (El Paso): Miami vs. Oregon
- Belk (Charlotte): Virginia vs. Auburn
- Alamo (San Antonio): Texas vs. Utah
- Arizona (Tucson): San Diego State vs. UL Lafayette
- Camping World (Orlando): NC State vs. Texas Tech
- Music City (Nashville): Boston College vs. Texas A&M
- Texas (Houston): Iowa State vs. Missouri
- Pinstripe (New York City): Syracuse vs. Wisconsin
- Independence (Shreveport, LA): Duke vs. Stanford*
- Cheez-It (Phoenix): Oklahoma State vs. Cal
- Quick Lane (Detroit): Pitt vs. WMU*
- SERVPRO (Dallas): Minnesota vs. North Texas
- Redbox (Santa Clara, CA): Northwestern vs. Arizona State
- Hawaii: FAU vs. Hawaii
- Dollar General (Mobile): Buffalo vs. Georgia Southern
- Armed Forces (Fort Worth): SMU vs. Army*
- Birmingham: Houston vs. UAB*
- Potato (Boise): Toledo vs. Boise State
- Bahamas: FIU vs. NIU
- Gasparilla (Tampa): USF vs. Virginia Tech
- Frisco (TX): Tulane vs. Ohio
- Boca Raton: Temple vs. MTSU
- New Orleans: Louisiana Tech vs. Troy
- Camellia (Montgomery, AL): EMU vs. Appalachian State
- Las Vegas: Fresno State vs. USC
- Cure (Orlando): Memphis vs. Arkansas State
- New Mexico (Albuquerque): Marshall vs. Utah State
* = Taking another conference’s unfilled bid.
As always, remember bowl bids are not strictly based on merit. A few conferences have rules that prevent bowls from taking teams with clearly lesser records over more deserving teams, but bowls mostly care about butts in seats. If you beat a bigger program that’s closer to a bowl both of you want, you’re not guaranteed to get it.