BOWL PROJECTIONS? AFTER WEEK 2?
Yeah, this happens every week. Quite obviously, these are mostly just wild guesses at this point, though there are at least a few spots we can feel pretty confident in.
Each week, I go through and 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 just as importantly, it’s a little weekly fun.
Below, projections for all 40 2018 bowl games. A lot of these will change dramatically over the next three months; if you don’t like where your team is listed, I bet a few wins on the field will change things!
The College Football Playoff
- Cotton (Arlington, TX): No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State
- Orange (Miami): No. 1 Auburn vs. No. 4 TCU
You can pencil in Clemson and Ohio State already.
You can pencil in Alabama too, but y’all, it gets really boring to just project the same four obvious teams right up top every week. I think you and I both know the Tide are a likely Playoff team. So let’s rebel against the obvious and pick Auburn to win the football game. I’m also going with TCU until proven incorrect, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me.
The rest of the New Year’s Six
- Sugar (New Orleans): Oklahoma vs. Alabama
- Rose (Pasadena, CA): Wisconsin vs. Washington
- Peach (Atlanta): Miami vs. Georgia
- Fiesta (Glendale, AZ): Boise State vs. Notre Dame
In this year’s rotation, most of these will be based on conference auto-bids, and then we’ll see whether the MWC or AAC champ takes the non-power spot. Due to geography, that’ll likely determine whether the mid-major goes to the Fiesta or Peach. And then there’ll only be a couple at-large spots.
Sure, there’s Mark Richt vs. his old team. Again, these bowl projections will always be slightly biased in the name of fun. (Miami has lost a game, yeah. That happens to virtually everybody.)
- Citrus (Orlando): Michigan vs. Mississippi State
- Outback (Tampa): Penn State vs. LSU
- Gator (Jacksonville): Nebraska vs. Missouri
- Holiday (San Diego): Michigan State vs. Oregon
- Liberty (Memphis): Baylor vs. Arkansas
- Military (Annapolis, MD): Navy vs. Florida State
- Sun (El Paso): Louisville vs. Utah
- Belk (Charlotte): Wake Forest vs. South Carolina
- Alamo (San Antonio): Texas vs. Stanford
- Arizona (Tucson): Fresno State vs. Cal*
- Camping World (Orlando): Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
- Music City (Nashville): NC State vs. Kentucky
- Texas (Houston): Oklahoma State vs. Texas A&M
- Pinstripe (New York City): Syracuse vs. Minnesota
- Independence (Shreveport, LA): Pitt vs. Florida
- Cheez-It (Phoenix): Iowa State vs. Arizona State
- Quick Lane (Detroit): Georgia Tech vs. Indiana
- SERVPRO (Dallas): Northwestern vs. North Texas
- Foster Farms (Santa Clara, CA): Iowa vs. USC
- Hawaii: Marshall vs. Hawaii
- Dollar General (Mobile): Ohio vs. Appalachian State
- Armed Forces (Fort Worth): Houston vs. Washington State*
- Birmingham: UCF vs. Tennessee
- Potato (Boise): EMU vs. Utah State
- Bahamas: Southern Miss vs. Buffalo
- Gasparilla (Tampa): USF vs. Boston College
- Frisco (TX): Memphis vs. Toledo
- Boca Raton: Cincinnati vs. FAU
- New Orleans: Louisiana Tech vs. Troy
- Camellia (Montgomery, AL): NIU vs. Arkansas State
- Las Vegas: San Diego State vs. Colorado
- Cure (Orlando): Maryland* vs. Georgia Southern
- New Mexico (Albuquerque): UAB vs. UNLV
* = Taking another conference’s unfilled bid.
As always, remember bowl ties are not necessarily based on merit. A few conferences have rules that prevent bowls from taking teams with clearly lesser records over more deserving teams, but bowls care about one thing: putting butts in seats. If you beat a bigger program that’s closer to a bowl both of you want, then I have some bad news about who’ll likely get it.
Early on, it’s often hard to find space for everybody. This week, there was no room left over for Colorado State, MTSU, WMU, and Wyoming, but these things change quickly.