There was chaos in the top tier of college football this week, and the bowl and College Football Playoff projections will reflect that. Seven teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 lost, including two of the top five and four of the top 11. Three of those seven lost to unranked opponents.
Leading the charge — or more accurately, the retreat — was No. 3 Oklahoma, which fell 33-23 to No. 15 Houston in a game that was not as close as that score would indicate. That puts the Cougars in the hunt for a playoff spot, and in fact, they are now projected as the No. 4 seed in the CFP.
The Sooners are still projected to win the Big 12, but they will finish outside of the CFP and are slotted for the Sugar Bowl instead.
No. 1 Alabama dominated No. 20 USC 52-6, moving up to the No. 1 seed in the CFP projection and earning a spot in the Peach Bowl semifinal. The Crimson Tide jumped No. 2 Clemson, which won at Auburn 19-13. Clemson remains the projected No. 2 seed but moves to the Fiesta Bowl.
Clemson is now expected to face No. 3 seed Stanford, which defeated Kansas State 26-13. The Cardinal are projected to be the Pac-12 champion.
|College Football Playoff projections|
|Peach Bowl||Dec. 31||Atlanta, Ga.||(1) Alabama vs. (4) Houston|
|Fiesta Bowl||Dec. 31||Glendale, Ariz.||(2) Clemson vs. (3) Stanford|
Notre Dame also fell out of the CFP projection after a 50-47 double-overtime loss at Texas in what was arguably the most exciting game of the weekend. The Irish’s hopes of making the CFP aren’t completely gone, but their margin for error is. The same is true for the other one-loss Power Five teams. Notre Dame is projected to face Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
No. 5 LSU lost to Wisconsin and dropped out of the New Year’s Six projection altogether. The Tigers were one of six SEC teams to lose nonconference games this weekend. The league lost at total of 10 nonconference games all of last season. LSU is still one quarterback away from competing for a national title.
LSU was replaced in Sugar Bowl’s SEC spot by Ole Miss, despite the Rebels’ come-from-way-ahead loss to Florida State on Monday night. Georgia, which beat North Carolina on Saturday, is also projected into the New Year’s Six; it will play in the Cotton Bowl against Iowa.
Ohio State is still predicted the Big Ten champion after dropping 77 points on Bowling Green. The Buckeyes are projected to face UCLA, which lost at 2OT thriller at Texas A&M.
|New Year’s Six bowl projections|
|Sugar Bowl||Jan. 2||New Orleans, La.||Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Georgia (SEC)|
|Rose Bowl||Jan. 2||Pasadena, Calif.||Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. UCLA (Pac-12)|
|Cotton Bowl||Jan. 2||Arlington, Tex.||Iowa (At-large) vs. Ole Miss (At-large)|
|Orange Bowl||Dec. 30||Miami, Fla.||Florida State (ACC) vs. Notre Dame|
I am currently only projecting there to be 77 bowl-eligible teams. Over the summer, the NCAA formalized the process it used to fill the bowls if there aren’t enough eligible teams. If five-win teams are needed, they will be selected in order of the most recent APR scores. The 5-7 teams in this week’s projections are Boston College, Missouri and Kansas State.
Check out Jerry Palm’s complete bowl projections by clicking here.
Source: CBS Sports / Bowl projections: Fun- and upset-filled Week 1 sparks massive change in playoff