Bowl projections: USC enters the College Football Playoff ahead of Clemson, Michigan as the New Year’s Six shuffles

Nobody noticed that coming, besides perhaps South Carolina. The Gamecocks obliterated Tennessee 63-38, and in doing so, snuffed out any probability the Volunteers had of incomes a spot in the College Football Playoff. That could not have been the worst information for Tennessee, although, as Heisman Trophy contending quarterback Hendon Hooker left with a non-contact harm to his leg and didn’t return.

The Vols can nonetheless get right into a New Year’s Six recreation; it relies upon how far they fall on this week’s CFP Rankings. Tennessee will seemingly stay ahead of Penn State and safe the final at-large spot in the Cotton Bowl, as lengthy as it beats Vanderbilt this week.

One factor the CFP Selection Committee won’t think about is how the harm to Hooker will influence Tennessee going ahead. It shouldn’t be the committee’s job to foretell the future. Their job is to rank the groups primarily based on what they’ve achieved. The influence of Hooker’s absence will change into extra obvious as the Vols play with out him, though that shall be no a couple of recreation earlier than Selection Sunday.

Tennessee dropping out of the playoff projection means somebody has to maneuver up. That workforce is USC, projected to complete 12-1 and win the Pac-12.

The Ohio State-Michigan loser and Clemson, which is projected to win the ACC, are additionally into account for the spot. However, USC’s energy of schedule and the high quality of its wins ought to give the Trojans an edge for No. 4.

Clemson’s CFP case was broken by North Carolina’s house loss to Georgia Tech. That offers the Tar Heels two losses and will see them fall a number of spots in the week’s CFP Rankings. If Clemson wins the ACC, its greatest win will come over UNC in the convention championship recreation, assuming the Heels don’t lose to NC State first. Clemson’s greatest win to this point is over Florida State.

College Football Playoffs

eat 9

National Championship
Inglewood, Calif.

Title recreation Semifinal winners

Dec. 31

Peach Bowl


(1) Georgia vs. (4) U.S.C

Dec. 31

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz.


(2) Ohio State vs. (3) TCU

Tennessee’s loss additionally creates a reordering of the SEC groups in New Year’s Six video games. However, as a result of the Vols are dropping to the backside of that checklist of 4, it doesn’t change the bowl projections for LSU or Alabama. The Tigers are nonetheless anticipated to fulfill Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl, whereas Alabama stays in the Orange Bowl as the highest-ranked workforce remaining from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame

With USC shifting up, Oregon is now projected to go to the Rose Bowl to face Michigan.

There was one other upset Saturday that impacted the New Year’s Six. UCF fell 17-14 at house to Navy, throwing away the skill to host the AAC Championship Game. Now, the winner of the Tulane at Cincinnati recreation will host the Knights. Cincinnati is now projected to win the league and the Group of Five berth in the Cotton Bowl.

If UCF wins the AAC title with three losses, it may deliver Coastal Carolina and Boise State into play for the Group of Five spot, however the Knights would seemingly nonetheless get it as a result of of the high quality of their wins.

New Year’s Six bowl video games

Some league title recreation matchups are already set. The Big Ten won’t be determined in both division till after Week 13. The Ohio State-Michigan winner will most definitely face Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game. Just a month in the past, we had been writing obituaries of the Hawkeyes season as they possessed one of the worst offenses in school soccer.

TCU is awaiting an opponent for the Big 12 Championship Game. That shall be Kansas State if it beats Kansas, in any other case Texas if it defeats Baylor. The Longhorns maintain the tiebreaker over the Wildcats.

USC’s win over UCLA places the Trojans in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Oregon will be a part of them if it beats Oregon State or loses and finishes in a two- or three-way tie involving Utah. The Huskies win a two-way tie towards the Ducks.

Notre Dame is a component of the ACC bowl construction if it isn’t in the New Year’s Six. The Fighting Irish will clearly be the most engaging workforce to any of the ACC bowls, and it’s seemingly that Notre Dame can select which recreation it prefers. However, the Irish are projected to complete 8-4 and can’t be chosen ahead of an ACC workforce with two extra wins. That implies that the Cheez-It Bowl will get anticipated 10-win North Carolina.

The choices for Notre Dame after which can be the Duke’s Mayo, Gator, Holiday, Pinstripe and Sun Bowls. The Duke’s Mayo and Pinstripe imply taking part in a mediocre Big Ten workforce, presumably in-state rival Purdue. Although, New York could have some enchantment as a vacation spot. The Holiday Bowl is in Southern California, which is the place the Irish could have simply performed their closing common season recreation. The Sun Bowl is in Texas, which is fertile recruiting floor, however perhaps not as a lot in El Paso. The Gator Bowl can be in fertile recruiting floor in Florida and would deliver an SEC opponent. My projection has the Irish selecting the Sunshine State.

There are 4 groups on this week’s projection which can be anticipated to complete 5-7. This is the final week of the common season for groups chasing bowl eligibility. Last yr presently, the projection was that there can be a necessity for six 5-7 groups for the bowls, however there have been a quantity of upsets in the closing week and no 5-7 groups had been finally vital. Perhaps that may occur this time as nicely.

The winner of the Army-Navy Game may get a fifth win and change into eligible underneath the five-win exception, however since that recreation is performed per week after the bowl matchups are introduced, will probably be too late for the winner to go to a bowl.

Don’t see your workforce? take a look at Jerry Palm’s up to date bowl projections after Week 12 as nicely as the CBS Sports bowl eligibility tracker for updates on what your workforce must do with a purpose to go bowling this season.

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