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

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No one foresaw this, except maybe South Carolina. The Gamecocks wiped out Tennessee 63-38 and in doing so destroyed any chance the Volunteers had of earning a place in the college football playoffs. This may not have been the worst news for Tennessee, as Heisman Trophy quarterback Hendon Hooker left with a non-contact foot injury and never returned.

Vols can still make it into the New Year’s Six game; it depends on how far they fall in the CFP rankings this week. Tennessee is likely to stay ahead of the University of Pennsylvania and secure the last seat at large in the Cotton Bowl if it beats Vanderbilt this week.

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One thing the CFP Selection Committee won’t consider is how Hooker’s injury will affect Tennessee going forward. It is not the responsibility of the committee to predict the future. Their job is to rank teams based on what they have achieved. The impact of Hooker’s absence will become more apparent when the Vols play without him, although it won’t be more than one game before Qualifier Sunday.

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Tennessee being eliminated from the playoff prediction means someone has to move up. This is the USC team that should finish 12-1 and win the Pac-12.

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Loser Ohio State-Michigan and Clemson, which is projected to win the ACC, are also being considered for the spot. However, USC’s strong schedule and the quality of his wins should give the Trojans an edge for #4.

The Clemson CFP case was hurt by the loss of the North Carolina home to Georgia Tech. This gives the Tar Heels two losses and could see them drop several places in the weekly CFP rankings. If Clemson wins the ACC, his best win will be over UNC in a conference championship game, provided the Heels don’t lose to NC State first. Clemson’s best win so far is over Florida State.

College football playoffs

Date Game / Lock. Match Forecast

January 9

National championship
Inglewood, California.

Name of the game Semi-final winners

Dec. 31

peach bowl


(1) Georgia v. (4) USC

Dec. 31

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Arizona.


(2) Ohio State vs. (3) TCU

Tennessee’s loss also results in a reordering of SEC teams in six New Year’s games. However, since the Vols drop to the bottom of that list of four, that doesn’t change the bowl predictions for LSU or Alabama. The Tigers are expected to face Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl, while Alabama will remain in the Orange Bowl as the highest ranked team left over from the SEC, Big Ten, or Notre Dame.

With the promotion of USC, Oregon is now predicted to head to the Rose Bowl to face Michigan.

There was another upset Saturday that affected the New Year’s Six. The UCF lost 17-14 at home to the Navy, forfeiting the AAC championship game. Now the winner of the game Tulane at Cincinnati will receive the knights. Cincinnati is now predicted to win the league and enter the Group of Five in the Cotton Bowl.

If UCF wins the AAC title with three losses, it could take Coastal Carolina and Boise State to a Group Five spot, but the Knights will most likely get it anyway due to the quality of their wins.

New Year’s games “Six bowls”

Date Bowl / Location Match Forecast

January 2

Pasadena, California.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan vs. Oregon

January 2

Arlington, Texas.

on the loose vs on the loose

Tennessee vs. UCF

Dec. 31

Residents of New Orleans

SEC vs Big 12

LSU vs Kansas State

December 30th



Clemson vs. Alabama

Some matches for the league title have already been scheduled. The Big Ten will not be determined in any division until the end of Week 13. Ohio-Michigan State winner will most likely face Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. Just a month ago, we were writing obituaries for the Hawkeyes season as they had one of the worst offenses in college football.

TCU is waiting for an opponent to play for the Big 12 championship. It will be Kansas if it beats Kansas, otherwise Texas if it beats Baylor. The Longhorns hold a tiebreak over the Wildcats.

USC’s victory over UCLA led the Trojans to the Pac-12 Championship. Oregon will join them if they beat or lose Oregon State and finish in a two or three way match involving Utah. The Huskies beat the Ducks to a draw.

Notre Dame is included in the structure of the ACC bowl, if it is not included in the New Year’s six. The Fighting Irish will obviously be the most attractive team for any of the ACC bowls and it’s likely that Notre Dame can choose which game it prefers. However, the Irish are predicted to finish 8-4 and could not be picked ahead of the ACC team, who have won two more victories. This means the Cheez-It Bowl will get its expected 10th win in North Carolina.

Options for Notre Dame after that are Mayo Duke, Gator, Holiday, Pinstripe, and Sun Bowls. Mayo and Duke’s Pinstripe mean they play a mediocre Big Ten team, perhaps a contender at Purdue State. Although New York may have some appeal as a destination. The Holiday Bowl is in Southern California, where the Irish have just played their last game of the regular season. The Sun Bowl is in Texas, which is fertile ground for hire, but perhaps not as much in El Paso. The Gator Bowl is also in fertile recruiting ground in Florida and could lead to an SEC rival. In my prediction, the Irish choose the Sunshine State.

This week’s prediction has four teams expected to finish 5-7. This is the last week of the regular season for teams qualifying for the cup. Last year at this time it was predicted that six 5-7 teams would be needed for the bowls, but there were a number of setbacks in the last week and ultimately there was no need for 5-7 teams. Perhaps this will be the case this time as well.

The winner of the Army-Navy game can get a fifth win and qualify for a five-win elimination, but since this game is played a week after the bowl matches are announced, it will be too late for the winner. bowl.

Don’t see your team? Verify Updated Jerry Palm Bowl Projections after 12 weeks and CBS Sports Bowl Compliance Tracking to find out what your team needs to do to get bowling this season.


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