It’s been an easy week for the top ranked teams in college football and for most of the top 25 overall. The highest ranked team receiving this week’s call was Arkansas, who needed a late draw to crush former Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino’s Missouri State team.
Because of this, there is no change in the college football playoff prediction, but there is one for the New Year’s Six. As good as the past week has been for the Sun Belt, this week the conference has rolled back. Marshall lost after winning at Notre Dame, losing to Bowling Green in overtime. Louisiana also lost at Rice, anddefeat Troy at home.
However, a win is a win, and App State replaces Marshall as the Group of Five representative for the Cotton Bowl.
As for the top 25 teams that lost this week, BYU and Miami lost to lower-ranked opponents on the road, while Michigan State lost ground to soon-to-be ranked Washington. BYU’s loss to Oregon nearly wipes out Cougars’ chances of bidding for the CFP tender. They still have a schedule that gives them the opportunity to break into the New Year’s Six; however, as an independent, BYU cannot claim a place in the Group of Five, which goes to the highest-ranked conference champion among those leagues.
BYU’s only path to the New Year’s Six is a regular team, which is the same for all independents. As noted in previous columns, the only vacant spot in the New Year’s Six this season is in the Cotton Bowl. against the highest-ranked Group Five champion.
College football playoffs
|Date||Game / Lock.||Match||Forecast|
|Name of the game||Semi-final winners|
(1) Georgia vs. (4) Oklahoma
(2) Ohio State vs. (3) Alabama
New Year’s games “Six bowls”
|Date||Bowl / Location||Match||Forecast|
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
|Michigan vs. Utah|
on the loose vs on the loose
|USC v. Appalachian State|
SEC vs Big 12
|Tennessee vs. Baylor|
ACC vs. SEC/B1G/ND
|Clemson v. Pennsylvania|
A new name appeared in the projections of the bowl this week, which has not been seen for quite some time. Kansas found itself on the field after not bowling since 2008, when the Jayhawks finished 8–5 for an Insight Bowl berth. In fact, the last time KU won more than three games the following year was when the Jayhawks finished 5-7 in Mark Mangino’s final season.
The Kansas team has already taken three wins this year and looks like they have enough offense to get a few more. The Jayhawks are fifth in the nation in offensive scoring with 51 points per game. Their last two victories were in West Virginia and Houston. (The Cougars were considered one of the AAC favorites this season.)
Kansas’s timetable marks an important stretch of time. He has home games against Duke, Iowa State and TCU. The Jayhawks were eligible for the cup by winning those three games. They may need all three because the schedule becomes much less favorable in the second half of the season.
Due to some setbacks in week 3, there is only one team in the forecast for this week, which is expected to finish 5-7. This is the South Carolina team that has the highest annual percentage return of the 5-7 teams predicted.
The Northwest previously claimed one of those spots, but a loss at home to Southern Illinois puts them out of the game for now. The Wildcats are the first Power Five team to lose to rival FCS this season.
Don’t see your team? Check out the rest of Jerry Palm’s bowl predictions after Week 3.