Bowl/playoff projections: Ohio State becomes first eligible team

Ohio State Buckeyes survived Northwestern Wildcats 40-30 on Saturday to move to 6-0 and become the first bowl eligible team this season.  That means it's time to start the running list of eligible teams for this season.  The Buckeyes can pretty much put it in cruise control until they go to Ann Arbor for the Michigan Wolverines game.  The schedule gets a lot softer between now and then.

Stanford Cardinal also got a good test from Washington Huskies , but held on for a 31-28 win.  Other than that, it was pretty much smooth sailing for contenders this week.  Florida State put a record 63-0 beating on Maryland Terrapins , which tied the largest margin of defeat for a ranked team.

No upsets at the top means no changes in the BCS portion of the bowl projections, but you will see some new names, like Auburn Tigers , Washington State Cougars , and Indiana Hoosiers , which beat Penn State Nittany Lions for the first time ever.

If we had a playoff this year:

This section of the blog describes what things might look like if the new playoff system were in effect this year. It's different than the regular bowl projections in that it is based on current data. Beginning next year, a selection committee will not only select and seed a playoff, but also put together matchups for the other four bowls in the playoff rotation. The five major conference champions are all automatically placed in one of those six bowls. The American conference is not part of that group. The highest rated team from outside those leagues is also guaranteed a spot.

If a playoff started today, it would probably look like this:

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs No. 4 Clemson Tigers

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Oregon Ducks vs No. 3 Ohio State

Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs Oklahoma Sooners

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles vs South Carolina Gamecocks

Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs LSU Tigers

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs vs Louisville Cardinals

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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