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Bracketology/Bowls Expert

Bowl/playoff projections: Ohio State becomes first eligible team

Ohio State survived Northwestern 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 game. The schedule gets a lot softer between now and then.

Stanford also got a good test from Washington, 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, 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, Washington State, and Indiana, which beat Penn State 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 vs No. 4 Clemson

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

Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs Oklahoma

Orange Bowl: Florida State vs South Carolina

Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs LSU

Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Georgia vs Louisville

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