Bowl projections: Big Ten shake-up puts Oklahoma back in College Football Playoff

After an epic battle last week, No. 7 Penn State and No. 6 Ohio State had an epic failure and an epic disaster, respectively, as both teams fell from my end-of-season College Football Playoff projections.

The Nittany Lions had to wait out a weather delay of almost three-and-a-half hours only to lose a back-and-forth affair at No. 24 Michigan State. The Spartans won 27-24 on a Matt Coghlin 34-yard field goal as time expired to hand Penn State its second loss and end any hope of a spot in the CFP.

Ohio State had a much worse day, losing at Iowa 55-24 in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate. Quarterback J.T. Barrett, who was being pumped up by his coach as a Heisman Trophy candidate just last week, threw a pick six on the first play of the game -- and it was all downhill from there for the Buckeyes. Ohio State still controls its own destiny for the Big Ten Championship Game, but it will almost certainly not be enough to get the Buckeyes a spot in the playoff.

And even though No. 9 Wisconsin has not been as severely tested, it now emerges as the favorite in the Big Ten and is projected to a playoff spot.  Ohio State or Michigan State, whichever gets there, figures to be an underdog.

I still believe the Badgers have to be undefeated to get that spot, and like Florida State in 2014, would be seeded behind at least one one-loss team.  That year, the Seminoles were the only major-conference unbeaten team but were seeded third because of a weak schedule.  I will not believe that the CFP Selection Committee will leave out an undefeated, major conference team until it actually does it.  If Wisconsin does not win the Big Ten title at 13-0, then the league will likely get shut out of the playoff for the first time in its brief history.

No. 5 Oklahoma won the Bedlam game at No. 11 Oklahoma State, 62-52.  Their basketball teams may not score that much when they play each other. No. 8 TCU also held serve in the scramble atop the Big 12 with a 24-7 win over Texas.  The Sooners and Horned Frogs play each other in Norman, Oklahoma, next week, and I am projecting a rematch for the Big 12 title.  I am also projecting a pair of wins for the Sooners, which will earn them a spot in the playoff as well.

2018 College Football Playoff

DATEGAME / LOC.TIME / TVMATCHUPPREDICTION

Jan. 8

National Championship
Atlanta

8 p.m.
ESPN

Title game Semifinal winners

Jan. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.

5 p.m.
ESPN

Semifinal

(2) Clemson vs. (3) Oklahoma

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans

8:45 p.m.
ESPN

Semifinal

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Wisconsin

Selection committee bowl games

DATEGAME / LOC.TIME / TVMATCHUPPREDICTION

Jan. 1

Peach
Atlanta

12:30 p.m.
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

Virginia Tech vs. UCF

Dec. 30

Fiesta
Glendale, Ariz.

4 p.m.
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

USC vs. TCU

Dec. 30

Orange
Miami

8 p.m.
ESPN

ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND

Miami vs. Georgia

Dec. 29

Cotton
Arlington, Texas

8:30 p.m.
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

Washington vs. Notre Dame

Click here to check out the rest of Jerry Palm's bowl projections after Week 10.  

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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