Bowl projections: Florida's jump in College Football Playoff Rankings shakes up SEC, Big Ten
Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan, Alabama and Auburn are all on the move in the updated bowl projections
The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings released on Tuesday night necessitated a bit of a change to the bowl projections previously posted on Sunday. In particular, Florida jumping Penn State means that the Orange Bowl opponent for ACC representative Virginia changes to the Gators from the Nittany Lions.
That change causes a domino effect in not just the SEC and Big Ten but also the ACC. That is because of a provision that gives the ACC the Big Ten's spot in the Citrus Bowl when Big Ten has a team in the Orange Bowl. Why, you ask? I do not know for sure. My best guess is that, when that arrangement was made, the ACC wanted to ensure that it had a high-level bowl game against an SEC opponent.
Let's take a look at how the College Football Playoff and New Year's Six bowls are now projected to shake out when the final rankings are released on Sunday. Keep on reading for more on how this change affects the other bowl games involving Alabama, Auburn, Penn State, Michigan and more.
College Football Playoff
|Date||Game / Loc.||Matchup||Prediction|
|Title game|| Semifinal winners|
New Year's Six bowl games
|Date||Bowl / Location||Matchup||Prediction|
SEC vs. Big 12
| Georgia vs. Baylor|
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
|Wisconsin vs. Oregon|
ACC vs. SEC/B1G/ND
|Virginia vs. Florida|
At-large vs. At-large
|Memphis vs. Utah|
The most difficult maneuvering of teams came in the Big Ten because of the league's no-repeat rules. Penn State cannot go back to the Citrus Bowl this season since it was there before. Minnesota and Michigan would also be repeats in the six-year cycle, but one such repeat is allowed as long as it is not the same team as the prior year. That rule is why Iowa is out of the Outback Bowl -- since it has appeared twice in the last three seasons -- and Michigan is, too, since only one team can repeat in the six-year cycle and the Wolverines were there in the sandwich year between Hawkeye trips.
Longer story long, Minnesota ends up in the Citrus Bowl, Penn State in the Outback Bowl, Iowa in the Holiday Bowl against Arizona State, and Michigan in the Gator Bowl against Kentucky. I have Alabama in the Citrus Bowl to face the Gophers and Auburn in the Outback Bowl taking on Penn State. It could just as easily be the other way around, but I doubt the Citrus Bowl would pass on a rare chance to get the Crimson Tide.
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