Bowl projections: Ohio State, Clemson barely keep College Football Playoff spots

There are no changes to this week's projections for the College Football Playoff after Clemson and Ohio State survived scares from NC State and Wisconsin. Both teams needed overtime to win. Clemson benefited from three missed field goals by the Wolfpack, including one that would have won the game at the end of regulation. Ohio State had to come from behind at Wisconsin, where the Buckeyes trailed by 10 in the second half.

College Football Playoff projections
Bowl Date Location Matchup
Peach Bowl Dec. 31 Atlanta, Ga. (1) Alabama vs. (4) Washington
Fiesta Bowl Dec. 31 Glendale, Ariz. (2) Clemson vs. (3) Ohio State

Stanford got back on track with a 17-10 come-from-behind win at Notre Dame. After surrendering 86 points to Washington and Washington State the last two weeks, only giving up 10 to the Irish had to be a relief.

If Washington does make the CFP from the Pac-12, the Rose Bowl could end up with a team that has as many as three losses. The South division is a slugfest among five teams, which could result in no team standing out. Meanwhile, the North has Washington State at 5-1 and Stanford at 4-2, but there are enough potholes in both teams' schedules to think that three or four total losses is still possible for each of them. The Rose Bowl could conceivably have an unranked team.

Tennessee may be the beast of the SEC East, but the Volunteers did not pass their test against the powers in the West the past two weeks. They put up a good fight at Texas A&M last week, but the Vols got smoked at home by Alabama on Saturday. It still seems likely that Tennessee will get another shot at the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game, though.

New Year's Six bowl projections
Bowl Date Location Matchup
Sugar Bowl Jan. 2 New Orleans, La. Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (SEC)
Rose Bowl Jan. 2 Pasadena, Calif. Michigan (Big Ten) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)
Cotton Bowl Jan. 2 Arlington, Tex. Houston (At-large) vs. Tennessee (At-large)
Orange Bowl Dec. 30 Miami, Fla. Louisville (ACC) vs. Wisconsin

The number of teams projected to be bowl eligible is still very low. Only 73 teams are projected for the 80 spots needed to fill the bowls. Army is one of the fill-in teams because the Black Knights are projected to be 6-6, though two of those wins will be over FCS teams. They picked up the first of those this week against Louisiana-Lafayette. The other six spots are currently filled by Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, Northern Illinois and South Carolina, which are all expected to finish 5-7.

To view the rest of Jerry Palm's bowl projections, please click here.

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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