Claire Komarek, CBS Sports

Records fell and a new team rose into the College Football Playoff projection Saturday night as No. 11 Texas toppled No. 3 Alabama 34-24 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian became just the third Nick Saban assistant to defeat his former boss, and in doing so, the 'Horns ended the Crimson Tide's 21-game home winning streak, previously the longest active mark in the nation.

Alabama, previously projected to finish the season No. 4 in the CFP Rankings, is now out of the playoff field with Texas projected to take the No. 3 seed as an undefeated Big 12 champion.

No. 1 Georgia (45-0 vs. Ball State) and No. 2 Michigan (35-7 vs. UNLV) maintain the top spots after dominant nonconference victories, while No. 4 Florida State -- projected as an undefeated ACC champion -- is in the process of maintaining the last spot in the field as it is presently running through Southern Miss at home.

If the Longhorns quality for the playoff as projected, it would mark the second straight year the Big 12 puts a team in the field. This as Texas and Oklahoma prepare to depart the Big 12 for the SEC beginning July 1, 2024.

College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Prediction

Jan. 8

National Championship

Title game Semifinal winners

Jan. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.


(2) Michigan vs. (3) Texas

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans


(1) Georgia  vs. (4) Florida State

Texas' win over Alabama necessitated some shuffling of the New Year's Six games as well. The Crimson Tide are now projected to the Peach Bowl to face Penn State.

The consistent excellency that Nick Saban's Alabama teams have shown over his time there is remarkable. Last season was just the second time that the Tide entered a bowl game with more than one loss since 2010. It has not happened in consecutive seasons since 2006-07, the latter of which was Saban's first at Alabama. If the Tide do not run the table to an SEC championship this season, it will happen in consecutive seasons again.

LSU has been something of a ping-pong ball in the bowl projections lately, bouncing from the Cotton Bowl to the Peach Bowl. The Tigers are now projected back in the Cotton Bowl to face USC.

The Pac-12 is also represented in the Fiesta Bowl by Washington. The conference may not be around next year, but if so, it would be finishing strong. The Pac-12 is expected to put two teams in the New Year's Six in back-to-back seasons, something it has not done since 2017.

Tulane is projected to represent the Group of Five in the Fiesta Bowl. The AAC champion has represented the Group of Five in the New Year's Six games in every season of the College Football Playoff era except for two. (Boise State was in the Fiesta Bowl in the inaugural CFP season of 2014, and Western Michigan got the spot in 2016.

The Orange Bowl is the lone New Year's Six game with a contractual obligation. With Florida State projected for the playoff, North Carolina is expected to fill the ACC's spot in that game. Ohio State is the projected opponent as the highest-ranked team remaining from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame.

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 1

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz.

at-large vs. at-large

Washington vs. Tulane

Dec. 30

Orange Bowl


North Carolina vs. Ohio State

Dec. 30

Peach Bowl

at-large vs. at-large

Alabama vs. Penn State

Dec. 29

Cotton Bowl
Arlington, Tex.

at-large vs. at-large


This week's bowl projections feature only 78 teams that are expected to have enough wins to be eligible. The four teams that are expected to finish with five wins in this week's projections are Boston College, Michigan State, UNLV and Army. Army is playing two FCS teams this season but can only count one win against those teams toward the six required for bowl eligibility.

Don't see your team? Check out Jerry Palm's complete bowl projections after Week 2.