College football bowl projections: Auburn, West Virginia step up as Miami, Texas step out

Week 1 is over and with that comes the annual reminder not to overreact to what you see in the first week of the season.  Usually, you still have more questions than you have answers. That is especially true when there are so few competitive games, at least on paper.

For example, is LSU that good or is Miami that bad? Maybe both? Maybe that game will end up looking like an outlier before the season is over. We will have to wait and see. We do know that the Tigers were very impressive on Sunday night and that the Hurricanes were flattened.

The result of that game knocked Miami out of my projection for the Peach Bowl. The Hurricanes have been replaced by Auburn, which defeated Washington 21-16 on Saturday in the only matchup of top-10 teams last weekend. For Auburn, that would mean back-to-back appearances in the Peach Bowl and at least a fourth game in that stadium since December 2017.

The Tigers are projected to play Penn State, which needed overtime to avoid getting upset by Appalachian State. The Mountaineers, trying to duplicate the legendary upset of Michigan in 2007, scored four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the Nittany Lions on the ropes, but could not hold on. This is a case of not overreacting to the first game. Penn State didn't look great, but they won. One game is not a trend.

Texas was my preseason choice to finish second in the Big 12 and play in the Sugar Bowl. Looks like I may have jumped onto the Longhorns bandwagon too soon. Texas came out flat at Maryland in a 34-29 loss. West Virginia, which was impressive against Tennessee, is now projected into the Big 12 spot in the Sugar Bowl.

2019 College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Time / TV Matchup Prediction

Jan. 7

National Championship
Santa Clara, Calif.

8 p.m.
ESPN

Title game Semifinal winners

Dec. 29

Cotton Bowl
Arlington, Tex.

4/8 p.m.
ESPN

Semifinal

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Oklahoma

Dec. 29

Orange Bowl
Miami

4/8 p.m.
ESPN

Semifinal

(2) Clemson vs. (3) Ohio State

Selection committee bowl games

Date Bowl / Loc. Time / TV Matchup Prediction

Jan. 1

Sugar
New Orleans

8:45 p.m.
ESPN

SEC vs. Big 12

Georgia vs. West Virginia

Jan. 1

Rose
Pasadena, Calif.

5 p.m.
ESPN

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Wisconsin vs. Washington

Jan. 1

Fiesta
Glendale, Ariz.

1 p.m.
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

Stanford vs. Boise State

Dec. 29

Peach
Atlanta

Noon
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

Auburn vs. Penn State

I needed two teams projected to be 5-7 to complete the postseason roster for my preseason bowl projections.  This week, that number is down to one as Hawaii has jumped up and taken a spot after an impressive 2-0 start. The Rainbow Warriors have beaten Colorado State and Navy to begin the season. Quarterback Cole McDonald has already passed for 846 yards and nine touchdowns, including six against the Midshipmen. The lone 5-7 team in this week's bowl projections is Nevada.

Last week, I wrote that Liberty is not considered an FBS program yet because it is still in transition from FCS. While that is true, Liberty is treated as an FBS opponent for the purposes of bowl eligibility. Teams need six wins to be bowl eligible but can have no more than one against an FCS team. Even though Liberty is not a full-fledged FBS team yet, a win over the Flames still counts as an FBS victory.

Check out the rest of Jerry Palm's college football bowl projections after Week 1.

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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