College football bowl projections: LSU, Penn State, UCF benefit after Week 3 upsets

In case you still had any doubt about LSU, and I admit that I did, the Tigers proved they are for real. LSU came from behind to win at Auburn 22-21 on a last second field goal by Cole Tracy.  That win makes the Bayou Bengals the top contender to Alabama in the SEC West.  It also means that the Tigers are now projected into the Peach Bowl, replacing Auburn, which is now projected for the Citrus Bowl.

Wisconsin has also dropped out of the New Year's Six projections following a stunning 24-21 loss at home to unranked BYU.  The Cougars' Squally Canada outdueled his more hyped counterpart, Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin.  Canada ran for 118 yards on just 11 carries and scored twice to help BYU give Wisconsin its first home nonconference loss since 2013.

The Badgers were replaced in the Rose Bowl projection by Penn State, which moved over from the Peach Bowl.  Virginia Tech, which was one of many teams to have its game this week canceled, is now projected into that spot.

BYU will have another chance to play spoiler on Sept. 29 when the Cougars play at Washington.

The last change in this week's New Year's Six projections comes courtesy of Oklahoma State.  The Cowboys used a pair of blocked punts to build a big lead they would never relinquish in a 44-21 drubbing of Boise State.  That loss knocks the Broncos out of the projected spot in the New Year's Six for the highest rated Group of Five conference champion.  UCF now assumes that place in the Fiesta Bowl.

Of course, switching the conference of the Group of Five representative has shaken up the bowl matchups for both conferences.  That is also true of the Big Ten and ACC, which saw the projected number of teams in the New Year's Six change for each of them.

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

Penn State vs. Washington

Jan. 1

Fiesta
Glendale, Ariz.

1 p.m.
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

Stanford vs. UCF

Dec. 29

Peach
Atlanta

Noon
ESPN

At-large vs. At-large

LSU vs. Virginia Tech

Due to Hurricane Florence, several games were canceled this weekend and most will not get made up.  Southern Miss joins the list of teams that may need to find a way to schedule another game in the hopes of becoming bowl eligible.  The Eagles are currently projected to be 5-6 thanks to the cancellation of the game at Appalachian State.

Hurricane Florence also impacted three teams in the current New Year's Six projections.  West Virginia, Virginia Tech and UCF each had games canceled due to the hurricane.  However, those missing games should not impact their prospects for playing in the New Year's Six.  The Hokies and Knights were not scheduled to play opponents that would help from a strength of schedule standpoint or seemed capable of upsetting either of them.  West Virginia was supposed travel to NC State, which is projected to be a bowl team.  You could reasonably say that the Mountaineers avoided a potential upset loss.

This week's bowl projection has two 5-7 teams after not having any last week.  Northwestern, which lost at home to Akron, is projected to finish with five wins, as is Nevada from the Mountain West.  Akron is a team like Southern Miss in that the Zips may also need to schedule another game to get to six wins.  However, they are projected to finish 6-5 in this week's projection.

Check out the rest of Jerry Palm's college football bowl projections after Week 3.   

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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