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Three more teams took their first losses of the season this week as Ole Miss, UCLA and Syracuse fell from the ranks of the unbeaten. However, among them, only the Orange no longer control their own path to a conference championship game.

Six undefeated teams remain, all in Power Five conferences, including two each in the Big Ten and SEC. That means there can be a maximum of four undefeated Power Five teams when the regular season comes to an end. The most undefeated major conference programs in one season in the BCS/College Football Playoff era is three, accomplished twice in 2004 and 2018.

None of the teams in the College Football Playoff or New Year's Six projections lost this week, though there were a couple of close calls starting with Clemson needing to storm back in the second half to take down Syracuse. The Tigers remain projected as the ACC champion and the third seed in the CFP.

College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Prediction

Jan. 9

National Championship
Inglewood, Calif.

Title game Semifinal winners

Dec. 31

Peach Bowl


(1) Georgia vs. (4) Tennessee

Dec. 31

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz.


(2) Ohio State vs. (3) Clemson

Oklahoma State scored the last 17 points of its game against Texas to pick up a key home victory. The Cowboys currently sit second in the Big 12 behind undefeated TCU, which upended Kansas State on Saturday night.

Oregon handed UCLA its first loss of the season. The Ducks are the last Pac-12 team that is undefeated in league play; however, that season-opening blowout to top-ranked Georgia will make it difficult for Oregon to get serious CFP consideration even if it wins out.

Cincinnati held on to beat SMU, surviving a 2-point conversion attempt to win 29-27 after entering the fourth quarter with a 15-point lead. The Bearcats are just one of three Group of Five teams with only one loss this season. The other two are AAC mate Tulane and Coastal Carolina. The Green Wave visit the Bearcats on the last week of the regular season in what could be a battle for home field advantage in the conference title game the following week.

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 2

Pasadena, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan vs. USC

Jan. 2

Arlington, Tex.

at-large vs. at-large

Oregon vs. Cincinnati

Dec. 31

New Orleans

SEC vs. Big 12

Alabama vs. Oklahoma State

Dec. 30



Wake Forest vs. Penn State

LSU outscored Mississippi 42-3 over the last three quarters to throttle the visiting Rebels, 45-20. The Tigers have moved up to the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa on Jan. 2 after the win and are now projected to face North Carolina, which had a productive week off. The Tar Heels sat on their couches and watched Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Miami each lose, giving UNC a two-game lead in the ACC Coastal.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M has almost fallen out of the bowl projections entirely following its loss to South Carolina. The Aggies are now projected to the Birmingham Bowl against Georgia Southern. Texas A&M will need to win three more games to ensure bowl eligibility.

There are currently 27 bowl-eligible teams, which means we still need 55 more. This week's projection expects that three 5-7 teams will be needed to fill the bowls this season. Those teams are Iowa State, Louisville and Michigan State.

Don't see your team? Check out the rest of Jerry Palm's bowl projections after Week 8.