College football bowl projections: LSU solidifies New Year's Six position, West Virginia falls out
The Tigers are making a strong case for three SEC teams to make the New Year's Six
Despite losses by four teams in the top 10 of last week's AP Top 25 poll, there are only a couple of minor changes to the projected New Year's Six matchups.
No. 6 West Virginia, which lost 30-14 at Iowa State, has dropped out of those projections entirely and has been replaced by Kentucky. The Wildcats are one of the more pleasant surprises this season and have positioned themselves for a shot at the Peach Bowl. I have Kentucky taking on No. 9 Texas in Atlanta. The Mountaineers are now projected to the Alamo Bowl.
No. 13 LSU pounded No. 2 Georgia 36-16 and has solidified itself in the New Year's Six projections. The Tigers have been moved from the Peach Bowl to the Sugar Bowl as the highest rated SEC team after Alabama. LSU is projected to face expected Big 12 champion Oklahoma. Georgia moved from the Sugar Bowl to the Fiesta Bowl and is projected to face Group of Five representative UCF. The No. 10 Knights survived a scare at Memphis 31-30.
No. 7 Washington's loss to Oregon does not change the Pac-12 projections just yet. The Ducks would win a tiebreaker with the Huskies if both win out, but I am not expecting that to happen. I have Oregon losing at surging Utah on Nov. 10.
The fourth team in the top 10 to lose was No. 8 Penn State, which was upset at home 21-17 by Michigan State. The Nittany Lions still project as the top ranked team in the Big Ten not named Ohio State when the season ends, but that will be by a slimmer margin than before. Michigan, which beat Wisconsin 38-13, is a possibility for the Big Ten's spot in the Rose Bowl as well.
With so many conference schedules back-loaded with bigger games, we could see the possibility of multiple three-loss teams getting at-large bids to New Year's Six games. In the SEC alone, LSU still has to play Alabama and Georgia still has games left with both Florida and Kentucky. One of those three SEC East teams will still likely have to face the Crimson Tide in the SEC title game as well.
In the Big Ten, Michigan still has to play Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have not faced the Spartans yet, either. Then, there is a Big Ten title game for one of those teams, likely against Wisconsin.
Texas and Oklahoma still have games left with West Virginia in the Big 12. The Sooners will travel to Morgantown on the final week of the regular season. Two of those three teams will likely meet again in the Big 12 title game. Texas and Oklahoma are in the best position for that matchup at the moment.
There is a long way to go before the dust settles on matchups for the College Football Playoff and the New Year's Six games.
2019 College Football Playoff
|Date||Game / Loc.||Time / TV||Matchup||Prediction|
|Title game|| Semifinal winners|
Selection committee bowl games
|Date||Bowl / Loc.||Time / TV||Matchup||Prediction|
SEC vs. Big 12
|LSU vs. Oklahoma|
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
| Penn State vs. Washington|
At-large vs. At-large
|Georgia vs. UCF|
At-large vs. At-large
| Texas vs. Kentucky|
There are currently only 72 teams expected to be eligible for the 78 bowl bids available this season. That would be a remarkably low number, even though odds are against having a full slate of 78 eligible teams. Arizona State, Cal, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Temple and Wake Forest are projected to fill those open slots with 5-7 records. Navy is playing 13 games this season and is projected to finish 5-8. That would not be good enough to be considered for a place that goes to a 5-7 team. However, if the Midshipmen finish 6-7, they would get priority over any 5-7 team.
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