Two games in the Big Ten have shaken up the New Year's Six projections this week. The big one was Michigan State coming from behind to beat Michigan in East Lansing as a four-point underdog, according to William Hill Sportsbook.
The Spartans knocked the Wolverines out of the New Year's Six projections and themselves move up to the No. 6 position in the expected final College Football Playoff Rankings, which would give them a spot in the Rose Bowl. That spot opened when Wisconsin dismantled Iowa, handing the Hawkeyes their second consecutive loss. Iowa was on a high after winning that top-five matchup with Penn State, but it has dropped out of the New Year's Six projections now. As a result of that victory, the Badgers now have control of the Big Ten West, along with current division leader Minnesota.
With Iowa falling out of the New Year's Six projections, Ole Miss moves into the Peach Bowl for a matchup with still-expected ACC champion Pittsburgh. Yes, both teams lost Saturday, but the Auburn defeat was already baked into the projections for the Rebels. The Panthers still have as good a chance as any to win the ACC, though Wake Forest and NC State are also capable.
The other projected New Year's Six team to lose on Saturday was Kentucky, which has also dropped two straight games. The Wildcats are hanging on to the last spot in the New Year's Six by a thread.
Penn State has not won since that aforementioned Iowa game, either, though it gave Ohio State a decent test on Saturday night before ultimately falling. The Buckeyes remain the No. 3 seed in the projected College Football Playoff as No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Cincinnati all remained unbeaten with easy wins Saturday. No. 5 Alabama had the week off.
College Football Playoff
|Date||Game / Loc.||Matchup||Prediction|
|Title game|| Semifinal winners|
(1) Georgia vs. (4) Cincinnati
(2) Oklahoma vs. (3) Ohio State
New Year's Six bowl games
|Date||Bowl / Location||Matchup||Prediction|
SEC vs. Big 12
|Alabama vs. Oklahoma State|
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
|Michigan State vs. Oregon|
At-large vs. At-large
|Notre Dame vs. Kentucky|
At-large vs. At-large
|Ole Miss vs. Pittsburgh|
With a net loss of one team in the New Year's Six for the Big Ten and a net gain of one for the SEC, those leagues' other bowl projections have shuffled a bit. Iowa is now projected for the Citrus Bowl against Texas A&M, while Michigan is in the Outback Bowl facing Arkansas.
Coming off the big win at Pitt, Miami is now projected to play in the Gator Bowl for first time since 1999. UM is slated to face Florida in a renewal of their in-state rivalry. These two teams play each other in the regular season on occasion. The last time that happened was in 2019 in Orlando, a game Florida won. They are next scheduled to play each other in 2024. This would mark their first meeting in a bowl game since 2004.
This week's bowl projections only have four teams that are expected to finish below .500, which is down from the eight in last week's projections. Purdue and Washington State were among the teams that picked up wins that were not expected this week and moved their expected final records to at least 6-6.