CBS Sports graphic

The last week has brought another wave of news that impacted the season-end bowl projections.  The Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC all announced they will play football this fall with varying plans; however, each will play its conference championship game the weekend of Dec. 19. 

The Mountain West will be the first one back, playing an eight-game schedule that begins the week of Oct. 24, the same time the Big Ten will return to action. #MACtion returns on Wednesday (of course), Nov. 4.  The MAC will only schedule six regular season games for each team, the fewest of any conference. The Pac-12 will also return that week, beginning Friday, Nov. 6.  That conference is going to try to squeeze in seven regular season games.  In order to do that, they will have every team playing on the same weekend as the championship game, similar to the plan the Big Ten announced.

Unless and until the College Football Playoff Selection Committee adjusts its eligibility standards to require a minimum number of games played, teams from all 10 conferences will be eligible to be selected to the CFP and New Year's Six games.

With these announcements, only three teams are still sitting out the fall 2020 football season: Conference USA's Old Dominion along with independents UConn and New Mexico State. UMass announced last week that it will try to play a limited schedule this fall.

The other piece of news from last week that affects bowl projections is the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee recommending that bowl eligibility standards be scrapped for this season.  So not only do we have 127 teams vying for spots in bowl games, all 127 are already bowl eligible.

That is bad news for Group of Five teams. Most years, a handful of those teams will get to fill a bowl spot from a major conference because it doesn't have enough eligible teams of its own. This year, with every team already bowl eligible, that will not be a problem. It might not be as noticeable with the varying schedule sizes as they stand now. With game postponements running at just over 20%, those schedule sizes may yet even out some.

In action on the field, the most noteworthy result was Kansas State's 38-35 upset of Oklahoma.  The Wildcats were coming off a loss at home to Arkansas State but had a big second half against the Sooners defense. Oklahoma has dropped out of the playoff projections for now and is replaced by Oregon, the projected Pac-12 champion.

College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Prediction

Jan. 11

National Championship

Title game Semifinal winners

Jan. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.


(2) Ohio State vs. (3) Alabama

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans


(1) Clemson vs. (4) Oregon

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 2


ACC/ND vs. SEC/Big Ten

Miami (FL) vs. Georgia

Jan. 2

Glendale, Ariz.

At-large vs. At-large

Penn State vs. USC

Jan. 1


At-large vs. At-large

Florida vs. Boise State

Dec. 30

Arlington, Tex.

At-large vs. At-large

Oklahoma vs. North Carolina

USC is also projected to find a spot in a New Year's Six game, as is Boise State from the Mountain West.  Auburn, Texas and Cincinnati dropped out of those games to make room.

The other upset in the top 10 was LSU falling at home to Mississippi State, 44-34, in the SEC debut of Mike Leach's air raid offense. That result said more about the Bulldogs than it did the Tigers. We had to expect LSU to take a step back with all the talent lost from last year's team to the NFL, plus the key players who opted out of this season. On top of that, All-American cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. missed the game due to an illness. MSU did not look like a team that just learned a new offense. It was a record-setting performance all around and it announced to the SEC that Mississippi State will be a team to be reckoned with this season.

Check out Jerry Palm's complete 2020 bowl projections.