With the top teams performing as you would expect on Saturday, led by Clemson's 24-10 win over Texas A&M, there are no changes to the College Football Playoff projections. However, thanks to a couple of upsets, there has been some movement among the teams projected to play in the New Year's Six bowl games.
Mack Brown is now 2-0 in his return to coaching at North Carolina. The Tar Heels scored the game-winning touchdown with just over a minute left to defeat Miami, 28-25. The Hurricanes had been projected to be the ACC representative in the Orange Bowl, but that distinction now goes to Virginia. Miami is now projected to the Sun Bowl. Yes, it's that fine of a line in the ACC. Many teams are projected to be within a game or two of each other.
Out West, in Pac-12 Way After Dark action, Cal stunned Washington 20-19 in Seattle after seeing the start of the game delayed over two hours due to weather. Washington still has a schedule advantage in the Pac-12 with Oregon, Washington State and Utah having to play it at home, but the Huskies do not look capable of running the table now. That loss to the Golden Bears will keep them out of the Rose Bowl.
2020 College Football Playoff
|Date||Game / Loc.||Matchup||Prediction|
|Title game|| Semifinal winners|
(2) Clemson vs. (3) Oklahoma
Selection committee bowl games
|Date||Bowl / Location||Matchup||Prediction|
SEC vs. Big 12
| LSU vs. Texas|
Big Ten vs. Pac-12
|Ohio State vs. Oregon|
ACC vs. SEC/B1G/ND
|Virginia vs. Notre Dame|
At-large vs. At-large
| UCF vs. Michigan|
In other Pac-12 action, USC is back in the bowl projections after a dominating 45-20 win over Stanford. No J.T. Daniels, no problem. Trojans freshman backup quarterback Kedon Slovis had a big game, throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns in his first USC start.
Minnesota also joins the list after beating Fresno State on the road in overtime. Maryland jumps into the projections after crushing Syracuse, 63-20. For the first time in the College Football Playoff era, I not only have enough Big Ten teams for all of the league's bowls, I actually have one too many. That's why the Gophers are projected into the SEC's slot in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The SEC will struggle, as usual, to fit all of their spots if the current projections hold. There are two SEC teams projected to the CFP and another in the Sugar Bowl. Even if league does not place two teams in the playoff, having at least three in the New Year's Six seems likely. That and the disparity between the top and bottom of the league creates a projection of the SEC coming up three teams short.
Overall, though, I am projecting two teams too many. It is rare for me to project too many eligible teams this early in the season, but that is what I have. Miami-Ohio and Buffalo are projected to be eligible but left out of the bowl season.