graphic-wiscbp.jpg
CBS Sports graphic

What a strange week of college football. We saw a total of 15 games canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 that continues to surge nationwide. Included among those games were No. 1 Alabama at LSU and No. 3 Ohio State at Maryland. The Crimson Tide and Buckeyes are the top two seeds in my projected College Football Playoff.

The No. 3 seed is Clemson, and the Tigers had a scheduled week off following their loss at Notre Dame last week. The No. 2 Fighting Irish were the only top-five team to actually get a game in this week. They avoided a letdown and defeated Boston College 45-31 to remain in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. Notre Dame should get tested again next week when it travels to North Carolina.

No. 5 Texas A&M had its game with Tennessee postponed as well. The Aggies are not currently in my New Year's Six projections despite currently owning a better record than Georgia, which also had its game this week postponed. The Aggies are expected to take another loss and fall behind the Bulldogs in the rankings by the end of the season. However, Texas A&M is definitely a New Year's Six team if it wins out, and it may even sneak into the CFP.

College Football Playoff

Date Game / Loc. Matchup Prediction

Jan. 11

National Championship
Miami

Title game Semifinal winners

Jan. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.

Semifinal

(2) Ohio State vs. (3) Clemson

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans

Semifinal

(1) Alabama vs. (4) Oregon

New Year's Six bowl games

Date Bowl / Location Matchup Prediction

Jan. 2

Orange
Miami

ACC/ND vs. SEC/Big Ten

Notre Dame vs. Florida

Jan. 2

Fiesta
Glendale, Ariz.

At-large vs. At-large

USC vs. Wisconsin

Jan. 1

Peach
Atlanta

At-large vs. At-large

Miami (FL) vs. Cincinnati

Dec. 30

Cotton
Arlington, Tex.

At-large vs. At-large

Oklahoma State vs. Georgia

Beyond simply losing a lot of games this week, we also had just five upsets. Only one of those involved a game with a team in the AP Top 25. That was No. 9 Miami's 25-24 win at Virginia Tech, which saw the Hurricanes enter the contest as a two-point underdog. That is stretching the definition of "upset" about as far as it can be stretched.

There are a few games on next week's schedule that could be impactful, though. In the Big Ten, we will have games between the two remaining undefeated teams in each division. One of the biggest surprise teams this season, No. 10 Indiana, will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State. It will be a big step up in competition for the Hoosiers to say the least. The four teams IU has played -- Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Rutgers -- have a combined one win against a team outside of that group.

No. 13 Wisconsin returned to action after two weeks off with a 49-11 destruction of Michigan. The Badgers will take on undefeated No. 23 Northwestern next Saturday. The Wildcats beat previously unbeaten Purdue, 27-20.

As things are shaping up, three conferences have an opportunity to potentially get two teams in the College Football Playoff.

  • The ACC currently has the best chance to put two teams into the playoff. That would require Clemson winning a rematch with still-undefeated Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game.
  • The Big Ten could end up in a situation where it gets two teams into the College Football Playoff. The best-case scenario would be that its two most dominant teams so far, Ohio State and Wisconsin, reach the Big Ten Championship Game undefeated.
  • The odds are longer in the SEC. Putting two teams in the playoffs would require Florida winning out and handing Alabama its first loss in the league championship game. The No. 6 Gators upended Arkansas 63-35 on Saturday night in The Swamp.

In each of these cases, the title game loser may need some help. Even in the ACC scenario, which is part of my current CFP projection, Notre Dame falls short because there are three undefeated major conference champions.

Check out Jerry Palm's complete 2020 bowl projections.