Tuesday , December 1 2020

CFP Bowl Projections 2018: Predicting Playoff, New Year's Games | Bleacher Report



MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 23: Kyler Murray # 1 of the Oklahoma Sooners in action against West Virginia Mountaineers on November 23, 2018 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller / Getty Images)

Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

Let the debate between Oklahoma and Ohio State begin.

Over the next week, the conversation regarding the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff will warm up due to victories by Sooners and Buckeyes over ranked foes in Week 13.

Entering Week 14, it seems like the two teams will be battling it out for one playoff position, but if upsets occur in other games, both could forge a path to the final four.

Outside of the playoff, the picture for the New Year's Six Bowls got clearer amid the chaos, as Michigan and Washington State, who both have two losses, should qualify as at-large teams, since the programs below them in the rankings all have three defeats .

Entering the conference championship weekend, the only power conference not projected to put two teams in the playoff and New Year's Six is ​​the ACC.

Playoff Predictions

Cotton Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

Orange Bowl: No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame

New Year's Six

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Washington

Fiesta Bowl: Washington State vs. Washington UCF

Sugar Bowl: Texas vs. Georgia

Peach Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan

Michigan's Loss Sets Up Debate For No. 4 Seed

The shakeup we were awaiting at the College Football Playoff rankings took place Saturday, when Ohio State dropped Michigan in dominant fashion, and that sparked the debate for No. 4 seeds.

Michigan is clearly out of the playoff, and the Wolverines will have to settle for a big spot in the New Year's Six. Jim Harbaugh's team has an outside chance to receive the invitation to the Rose Bowl if the Buckeyes win the Big Ten Championship and make the playoff.

For the next weekand probably much longerthe debate between Oklahoma and Ohio State for the fourth playoff position will rage on.

Jay LaPrete / Associated Press

No team will be ranked in the top four entry championship weekend, but one of Georgia or Alabama has to lose the SEC Championship.

Oklahoma's defense has been awful throughout the season, but the Sooners looked better than Buckeyes going into Week 13, as Ohio State struggled with Nebraska and Maryland, neither of whom will play in bowl games.

What comes into play if Sooners and Buckeyes are judged head-to-head is how the committee views their respective resumes, with an emphasis on recent results.

Oklahoma has the better chance to pick up a quality win in Week 14, as he gets a chance to avenge his lone loss to Texas, while Ohio State faces a four-loss Northwestern team.

There is also a scenario in which both teams do not get in if Georgia knocks off top-ranked Alabama and the selection committee finds Crimson Tide's resume as a one-loss team better than Sooners or Buckeyes, but Oklahoma and Ohio State can counter that argument with conference championships.

The scenarios will continue to be dissected with every breath over the next week, but for now, all Oklahoma and Ohio State can do is win their respective games and become the biggest fans of the Crimson Tide.

Pac-12 Guaranteed Of 2 Teams In New Year's Six

Although the Pac-12 lost its playoff long shot when Washington defeated Washington State Friday, it added to its New Year's Six participants.

The winner of the Friday Pac-12 Championship between Utah and Washington will head to the Rose Bowl, with the Huskies looking for a return to Pasadena for the first time since 2001 and the Utes looking for their first ever Rose Bowl berth.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

By not batting rival Washington in the Apple Cup, the Washington State lost an outside chance of qualifying for the playoff, but it's almost guaranteed a spot in the Fiesta Bowl since it only has two losses.

Even if the Cougars fall in the rankings, they will have one less loss than Florida, Penn State, West Virginia, Texas and both Pac-12 Championship participants.

When the bowl committees evaluate the resumes of at-large teams for the New Year's Six, Mike Leach's side should be one of the first selected programs.

It's not the situation that the Pac-12 hoped for, but in a season that has been far from spectacular throughout the conference, it's the best possible scenario to showcase the talents of the conference on a national stage.

Follow Joe on Twitter, @ JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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