Bowl projections for 2015 indicate bad news for Oregon, TCU, and Michigan. The bowl projections for the New Year’s Six lineup appear to lock out those three schools from getting an invite to the most coveted 12 spots. An updated list of the 2015 bowl projections from FOX Sports underscores how the games from college footballs championship weekend could turn out.
Starting with the College Football Playoff, FOX Sports has Clemson vs. Michigan State in the Orange Bowl and Alabama vs. Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. The other match-ups are Florida State vs. Houston in the Peach Bowl, Notre Dame vs. Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, Iowa vs. Stanford in the Rose Bowl, and Ole Miss vs. Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.
In the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the highest ranked schools not in those match-ups are No. 10 North Carolina, No. 11 TCU, No. 14 Northwestern, No. 15 Michigan, and No. 16 Oregon. No. 17 Oklahoma State (10-2) and No. 18 Florida (10-2) also seem to have little chance at moving up in next week. What happens if some upsets take place on December 5? What happens if Florida beats Alabama? What happens if North Carolina beats Clemson?
Would Clemson get an invite to one of the other New Year’s Six bowl games? That would depend on the bowl committees. The three at-large teams are currently projected to be Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Florida State. The ACC champion, in this case North Carolina, would get to play in either the Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl. That guaranteed spot takes away one of the at-large spots assigned to the New Year’s Six. Presumably, one of the teams holding a spot in a major bowl game outside of the College Football Playoff could get bumped up.
If Clemson did lose the ACC title game, it would become a debate among Stanford, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Iowa, and Clemson for which school would take that final spot in the College Football Playoff. If Clemson isn’t ranked in the top four, though, the team falls into the debate for the other major bowl games. The most likely end result, if North Carolina wins the ACC, is for Clemson to also end up in the Peach Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl. It also becomes possible to get an invite to the Rose Bowl if a second Big Ten team makes the CFP or if Stanford gets bumped up.
This is where the real debate begins. If Clemson does lose, which the oddsmakers feel is a longshot, would a one-loss Ohio State team or Stanford as the Pac-12 champion be a better fit in the CFP? Or, should Iowa get the invite if the only loss the team has this season is to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game? The 2015 bowl projections will start to make more sense as the big games start to unfold on Saturday, December 5.
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