College Football Playoff predictions reveal some bad news for Penn State and Michigan. The final College Football Playoff rankings come out on Sunday (Dec. 4), with both Big Ten schools hoping to become one of the top four schools invited to compete for the championship. A report by CBS Sports seems to confirm that Penn State is heading to the Rose Bowl and that Michigan will be heading to play in the Orange Bowl. A report by ESPN.com also seems to agree that Penn State is about to receive some really bad news, despite winning the Big Ten Championship.
“The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten title. They beat Ohio State. But they have not done enough to warrant a place in the College Football Playoff. Will the selection committee agree?”
If the two major college football sites are correct in predicting the top four schools, they are going to be the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Washington Huskies. This would mean Alabama vs. Washington in the Peach Bowl and Clemson vs. Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State and Michigan are still expected to receive big bowl game invites, though the opponents are still being debated as well.
There have been a lot of opinions about which school should represent the Pac-12 Conference in the Rose Bowl. After the Washington Huskies beat the Colorado Buffaloes to win the Pac-12 Championship Game, it created a debate about whether Colorado or the USC Trojans should receive the invitation. Many college football experts have differed on this opinion, but now a majority feel that Colorado is about to get that coveted invite. The argument in favor of USC is that the team could outrank Colorado in the final College Football Rankings and that they have beaten Washington this year.
This could all likely set up a Colorado vs. Penn State Rose Bowl match-up and a Michigan vs. Florida State Orange Bowl match-up. The CBS Sports bowl projections predict Oklahoma vs. Auburn in the Sugar Bowl, Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl, Nebraska vs. Florida in the Outback Bowl, USC vs. Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl, Washington State vs. Iowa in the Holiday Bowl, and LSU vs. Louisville in the Citrus Bowl. It also reveals that the Pac-12 Conference won’t be able to fill the Vegas Bowl or Cactus Bowl. This has many analysts calling it a down year for the Pac-12.
ESPN will air a special four-hour show on Sunday (Dec. 4) to reveal the final College Football Playoff rankings as well as the championship bracket. Once the four schools have been assigned to the playoff, the rest of the bowl invites will start going out to the rest of the qualified teams. It’s going to be a busy day in college football, with a number of schools waiting patiently for a chance to play in one of the big New Year’s Day bowl games. Since there are so many good at-large candidates this year, it will also create an abundance of great games for fans to enjoy.
Outside of the schools waiting to find out if they will participate in the College Football Playoff, the biggest question comes down to which school is going to represent the Pac-12 Conference in the Rose Bowl. Does the playoff committee value Colorado (10-3) participating in the Pac-12 Championship Game more than USC (9-3) beating the Washington Huskies this season? Will USC pass Colorado in the final CFP rankings? Answers to those questions will begin coming out at 9 a.m. PT on December 4, when the first hour of the bowl selection show begins on ESPNU.
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