Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 0, Before Week 1

Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 0, Before Week 1

Bowl Projections

Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 0, Before Week 1

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New Year’s Six Bowls Schedule

GoodYear Cotton Bowl Classic

Saturday, December 28
12:00 ET, ESPN
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
at-large vs. at-large

Projection: UCF vs.  Florida  
Other Top Options: Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, LSU, Florida
Last Season: Clemson 30, Notre Dame 3

It’s not a given this season that UCF is going to the New Year’s Six game. The schedule is tougher, it could absolutely lose to either Pitt or Stanford, if not both, and Boise State, San Diego State and Fresno State will be dangerous, too. Here’s the call – the American Athletic Conference championship winner between UCF and Houston gets here.

Florida, Georgia, LSU – there are the three most likely options to make the Cotton. Georgia vs. UCF would be interesting, but getting the two Florida teams to face off would be a whole lot juicier.

Capital One Orange Bowl

Monday, December 30
8:00 ET, ESPN
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
ACC vs. Big Ten or SEC

Projection: Miami vs. LSU 
Other Top Options: Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Michigan, Georgia, Florida
Last Season: Alabama 45, Oklahoma 34

Miami absolutely looked the part just enough against Florida to expect it to be the second-best team in the ACC. It could absolutely be Virginia or Virginia Tech, but the schedule for the Canes is just good enough to get the ACC’s automatic spot. Having them at home would be a big thing for the Orange against either LSU or Georgia. If UCF gets to the Cotton, LSU would be the more attractive choice here, so there isn’t a repeat of last year’s Sugar against UCF. Consider Florida out since it started the season out against the Canes.

Rose Bowl

Wednesday, January 1
5:00 ET, ESPN
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Projection: Ohio State vs. Utah 
Other Top Options: Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Washington
Last Season: Ohio State 28, Washington 23

Don’t sleep on Michigan State possibly getting here. The Ohio State vs. Michigan winner will likely go to the College Football Playoff, and the loser will get a nice consolation prize to end up here. Utah making its first Rose Bowl would be wonderful, but that’s a coin-flip call considering whatever comes out of the North is going to be a killer.

AllState Sugar Bowl

Wednesday, January 1
8:45 ET, ESPN
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, New Orleans, LA
Big 12 vs. SEC

Projection: Georgia vs. Texas 
Other Top Options: Georgia, Oklahoma, TCU, Florida
Last Season: Texas 28, Georgia 21

The Big 12 champion will go likely go on to the College Football Playoff, and the loser would then end up in the league’s automatic spot in the Sugar Bowl.

LSU and Texas play early on in the season, to throw that matchup out, but if it’s Oklahoma here, LSU is a mortal lock – assuming its part of the New Year’s Six equation. Florida could be here to play Texas, but the CFP committee would likely rather have a Georgia – Texas rematch in New Orleans than a Florida – Miami redo of the season opener in the Orange or an LSU – UCF rematch from last year’s bowl season in the Cotton.

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