Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 10

Entering the final five weeks of the regular season, I’m projecting that the Power Five conferences will not be able to fill at least five of their bowl agreements, which is good news for the Group of Five programs.

I’m projecting that at least seven Power Five bowls will be open, but the ACC should exceed its nine bowl tie-ins and fill two of those bowls.

That should leave five open spots for schools from the Mountain West, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt — all of which should have more bowl-eligible teams than bowl tie-ins. The American will not have enough teams to fill its bowl allotments.

With SMU’s loss to Memphis, I’m now projecting the Tigers as the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six bowl representative in the Cotton Bowl (as I did in my preseason projections back in August). That means the American would not only lose its champion to the Cotton Bowl, but another team (I’m projecting Cincinnati) to the Liberty Bowl through their secondary agreement, making the American one of four conferences that won’t be able to fill all of its commitments (the others being the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12).

My College Football Playoff projections remain the same this week: LSU vs. Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl and Ohio State vs. Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Obviously, this week’s LSU at Alabama and Penn State at Minnesota contests will have a huge impact on next week’s bowl projections.

With five weeks to go, it’s still a very fluid situation. Teams that are a win or two away from bowl eligibility could fall short, while others that seemed out of bowl contention last month could put together a strong November to reach a bowl.

Stay tuned. It should be a fascinating final stretch.

Onto this week’s bowl projections:


College Football Playoff

ChampionshipJan. 13 (CFP semifinal winners)
Projection: LSU vs. Ohio State

Peach BowlDec. 28 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: LSU (CFP No. 1) vs. Oklahoma (CFP No. 4)

Fiesta BowlDec. 28 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Ohio State (CFP No. 2) vs. Clemson (CFP No. 3)


New Year’s 6 bowls

Rose BowlJan. 1 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Penn State vs. Oregon

Sugar BowlJan. 1 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Baylor vs. Alabama

Orange BowlJan. 1 (ACC vs. SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame)
Projection: Wake Forest vs. Georgia

Cotton BowlDec. 28 (at-large vs. Group of Five*)
Projection: Florida vs. Memphis*


Other Bowls

Citrus Bowl(Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Michigan vs. Auburn

Outback Bowl(Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M

Gator Bowl(Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Minnesota vs. Kentucky

Holiday Bowl(Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Iowa vs. Washington

Liberty Bowl(Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: TCU vs. Cincinnati**

Redbox Bowl(Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Indiana vs. Arizona State

Sun Bowl(ACC vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. USC

Military Bowl(ACC vs. American)
Projection: Boston College vs. UCF

Arizona Bowl(Mountain West vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Wyoming vs. Georgia Southern

Belk Bowl(ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Louisville vs. SMU**

Alamo Bowl(Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Texas vs. Utah

Camping World Bowl (ACC vs. Big 12)
Projection: Notre Dame vs. Kansas State

Music City Bowl(ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Pitt vs. Mississippi State

Texas Bowl(Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Miami**

Pinstripe Bowl(ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Virginia vs. Michigan State

Independence Bowl(ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: North Carolina vs. Florida Atlantic**

Cheez-It Bowl(Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Iowa State vs. Stanford

Quick Lane Bowl(ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: NC State vs. Illinois

First Responder Bowl(Big 12 vs. C-USA)
Projection: Fresno State** vs. Marshall

Hawaii Bowl(AAC vs. BYU)
Projection: Hawaii** vs. BYU

Mobile Bowl(MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Central Michigan vs. Georgia State

Armed Forces Bowl – (Big Ten vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Western Kentucky** vs. Air Force

Birmingham Bowl (American vs. SEC)
Projection: Navy vs. Duke**

Idaho Potato Bowl(MAC vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Ohio vs. San Diego State

Bahamas Bowl – (C-USA vs. MAC)
Projection: Charlotte vs. Buffalo

Gasparilla Bowl(American vs. C-USA)
Projection: Tulane vs. Louisiana Tech

Frisco Bowl(American vs. Open)
Projection: FIU** vs. Utah State**

Boca Raton Bowl(American vs. MAC)
Projection: Temple vs. Toledo

New Orleans Bowl(C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Southern Miss vs. Appalachian State

Camellia Bowl(MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Western Michigan vs. Louisiana

Las Vegas Bowl(Mountain West vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Boise State vs. Washington State

Cure Bowl(American vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Liberty** vs. Arkansas State

New Mexico Bowl(C-USA vs. Mountain West)
Projection: UAB vs. Nevada

*-The highest rated champion from the Group of Five conferences (American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) will be selected to play in the Cotton Bowl.

**-Replaces team from league that can’t fill bowl.