Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 5

A few tweaks in my bowl projections this week, including, most notably, dropping Clemson to a No. 3 seed behind No. 1 Georgia and No. 2 Oklahoma.

I’m projecting all three of those schools to finish 13-0 with Georgia easily having the toughest schedule of the three. Oklahoma (with potentially two neutral site wins vs. Texas) would edge Clemson (home win vs. Texas A&M and not much else as far as nationally-ranked ACC opponents).

What about Alabama, Ohio State, LSU and Auburn? I don’t believe any of those four will make it through undefeated. One factor the College Football Playoff selection committee has consistently shown us: an undefeated Power 5 team won’t be left out of the playoff.

I have Alabama getting the final spot in the playoff – yes, even after losing to Georgia in the SEC title game – while Ohio State (Rose), LSU (Sugar) and Auburn (Orange) should secure New Year’s 6 bowl bids.

Right now, I have Notre Dame and Penn State just missing out on a New Year’s 6 bowl. However, with the SEC West’s upcoming monster matchups, either Notre Dame or Penn State – or both – could move up if any of the SEC West teams suffer multiple losses.

This week, I’m projecting five bowls with SEC and Big Ten affiliations not being filled, which is good news for the Pac-12 (I’m projecting nine bowl-eligible teams) and the Mountain West (could have seven bowl eligible teams for five spots) to fill those openings.

Onto this week’s projections:


College Football Playoff

ChampionshipJan. 13 (CFP semifinal winners)
Projection: Georgia vs. Clemson

Peach BowlDec. 28 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Georgia (CFP No. 1) vs. Alabama (CFP No. 4)

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


New Year’s 6 bowls

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

Sugar BowlJan. 1 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Texas vs. LSU

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

Cotton BowlDec. 28 (at-large vs. Group of 5*)
Projection: Wisconsin vs. Memphis*


Other Bowls

Citrus Bowl(Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Penn State vs. Florida

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

Gator Bowl(Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Nebraska vs. South Carolina

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

Liberty Bowl(Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Kansas State vs. Washington State**

Redbox Bowl (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Michigan vs. Utah

Sun Bowl(ACC vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Duke vs. Utah

Military Bowl (ACC vs. American)
Projection: Syracuse vs. UCF

Arizona Bowl(Mountain West vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Utah State vs. Georgia State

Belk Bowl(ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Miami vs. Mississippi State

Alamo Bowl(Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Washington

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

Music City Bowl (ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Virginia vs. Colorado**

Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Baylor vs. Kentucky

Pinstripe Bowl(ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Pitt vs. Minnesota

Independence Bowl(ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: NC State vs. Wyoming**

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

Quick Lane Bowl(ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Boston College vs. Indiana

First Responder Bowl(Big 12 vs. C-USA)
Projection: West Virginia vs. Southern Miss

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

Mobile Bowl (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Eastern Michigan vs. Arkansas State

Armed Forces Bowl(Big Ten vs. Mountain West)
Projection: North Carolina** vs. Air Force

Birmingham Bowl(American vs. SEC)
Projection: SMU vs. Fresno State**

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

Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
Projection: Marshall vs. Northern Illinois

Gasparilla Bowl(American vs. C-USA)
Projection: Cincinnati vs. Florida Atlantic

Frisco Bowl(American vs. Open)
Projection: Tulane vs. Army

Boca Raton Bowl(American vs. MAC)
Projection: Houston vs. Ohio

New Orleans Bowl(C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Louisiana Tech 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. USC

Cure Bowl(American vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Temple vs. Coastal Carolina

New Mexico Bowl (C-USA vs. Mountain West)
Projection: North Texas vs. Hawaii

*-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.