Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 7

Turn and face the strange

The above lyrics from David Bowie’s “Changes” accurately sum up my bowl projections this week as my College Football Playoff picks are different: Alabama vs. Clemson, Ohio State vs. Oklahoma.

I have LSU ranked No. 1 on my Associated Press ballot this week, but believe the Tigers will lose at Alabama on Nov. 9. The Tide then should win the SEC against Georgia or Florida and earn the playoff’s top seed.

The Crimson Tide will be joined in the playoff by three other undefeated teams: Ohio State, Oklahoma and Clemson.

New teams in my New Year’s 6 bowl projections this week are Notre Dame and Boise State. The Irish should finish 11-1, which would earn them a bid to the Orange Bowl. Since I predicted before the season that Memphis would earn the Group of Five’s New Year’s 6 bowl bid, I continued to stick with the Tigers. However, after Memphis’ loss at Temple, Boise State becomes the clear-cut favorite to earn the Group of Five bid.

Regarding the non-College Football Playoff and New Year’s 6 bowls, new teams in my bowl projections this week include Louisville, Ball State and Liberty.

Onto this week’s projections:


College Football Playoff

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

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

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


New Year’s 6 bowls

Rose BowlJan. 1 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Wisconsin 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. Notre Dame

Cotton BowlDec. 28 (at-large vs. Group of 5*)
Projection: Georgia vs. Boise State*


Other Bowls

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

Outback Bowl(Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Penn 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: Texas Tech vs. Cincinnati**

Redbox Bowl(Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Minnesota vs. Washington

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

Military Bowl(ACC vs. American)
Projection: North Carolina vs. UCF

Arizona Bowl(Mountain West vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Wyoming vs. UL-Monroe

Belk Bowl(ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Duke vs. Florida

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

Camping World Bowl(ACC vs. Big 12)
Projection: Virginia vs. Iowa State

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

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

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

Independence Bowl(ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Miami vs. Washington State**

Cheez-It Bowl(Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: West Virginia vs. Cal

Quick Lane Bowl(ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Florida State vs. Indiana

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
Projection: North Texas vs. Central Michigan

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

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

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

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

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

Las Vegas Bowl(Mountain West vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Utah State vs. Stanford

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

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