Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 8

Last week, I replaced Georgia with Alabama in my College Football Playoff projections after the Bulldogs’ loss to South Carolina. This week, I’m replacing Alabama with LSU after Saturday’s high ankle sprain injury suffered by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tagovailoa will miss this week’s game against Arkansas and is expected to return on Nov. 9 when the Crimson Tide host LSU. However, I’m going with LSU over Bama with a less than 100 percent Tagovailoa.

If LSU wins at Alabama and takes the SEC title at 13-0, I’m projecting the Tigers as the No. 1 overall seed in the College Football Playoff.

My other three College Football Playoff teams remain the same as last week: Ohio State, Oklahoma and Clemson.

After Boise State’s loss at BYU, I’m projecting SMU as the Group of 5’s New Year’s 6 bowl representative in the Cotton Bowl as the American champion.

If SMU – the last undefeated team in the American – loses along the way, it would open the door for either an undefeated Sun Belt champion Appalachian State or a 12-1 Mountain West champion Boise State to earn that New Year’s 6 bid.

The biggest change in this week’s projections was moving Wisconsin out of the New Year’s 6 bowl lineup after the Badgers’ upset loss at Illinois and replacing UW with Penn State as the Big Ten’s representative in the Rose Bowl.

Onto this week’s 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. 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: Penn State vs. Oregon

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

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. SMU*


Other Bowls

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

Outback Bowl(Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Minnesota 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. Cincinnati**

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

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

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: Texas Tech vs. Kentucky

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

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

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

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

First Responder Bowl(Big 12 vs. C-USA)
Projection: TCU vs. North Texas

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

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

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

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

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

Bahamas Bowl (C-USA vs. MAC)
Projection: Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan

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

Frisco Bowl(American vs. Open)
Projection: Wyoming** vs. Southern Miss**

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

New Orleans Bowl(C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Western Kentucky 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. 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.