Brett McMurphy’s College Football Bowl Projections After Week 8

Michigan’s throttling of Michigan State and Ohio State’s upset loss vaults the Wolverines into my latest College Football Playoff projections.

Michigan still has to win in Columbus, not an easy task, and get past Penn State, but I’m projecting the Wolverines, as Big Ten champions, to be the No. 3 seed behind No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson.

A 12-0 Notre Dame would get the fourth seed in the College Football Playoff. Yes, Notre Dame had the head-to-head win against Michigan, but I believe the selection committee would value Michigan’s tougher overall schedule – potentially at least 4-1 vs. Top 25 teams – more than UM’s 7-point loss at Notre Dame in the season opener.

The remainder of my New Year’s 6 bowl projections remains the same. UCF is the favorite to get the Group of 5’s New Year’s 6 bid, but if the Knights stumble down the stretch, several teams (Utah State, Fresno State, Appalachian State and USF) are poised to grab that bid if they can win their respective conference championships.

Onto this week’s bowl projections:

College Football Playoff
Championship – Jan. 7 (CFP semifinal winners)
Projection: Alabama vs. Clemson

Orange Bowl – Dec. 29 (CFP Playoff semifinal)
Projection:  Alabama (CFP No. 1) vs. Notre Dame (CFP No. 4)

Cotton Bowl – Dec. 29 (CFP semifinal)
Projection: Clemson (CFP No. 2) vs. Michigan (CFP No. 3)

New Year’s 6 Bowls
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Ohio State vs. Washington State

Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Texas vs. Georgia

Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 1 (at-large vs. Group of 5*)
Projection: Florida vs. UCF

Peach Bowl – Dec. 29 (at large vs. at-large)
Projection: LSU vs. Oklahoma

Other Bowls
Citrus Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky

Outback Bowl – Jan. 1 (Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Iowa vs. Texas A&M

Gator Bowl – Dec. 31 (ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Purdue vs. Auburn

Holiday Bowl – Dec. 31 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Penn State vs. Utah

Liberty Bowl – Dec. 31 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Middle Tennessee**

Redbox Bowl – Dec. 31 (Big Ten vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Northwestern vs. Stanford

Sun Bowl – Dec. 31 (ACC vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Oregon

Military Bowl – Dec. 31 (ACC vs. American)
Projection: Boston College vs. Cincinnati

Arizona Bowl – Dec. 29 (Mountain West vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: San Diego State vs. Georgia Southern

Belk Bowl – Dec. 29 (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Miami vs. Missouri

Alamo Bowl – Dec. 28 (Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: West Virginia vs. Washington

Camping World Bowl – Dec. 28 (ACC vs. Big 12)
Projection: NC State vs. Texas Tech

Music City Bowl – Dec. 28 (ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC)
Projection: Virginia vs. South Carolina

Texas Bowl – Dec. 27 (Big 12 vs. SEC)
Projection: TCU vs. Mississippi State

Pinstripe Bowl – Dec. 27 (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Syracuse vs. Michigan State

Independence Bowl – Dec. 27 (ACC vs. SEC)
Projection: Duke vs. Nevada**

Cheez-It Bowl – Dec. 26 (Big 12 vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Iowa State vs. USC

Quick Lane Bowl – Dec. 26 (ACC vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Pitt vs. Indiana

First Responder Bowl – Dec. 26 (C-USA vs. Big Ten)
Projection: Marshall vs. Maryland

Hawaii Bowl – Dec. 22 (C-USA vs. Mountain West)
Projection: FAU vs. Hawaii

Dollar General Bowl – Dec. 22 (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Buffalo vs. Appalachian State

Armed Forces Bowl – Dec. 22 (American vs. Big 12)
Projection: Temple vs. Army**

Birmingham Bowl – Dec. 22 (American vs. SEC)
Projection: Memphis vs. Ohio**

Idaho Potato Bowl – Dec. 21 (MAC vs. Mountain West)
Projection: Toledo vs. Boise State

Bahamas Bowl – Dec. 21 (C-USA vs. MAC)
Projection: Florida International vs. Northern Illinois

Gasparilla Bowl – Dec. 20 (ACC vs. American)
Projection: BYU** vs. USF

Frisco Bowl – Dec. 19 (American vs. MAC)
Projection: Nevada** vs. Eastern Michigan

Boca Raton Bowl – Dec. 18 (American vs. C-USA)
Projection: Houston vs. UAB

New Orleans Bowl – Dec. 15 (C-USA vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Louisiana Tech vs. Arkansas State

Camellia Bowl – Dec. 15 (MAC vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Western Michigan vs. Troy

Las Vegas Bowl – Dec. 15 (Mountain West vs. Pac-12)
Projection: Utah State vs. Colorado

Cure Bowl – Dec. 15 (American vs. Sun Belt)
Projection: Liberty** vs. Coastal Carolina

New Mexico Bowl – Dec. 15 (C-USA vs. Mountain West)
Projection: North Texas vs. Fresno State

* – 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 either the Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowl.

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