College Football Playoff projections heading into Week 10. There are just four unbeaten teams left from Power Five conferences, and they are on track for potential semifinal berths.
Semifinal No. 1 – Fiesta Bowl
Date: Dec. 31
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Tie-ins: CFP No. 2/CFP No. 3
Fiesta Bowl Projection: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Clemson
Jim Harbaugh’s squad was never really threatened in its win over Michigan State in East Lansing last Saturday. After losing last year on the game’s final play, the Wolverines did not have to punt until the fourth quarter against the Spartans. Mark Dantonio’s squad, meanwhile, did not complete a pass in the second or third quarter. All eyes remain on Michigan’s battle with rival Ohio State to close out the regular season, but a home date against Maryland is up next for the Wolverines.
The Tigers, meanwhile, endured another wild contest to win their 25th game in the last 26. The only loss for Dabo Swinney’s team over that span, of course, was the one to Alabama in the College Football Playoff national title game last season. With victories over Louisville and Florida State, the Tigers are primed to claim the ACC Atlantic division. But how long can the Tigers continue to play error-filled games? Is a slip-up looming, perhaps in the ACC title game? The Tigers have a home date with Syracuse next.
Semifinal No. 2 – Peach Bowl
Date: Dec. 31
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Tie-ins: CFP No. 1/CFP No. 4
Peach Bowl Projection: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Washington
The Crimson Tide had a bye last week following their win over Texas A&M. Alabama registered five sacks, Jalen Hurts had 259 total yards and Damien Harris rushed for 126 more in the win over the Aggies, which was the toughest test do date for the Tide. Nick Saban’s squad will have had extra time to prepare for the showdown this week against LSU, which also enjoyed a bye. Can the Crimson Tide survive the SEC gauntlet and compete for another national championship? It appears that could be the case, as ‘Bama is playing fantastic football on offense, defense and special teams.
Meanwhile, Chris Petersen’s Huskies received 186 passing yards and two touchdowns from Jake Browning and 151 yards and a score from Myles Gaskin in a road victory over Utah this past Saturday. The Huskies are now getting set to travel to Cal for a test against the Golden Bears. A game against USC also looms, and the Apple Cup will be a difficult battle. But Washington is playing very good football in all three phases and looks primed to advance to the Pac-12 title game, where a possible rematch with Utah could occur.