AWESOME BOWL PROJECTIONS: WEEK TWO IS OVERREACTION WEEK

By Mike Jones on September 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm
Charlie Strong is making a habit of beating overrated teams.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Welcome to OVERREACTION WEDNESDAY where we use our jump to conclusions mat and forget all of the awful predictions that were made last week. Which predictions? Well, let’s start with the mistaken belief that Oklahoma was finally ready to win a big game and run the table on their way to the Playoff. Big Game Bob reared his ugly head again and the Sooners were pushed around by the Houston Cougars.

This makes the Cougars an instant Playoff candidate. They’ve got a signature victory and their most difficult remaining games are at Cincinnati, at Navy, and home against Louisville. If the Cougars can run the table there shouldn’t be any question as to their credentials as a Playoff team. However, the AAC isn’t the strongest conference in the nation so a loss will eliminate them completely.

Then there’s LSU, which apparently isn’t ready to turn the corner because if you were you wouldn’t lose to a Wisconsin team without a quarterback. Then again, LSU doesn’t have a quarterback. Is LSU bad? No. They just aren’t as good as we thought. Is Wisconsin really good? No. They just aren’t as bad as we thought. Just for fun, the Big Ten and SEC should schedule more neutral field games north of the Mason-Dixon just to see how the World’s Greatest Conference performs.

Alabama is now your SEC Champion, despite all of our thoughts and prayers to the contrary.

With Oklahoma falling and Texas performing well against Notre Dame, the Longhorns look like the favorite for the remainder of the season. UCLA’s loss at Texas A&M also hurts them, especially considering Washington flattened Rutgers 48-13. Yes, I understand it’s only Rutgers. But that’s a dominating win over a Power 5 opponent.

Oklahoma moves to the Cotton Bowl where they’ll play the Pac-12 runner-up Stanford. ACC runner-up Florida State will play Notre Dame, which was an excellent regular season game back in 2014.

Moving on to our beloved conference, well, there’s a lot to think about. Minnesota started off by looking less than impressive against a pitiful Oregon State team. Their head coach also made a boneheaded coaching decision to go for two, when already up by seven points, at home, against a school predicted to finish last in their division. I’m not saying I’m abandoning ship on the Gophers. I am saying that their coach is a rube and going to cost them a couple games this season.

Wisconsin is better than a lot of people, including yours truly, gave them credit for. However, their conference schedule is still brutal. They start off on the road at Michigan and Michigan State, get Ohio State at home and then go back on the road to Iowa. While I’m more inclined to give them a punching chance in those games, I still don’t think they actually win any of them. Oh, and they’ll still lose to Northwestern because the Badgers mysteriously cannot win at Ryan Field.

Speaking of Ryan Field, oh…just Northwestern.

The Rules:

  • Four teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff.
  • Six bowls rotate for the semifinals: Rose, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Peach.
  • The bowls hosting the semifinals this year are the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl.
  • As the Rose Bowl is not hosting a semi-final, it will select the Big Ten Champion. However, if the Big Ten Champion is a playoff team, the Rose Bowl will select a Big Ten replacement.
  • The highest ranked champion from the Group of Five mid-majors (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt) is guaranteed a spot in the non-playoff bowls if they fail to make the playoff.
  • The Big Ten has a six-year contract with the eight non-playoff bowl games (aside from the Pinstripe, which is an eight-year contract). Per the terms of that contract, the bowls are to select at least five different Big Ten schools over six years.
  • The non-playoff bowl games are informally broken down into three tiers. Tier 1: Holiday, Citrus and Outback. Tier 2: Pinstripe, Music City/TaxSlayer and Foster Farms. Tier 3: Quick Lane and Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces.
College Football Playoffs:
BOWL LOCATION DATE OPPONENTS PROJECTION
Championship Tampa, FL 1/9/17 Semi Winner v. Semi Winner Clemson v. Alabama
Peach Atlanta, GA 12/31/16 CFP v. CFP Alabama v. Houston
Fiesta Glendale, AZ 12/31/16 CFP v. CFP Clemson v. Ohio State
New Year's Bowls (Non-Playoff Bowls):
BOWL LOCATION DATE OPPONENTS PROJECTION
Sugar New Orleans, LA 1/2/17 Big 12 v. SEC Texas v. Georgia
Cotton Arlington, TX 1/2/17 At-Large v. At-Large Oklahoma v. Stanford
Rose Pasadena, CA 1/2/17 Big 10 v. Pac-12 Michigan v. Washington
Orange Miami Gardens, FL 12/30/16 ACC v. Big Ten/SEC/Notre Dame (ND) Florida State v. Notre Dame
Big Ten Bowls:
BOWL LOCATION DATE OPPONENT LAST 3 PROJECTION
Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA 1/2/17 Pac-12 IA, MSU, UW Michigan v. Washington
Outback Bowl Tampa, FL 1/2/17 SEC NW, UW, IA Michigan State v. Texas A&M
Citrus Bowl Orlando, FL 12/31/16 SEC UM, MN, UW Iowa v. Ole Miss
TaxSlayer or Music City Bowl* Jacksonville, FL or Nashville, TN 12/31/16 or 12/30/16 SEC PSU, IA, NU** Nebraska v. Auburn
Foster Farms Bowl San Francisco, CA 12/28/16 Pac-12 NU, MD, IL Minnesota v. USC
Pinstripe Bowl New York City, NY 12/28/16 ACC/ND IU, PSU, RU Northwestern v. Pitt
Holiday Bowl San Diego, CA 12/27/16 Pac-12 UW, NU Penn State v. Utah
Heart of Dallas Bowl Dallas, TX 12/27/16 C-USA IL, PU, PSU Wisconsin v. Louisiana Tech
Quick Lane Bowl Detroit, MI 12/26/16 ACC/ND MN, RU Indiana v. NC State

* - Over the six-year agreement the Big Ten and ACC must appear in three Music City and three TaxSlayer Bowls.

** - Last 5 refers to appearances in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

If I'm doing it wrong, tell me why in the comments.

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