Bowl Projections: Two Big Ten teams enter College Football Playoff after Week 11

1:02 | College Football
No. 20 Southern Cal knocks off the No.4 Washington Huskies
Tuesday November 15th, 2016

It’s a whole new postseason world now.

You can be forgiven if you thought the bowl projections were getting a bit stale in recent weeks. With so much stability in the College Football Playoff picture, there simply weren’t any sweeping changes to mix up the matchups from the Peach Bowl down to the Arizona Bowl.

All of that has of course changed after No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Washington all suffered their first losses of the season on Saturday. Only Clemson hung onto its playoff spot of those three, making room for two other Big Ten teams to leap into the projected national semifinal field.

As things stand, the Big Ten is well-positioned to be the first conference with multiple playoff teams. Assuming Penn State can beat Rutgers and Michigan State (likely), Wisconsin can beat Purdue and Minnesota (also likely) and Ohio State can beat Michigan (looking more likely after the Wolverines’ loss and quarterback Wilton Speight’s injury), the Nittany Lions will play the Badgers in the Big Ten title game. That creates an excellent opportunity for both the winner of that game and 11–1 Ohio State to finish in the top four.

Wisconsin’s rise into a playoff favorite and Washington’s ouster sets in motion a host of changes through the bowl projections. But before we get to the full projections, a reminder about how the college football postseason works. The College Football Playoff selection committee will choose the teams for the two playoff semifinals—the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl this year—and the four other marquee bowls that are part of the New Year’s Six. The highest ranked Group of Five conference champion must play in one of those six games, and other games, such as the Rose Bowl, have conference tie-ins.

The remaining bowl games are also governed by agreements with the 10 FBS conferences, though if a league doesn’t produce enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill all of its tie-ins, that bowl can select another conference’s representative. In some cases, leagues will pool together their bowl tie-ins to create more flexibility. The Music City Bowl, for example, can choose either an ACC or Big Ten team to face an SEC opponent.

And lastly, just because a bowl may be designated to have a particular order of selection among a conference’s teams doesn’t mean it has to adhere exactly to the standings. The Alamo Bowl’s second choice among Pac-12 teams, for example, does not require it to choose the No. 2 available team from the Pac-12 standings or from the playoff committee’s rankings. Other factors, such as location, the matchup, the size of a school’s fan base and the willingness of that fan base to travel, can influence bowls’ decisions.

 

New Year's Six bowls

Bowl

Date

Location

Matchup

Pick

Peach (semifinal)

Dec. 31

Atlanta

TBD vs. TBD

Alabama vs. Wisconsin

Fiesta (semifinal)

Dec. 31

Glendale, Ariz.

TBD vs. TBD

Clemson vs. Ohio State

Orange

Dec. 30

Miami

ACC vs. Big Ten/SEC/ND

Louisville vs. Penn State

Cotton

Jan. 2

Arlington, Texas

TBD vs. TBD

Western Michigan vs. Colorado

Rose

Jan. 2

Pasadena, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Michigan vs. Washington

Sugar

Jan. 2

New Orleans

SEC vs. Big 12

Florida vs. Oklahoma

College Football
Major shuffle at top of Power Rankings after chaotic Week 11

bowl

date

location

matchup

pick

New Mexico

Dec. 17

Albuquerque, N.M.

C-USA vs. MW

Middle Tennessee vs. New Mexico

Las Vegas

Dec. 17

Las Vegas

MW vs. Pac-12

Boise State vs. Arizona State

Camellia

Dec. 17

Montgomery, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Eastern Michigan vs. Idaho

Cure

Dec. 17

Orlando, Fla.

AAC vs. Sun Belt

UCF vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

New Orleans

Dec. 17

New Orleans

Sun Belt vs. C-USA

Appalachian State vs. Western Kentucky

Miami Beach

Dec. 19

Miami

AAC vs. MAC

Tulsa vs. Central Michigan

Boca Raton

Dec. 20

Boca Raton, Fla.

AAC vs. C-USA

Memphis vs. Louisiana Tech

Poinsettia

Dec. 21

San Diego

BYU vs. MW

BYU vs. San Diego State

Famous Idaho Potato

Dec. 22

Boise, Idaho

MAC vs. MW

Ohio vs. Wyoming

Bahamas

Dec. 23

Nassau, Bahamas

AAC vs. MAC

SMU vs. Miami (OH)

Armed Forces

Dec. 23

Fort Worth, Texas

Big 12 vs. Navy

Kansas State vs. Navy

Dollar General

Dec. 23

Mobile, Ala.

MAC vs. Sun Belt

Toledo vs. Troy

Hawaii

Dec. 24

Honolulu

C-USA vs. MW

UTSA vs. Air Force

St. Petersburg

Dec. 26

St. Petersburg, Fla.

ACC vs. AAC

Southern Miss* vs. South Florida

Quick Lane

Dec. 26

Detroit

ACC vs. Big Ten

NC State vs. Maryland

Independence

Dec. 26

Shreveport, La.

ACC vs. SEC

Georgia Tech vs. Kentucky

Heart of Dallas

Dec. 27

Dallas

Big Ten vs. C-USA

South Alabama* vs. Old Dominion

Military

Dec. 27

Annapolis, Md.

ACC vs. AAC

Akron* vs. Temple

Holiday

Dec. 27

San Diego

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Minnesota vs. Stanford

Cactus

Dec. 27

Phoenix

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

Texas vs. Army*

Pinstripe

Dec. 28

New York

ACC vs. Big Ten

Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern

Russell Athletic

Dec. 28

Orlando, Fla.

ACC vs. Big 12

Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Foster Farms

Dec. 28

Santa Clara, Calif.

Big Ten vs. Pac-12

Indiana vs. USC

Texas

Dec. 28

Houston

Big 12 vs. SEC

TCU vs. Texas A&M

Birmingham

Dec. 29

Birmingham, Ala.

AAC vs. SEC

Houston vs. South Carolina

Belk

Dec. 29

Charlotte, N.C.

ACC vs. SEC

North Carolina vs. LSU

Alamo

Dec. 29

San Antonio

Big 12 vs. Pac-12

West Virginia vs. Utah

Arizona

Dec. 30

Tucson, Ariz.

MW vs. Sun Belt

Colorado State vs. Arkansas State

Liberty

Dec. 30

Memphis, Tenn.

Big 12 vs. SEC

Baylor vs. Ole Miss

Sun

Dec. 30

El Paso, Texas

ACC vs. Pac-12

Wake Forest vs. Washington State

Music City

Dec. 30

Nashville, Tenn.

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Iowa vs. Georgia

TaxSlayer

Dec. 31

Jacksonville, Fla.

ACC/Big Ten vs. SEC

Miami vs. Auburn

Citrus

Dec. 31

Orlando, Fla.

Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC

Florida State vs. Tennessee

Outback

Jan. 2

Tampa, Fla.

Big Ten vs. SEC

Nebraska vs. Arkansas

*Replacement team

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