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College Football Playoff, New Years Six bowl projections: Championship week

Andy Staples head shotby:Andy Staples11/26/23


Andy Staples Week 14 College Football Playoff, New Years Six Bowl Projections | 11.26.23

Florida State coming back to beat Florida on Saturday night may have cost Oklahoma, Missouri, Ole Miss or Penn State a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl. Why? I’ll explain.

Because the Rose and Sugar bowls are College Football Playoff semifinals this season, the only New Years Six bowl with a contractual stipulation to take a team from a certain conference is the Orange Bowl. Either the ACC champ or the highest ranked ACC team not playing in the CFP gets one of the spots in the game. Had Florida State lost to Florida, the Seminoles might not have made the CFP if they beat Louisville in the ACC title game. Now, Florida State is likely in the CFP with a win. Louisville, which would be 10-3 in this scenario, would get the Orange Bowl slot.

A Louisville upset of Florida State probably doesn’t help those teams either. Louisville would go to the Orange as the ACC champ, but a 12-1 Florida State would still merit inclusion in the New Years Six over all the 10-2 teams mentioned above. The only hope to get three out of that group of four into the NY6 is if a 13-0 Florida State somehow gets left out of the CFP. The most obvious path to that is an Alabama win against Georgia in the SEC title game. Or the committee might simply decide it thinks a 12-1 Texas is better, but I doubt the committee would do that.

So in the most likely scenario, only two of those four get spots. The current CFP rankings would suggest they’ll go to Missouri and Penn State, but I’m betting the committee seriously re-evaluates these teams’ resumes either this week or next. When that happens, Oklahoma would move to the front of the four. Penn State would move to the back. Missouri or Ole Miss as the second of the group would be a judgement call that likely will leave one fan base incredibly angry.

College Football Playoff

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Georgia  vs. No. 4 Florida State

Georgia wasn’t at full strength Saturday and certainly didn’t play as if they were at full strength against Georgia Tech. Expect a much different group when Georgia returns to Atlanta this week to take on Alabama in the SEC Championship game.

The Seminoles struggled to put away a desperate-but-undisciplined Florida team Saturday, but the offense did whir to life after about a half. Perhaps Tate Rodemaker — the backup QB who took over when Jordan Travis got hurt — and coach Mike Norvell needed that acclimation period before facing Louisville in the ACC title game.

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Oregon

Michigan defeated Ohio State for the third straight time and now head to the Big Ten Championship Game against Iowa. The Big Ten title game probably won’t be competitive as Iowa’s struggles on offense have been well-documented.

Oregon gets its rematch against Washington on Friday in the Pac-12 title game. Vegas continues to favor the Ducks, and a win should get Oregon in the playoffs.

New Years Six Bowls

Orange Bowl: Louisville vs. Ohio State
Cotton Bowl: Texas vs. Ole Miss
Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs. Oklahoma
Peach Bowl: Alabama vs. Tulane