NCAA football: Post-Week 7 bowl projections

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Welcome to the first round of our bowl projections. With most teams halfway through their 2021 seasons, it’s a great time to start trying to figure out where bowl-eligible teams will play this postseason. 

These projections are a combination of future forecasting and teams’ current position in the standings. Our picks will probably change significantly over the course of the rest of the season, especially if some of the teams that are currently 3-3 finish the season at 5-7. 

Bowl season kicks off on Friday, Dec. 17 and ends with the national championship game on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis. The first CFP rankings will be released on Nov. 2. 

College Football Playoff semifinals

Orange Bowl (Dec. 31)

Right now we’re going with Georgia as the top seed in the College Football Playoff and Cincy as the No. 4 seed pending how the committee views the Bearcats. Remember, the committee has traditionally been less bullish on Group of Five undefeated teams than others.

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 31)

If Alabama loses a close game to Georgia in the SEC championship game then we can easily see the committee putting a two-loss team in the playoff for the first time. Ohio State gets the edge over Oklahoma for the other spot, though this is a toss-up at this point. Both teams have tough schedules over the second half. 

New Year’s Six games

Peach Bowl (Dec. 30)

The Panthers are our pick for the ACC since they’re favored to beat Clemson on Saturday. If Clemson wins that game, we may have to put Clemson in this spot next week. 

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1)

Iowa doesn’t have any ranked teams left on its schedule and will be favored to win out on the way to the Big Ten title game. Notre Dame doesn’t have any ranked teams on its schedule either. The Irish could finish the season at 11-1. 

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1)

Michigan would get this spot as the No. 2 team from the Big Ten and we have Utah as the projected Pac-12 champion at the moment. The Pac-12 seems up for grabs, especially as Oregon enters Saturday’s game at UCLA as an underdog. 

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1)

The Big 12 champion heads to New Orleans if it doesn’t make the playoff. Will the Sooners run the table with Caleb Williams at quarterback? Kentucky is currently 6-1 and has a manageable schedule the rest of the season with games at Mississippi State and Louisville penciled in as the toughest left to go.

Other bowl games

Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 17)

Cure Bowl (Dec. 17)

Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 18)

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 18)

Independence Bowl (Dec. 18)

LendingTree Bowl (Dec. 18)

LA Bowl (Dec. 18)

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 18)

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Dec. 20)

Potato Bowl (Dec. 21)

Frisco Bowl (Dec. 21)

Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 22)

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 23)

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24)

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 25)

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 27)

Military Bowl (Dec. 27)

Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 28)

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 28)

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 28)

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 28)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 28)

Fenway Bowl (Dec. 29)

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 29)

Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 29)

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29)

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Dec. 30)

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30)

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 30)

Gator Bowl (Dec. 31)

Sun Bowl (Dec. 31)

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 31)

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1)

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1)

Texas Bowl (Jan. 4)



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