FanPost

Final 2019 College Football Projection

Hello, college football fans!

Today is "Selection Sunday" for college football! Unlike college basketball, you only get four teams instead of 68 although you also get to find out where your favorite team is going bowling.

I would say this is the easiest year for selection the four College Football Playoff teams since the 2015 season. The biggest debate this year is going to be the overall #1 seed. It is between two undefeated teams, the current #1 ranked team in the last CFP rankings, the Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Championship winners) and the current #2 ranked team, the LSU Tigers (SEC Championship winners). The remaining teams in the Playoff will be the #3 overall seed, the unbeaten ACC Championship Gane winner Clemson Tigers and the #4 12-1 Big 12 Championship Game winner Oklahoma Sooners. This year, only four Power 5 conference teams finished with one loss or fewer. The fifth Power 5 conference champion, the Pac-12 Champion Oregon Ducks, have two losses and started the week #13 in the CFP rankings and are not considered a legitimate Playoff team.

No matter what, fans will be treated to two great quarterback matchups between four great quarterbacks, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State's Justin Fields, and the Heisman Trophy favorite, LSU's Joe Burrow. I wish this year was the year the Playoffs were on New Year's Day and in the "top" bowls, the Rose and the Sugar. Instead, the Playoffs are in the "bottom" bowls, the Peach and the toilet bowl of all of them, the Fiesta in Phoenix. If it weren't a semifinal, who wants to go to Phoenix?

The battle for the #1 seed is important. You would get to go to Atlanta rather than Phoenix and save a ton of air miles and avoid the desert. Plus, you avoid Clemson. Neither Ohio State nor LSU wants to play Clemson in the semifinals if they can help it no matter what LSU coach Ed Orgeron says. If you go by yesterday's results, LSU dominated the previously #4 Georgia Bulldogs 37-10 while Ohio State beat the Wisconsin Badgers 34-21 in a game Wisconsin led at halftime and the Buckeyes didn't take the lead until late in the 3rd quarter. Ohio State's strength of schedule is higher if you throw out LSU playing Northwestern State (an FCS team).

LSU Ohio State
Opponent Wins Losses Opponent Wins Losses
Ga Southern 7 5 Florida Atlantic 10 3
at Texas 7 5 Cincinnati 10 3
NW State at Indiana 8 4
at Vanderbilt 3 9 Miami Ohio 8 5
Utah State 7 5 at Nebraska 5 7
Florida 10 2 Michigan State 6 6
at Mississippi St 6 6 at Northwestern 3 9
Auburn 9 3 Wisconsin 10 3
at Alabama 10 2 Maryland 3 9
at Mississippi 4 8 at Rutgers 2 10
Arkansas 2 10 Penn State 10 2
Texas A&M 7 5 at Michigan 9 3
vs Georgia 11 2 vs Wisconsin 10 3
Total 83 62 0.572 Total 94 67 0.584

If you count Top 25 teams, LSU beat #4 on a neutral field, #9 (Florida Gators) at home, #11 (Auburn Tigers) at home, #12 (Alabama Crimson Tide) at Tuscaloosa when Tua Tagovailoa was still playing. Ohio State beat #8 Wisconsin twice (home and neutral), #10 (Penn State Nittany Lions) at home, #14 (Michigan Wolverines) in Ann Arbor, and #21 Cincinnati Bearcats) at home. The high games clearly favor LSU and if you are going by yesterday's results you have to say LSU is your #1 seed. The Committee has mostly without fail favored the SEC over the Big Ten in past years. They have had Ohio State over LSU several weeks this year but they moved LSU over Ohio State after the Tigers beat Alabama at Alabama and this win looks to be of the same caliber if not bigger.

Final Playoff Projection:

Peach Bowl: Sat. Dec. 28: 4pm (They will be first): #1 LSU (13-0, SEC Champs) vs. #4 Oklahoma (12-1, Big 12 Champs)

Fiesta Bowl: Sat. Dec. 28: 8pm: #2 Ohio State (13-0, Big Ten Champs) vs. #3 Clemson (13-0, ACC Champs)

Also of interest is the New Year's Six and the rest of the bowls. Here's my rankings (Rankings are last CFP rankings):

5. Georgia Bulldogs (Losses neutral to #2 LSU, home to South Carolina, ranked wins neutral vs. #9 Florida, at #11 Auburn, home vs. #16 Notre Dame)

6. Florida Gators (Losses at #2 LSU, neutral to #4 Georgia, ranked wins home vs. #11 Auburn)

7. Oregon Ducks (Losses neutral vs. #11 Auburn, at Arizona State, ranked wins neutral vs. #5 Utah, at #22 USC)

8. Wisconsin Badgers (Losses at Illinois, at #1 Ohio State, neutral vs. #1 Ohio State, ranked wins home vs. #14 Michigan, home vs. #16 Iowa, at #18 Minnesota)

9. Penn State Nittany Lions (Losses at #18 Minnesota, at #1 Ohio State, ranked wins at #16 Iowa, home vs. #14 Michigan)

10. Auburn Tigers (Losses at #9 Florida, at #1 LSU, home to #4 Georgia, ranked wins neutral vs. #13 Oregon, home vs. #12 Alabama)

11. Baylor Bears (Losses home to #6 Oklahoma, neutral vs. #6 Oklahoma, ranked wins at #25 Oklahoma State)

12. Alabama Crimson Tide (Losses home to #2 LSU, at #11 Auburn, no ranked wins)

13. Utah Utes (Losses at #22 USC, neutral vs. #13 Oregon, no ranked wins)

Highest ranked Group of 5 Champion: Memphis Tigers (Loss at Temple, ranked wins home vs. #24 Navy, #20 Cincinnati twice)

Using these rankings, we can fill out the remaining New Year's Six Bowls:

Rose Bowl: Wed. Jan. 1 5pm: Oregon (11-2, Pac-12 Champs) vs. Wisconsin (10-3)

Sugar Bowl: Wed. Jan. 1 8:30pm: Georgia (11-2) vs. Baylor (11-2)

Orange Bowl: Mon. Dec. 30 8pm: Florida (10-2) vs. Virginia (9-4)

Cotton Bowl: Sat. Dec. 28 noon: Memphis (12-1, AAC Champ) vs. Penn State (10-2)

I can see Penn State edging out Wisconsin for the Rose Bowl, Wisconsin or Penn State in the Orange instead of Florida, and Wisconsin, Florida, or Auburn in the Cotton. I feel Wisconsin shouldn't be penalized for losing the Big Ten Championship. If they were ahead of Penn State before the Big Ten Championship, they should be ahead after it. You can make the same argument for Utah falling so far but I thought Utah was overrated to begin with, they've literally beaten no one with more than seven wins all season.

Other Power 5 Conference Bowls:

Big Ten:

Citrus Bowl: Wed. Jan. 1, 1pm, Orlando: Michigan (9-3)

Outback Bowl: Wed. Jan 1, 1pm, Tampa: Minnesota (10-2)

Holiday Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 8pm, San Diego: Iowa (9-3)

Gator Bowl: Thur. Jan. 2, 7pm, Jacksonville: Indiana (8-4)

Redbox Bowl: Mon. Dec. 30, 4pm, Santa Clara: Illinois (6-6) (Rumors are this is a done deal)

Pinstripe Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 3:20pm, New York: Michigan State (6-6)

The Citrus Bowl is supposed to take five teams in six years but took ACC teams three years in the current bowl agreement (2015-19).. If they want to honor the agreement and take a team that hasn't been to Disney World in the cycle they would take Iowa. The Outback has to take a new team so they can't take Iowa (or Michigan if the Citrus Bowl takes Iowa) so Minnesota is the choice. If the Citrus Bowl takes Iowa, Michigan goes to the Holiday.

Should Wisconsin get shut out of the NY6, they're going to the Citrus. Minnesota still goes to the Outback, Michigan to the Holiday, Iowa can't go to the Gator since they've been there in the current bowl cycle. Either Illinois is pushed out of the Redbox in favor of Iowa and has to go to the Pinstripe or Iowa falls all the way to the Pinstripe. In either case, Michigan State would be stuck in the Quick Lane (Detroit, Dec. 26. 8pm). If Penn State gets shut out, Michigan or Iowa goes to the Citrus, Penn State will go to the Outback, the other of Michigan or Iowa goes to the Holiday, Minnesota to the Gator, then Indiana/Illinois in the Redbox with the other in the Pinstripe.

Also, if Penn State or Wisconsin goes to the Orange Bowl an ACC team takes the Big Ten's place in the Citrus Bowl meaning the Big Ten teams slide down one.

SEC:

Citrus Bowl: Wed. Jan. 1, 1pm, Orlando: Alabama (10-2)

Outback Bowl: Wed. Jan 1, 1pm, Tampa: Auburn (9-3)

Gator Bowl: Thur. Jan. 2, 7pm, Jacksonville: Kentucky (7-5)

Music City Bowl: Mon. Dec. 30, 4pm, Nashville: Tennessee (7-5)

Texas Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 6:45pm, Houston: Texas A&M (7-5)

Liberty Bowl: Tue. Dec. 31, 3:45pm, Memphis: Mississippi State (6-6)

Auburn fans will obviously complain but the Citrus Bowl will jump at the chance to get Alabama. I can see the Gator and Music City Bowls switching. I figure both bowls will want Tennessee, the question is will Tennessee want to stay in state or travel to Florida? I had Tennessee stay at home so the Music City can also take Louisville and avoid a Kentucky/Louisville rematch. It looks like the Belk Bowl (Charlotte) goes SEC less this time. If Auburn sneaks into the Cotton Bowl, Texas A&M or Tennessee goes up to the Outback. Texas A&M probably won't go to the Gator since they were there last year.

ACC:

Camping World Bowl: Sat. Dec. 28, noon: Notre Dame (10-2)

Music City Bowl: Mon. Dec. 30, 4pm, Nashville: Louisville (7-5)

Belk Bowl: Tue. Dec. 31, noon, Charlotte: Virginia Tech (8-4)

Pinstripe Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 3:20pm, New York: Pittsburgh (7-5)

Sun Bowl: Tue. Dec. 31, 2pm, El Paso: Wake Forest (8-4)

Military Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, noon, Annapolis: Miami (7-5)

Independence Bowl: Thur. Dec. 26, 4pm, Shreveport: Florida State (6-6)

Quick Lane Bowl: Thur. Dec. 26, 8pm, Detroit: North Carolina (6-6)

Gasparilla Bowl: Mon. Dec. 23, 2:30pm, St. Petersburg: Boston College (6-6)

Boston College looks to be at the bottom of the pecking order but likely lucks out and gets a nicer bowl destination than North Carolina, Florida State, Miami, or Wake Forest. If a Big Ten team winds up in the Orange Bowl, everyone moves up one since the ACC would go to the Citrus Bowl.

Big 12:

Alamo: Tue. Dec. 31, 7:30pm, San Antonio: Texas (7-5)

Camping World Bowl: Sat. Dec. 28, noon: Oklahoma State (8-4)

Texas Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 6:45pm, Houston: Kansas State (8-4)

Liberty Bowl: Tue. Dec. 31, 3:45pm, Memphis: Iowa State (7-5)

They might want to get Oklahoma State into the Texas Bowl as they would bring more fans as they are closer to Houston.

Pac 12:

Alamo: Tue. Dec. 31, 7:30pm, San Antonio: Utah (10-2)

Holiday Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 8pm, San Diego: USC (8-4)

Redbox Bowl: Mon. Dec. 30, 4pm, Santa Clara: California (7-5) (Also looks like a done deal vs. Illinois)

Sun Bowl: Tue. Dec. 31, 2pm, El Paso: Washington (7-5)

Las Vegas Bowl: Sat. Dec. 21. 7:30pm,, Las Vegas: Arizona State (7-5)

Cheez-It Bowl: Fri. Dec. 27, 10:15pm. Phoenix: Washington State (6-6)

It would make sense to let ASU play at home and Washington might prefer Vegas over El Paso although the Sun has priority. If it were based on destination, Washington would be in Vegas, Arizona State would be in Phoenix, and WSU would be stuck in El Paso.

Thanks for another great season of CFP projections.

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