Michigan to the Rose Bowl for now

The second edition of the College Football Playoff rankings gave us some inconsistency. 

Oregon is ahead of Ohio State in the top four in large part thanks to the Ducks’ win over the Buckeyes in Week 2. Meanwhile, Michigan State dropped to No. 7 and right behind Michigan at No. 6 after losing to Purdue in Week 10. Michigan State and Michigan are both 8-1 and the Spartans beat the Wolverines in Week 9.

Committee chair and Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Michigan State dropped behind Michigan because the metrics that the CFP committee uses reflect that Michigan is the better team. 

“The Michigan-Michigan State discussion really started last week, and I would just kind of summarize that the committee went back and forth, and really consensus was that Michigan probably is a more complete team,” Barta told reporters Tuesday night. “Statistically offensively, defensively, they’re ranked higher than Michigan State in just about every category. 

That being said, the committee gave great credence to the Michigan State win head-to-head against Michigan. That discussion went back and forth last week. This week the same discussion goes on. What’s changed? Michigan won and Michigan State lost. So for this week, we slotted Michigan State at 7.”

Remember, these rankings are fluid. And the only set of rankings that matters is the final one on Dec. 5. So while the committee’s twisted logic may get you worked up, take solace in the fact that it could even get more twisted that it untwists itself before the final rankings.

Let’s get to the latest set of bowl projections. 

College Football Playoff semifinals

Orange Bowl (Dec. 31)

No change to this matchup from a week ago. With games against top-seven opponents in the final two weeks of the season, Ohio State will likely jump Oregon if it wins out.

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 31)

It’s an Alabama conundrum. We’re confident in the committee’s confidence in Alabama. If the Tide enter the SEC title game at 11-1 and lose a close game to Georgia it’ll be the first team to make the playoff with two losses. Would the committee drop Alabama to No. 4 and create a rematch? We’re not sure about that. 

New Year’s Six games

Peach Bowl (Dec. 30)

Nothing changes with this game. Wake is still undefeated in the ACC after that “non-conference” loss to North Carolina. The Demon Deacons have a big test against NC State on Saturday while Notre Dame plays at Virginia. 

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1)

The Spartans fall out of the Rose Bowl for now given the committee’s weird logic to drop them behind Michigan despite the head-to-head win two years ago. Just keep on winning, Cincinnati.

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1)

If both Michigan and Michigan State lose to Ohio State it’s hard to see the committee jumping the Spartans back over the Wolverines barring a massive difference in the margin of victory. But we’re also not ruling any justification out for anything the committee does.

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1)

The Aggies jump into the third New Year’s Six slot for an SEC team after a win over Auburn. Ole Miss could get back into this spot with a win on Saturday. Auburn’s also in the mix too, especially if it can upset Alabama.

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)

L.A. 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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