New Year’s Six Bowl Projections: Michigan Cements Their Place

    Plenty changed this week in college football, meaning our New Year's Six bowl projections got another shakeup too. Who is in? Who is out?

    What a week. If you were expecting our New Year’s Six Bowl projections to stay the same, you were probably disappointed. Another week means we get a glimpse at how the College Football Playoff committee views each team too.

    Who’s in, and who’s out? We look at that now.

    New Year’s Six Bowl Projections

    Rose Bowl (College Football Playoff) | #1 Georgia vs. #4 Florida State

    Our New Year’s Six Bowl projections start with some chalk. The Georgia Bulldogs struggled to put away Georgia Tech this weekend, potentially showing that they’re beatable, but there are still plenty of reasons to think they’re the best team in the country. The committee wasn’t bothered, however, keeping them at the top.

    The current struggle for the College Football Playoff Committee is who gets the fourth spot. The Florida State Seminoles finished the regular season undefeated, but can they compete with the best? The committee’s statement: Win, and they’re in.

    Sugar Bowl (College Football Playoff) | #2 Michigan vs. #3 Washington

    The Michigan Wolverines beat Ohio State for the third straight time, and the emotional win brings back Jim Harbaugh. With a seemingly easy win in the Big Ten Championship Game ahead, the Wolverines should yield the second spot.

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    The committee isn’t bothered about the Washington Huskies playing yet another close game, no matter who they play. They’re also in a “win and they’re in” state, and beating Oregon again would be a nice way to enter the playoff.

    Cotton Bowl | Ohio State vs. Alabama

    Ohio State’s playoff hopes are pretty much gone. They’re still ranked sixth, but it feels like other teams will jump with wins this weekend. No one’s holding their breath in Columbus, but it’s hard to be too disappointed.

    Alabama can still get in the Playoff. The committee ranked them eighth, which is concerning, but surely a win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game will get them into the Playoff. They might need another miracle answered (hello, Jalen Milroe), but it’s not impossible for that to happen.

    Fiesta Bowl | Texas vs. Oregon

    Texas needs help, but they’re doing everything they can to stay in position to get into the Playoff. The committee most likely puts them sixth in the rankings, putting them in a great spot. With the Big 12 Championship ahead, there’s still work for them to do.

    Oregon’s in the same spot. They’re in the Pac-12 Championship Game against Washington, a rematch of the thriller between the two teams earlier this year. Bo Nix continues playing well, even Heisman-worthy, and the Ducks are thrashing their competition lately. Win, and they’re in, or at least that’s what they’re thinking right now.

    Peach Bowl | Missouri vs. Tulane

    Missouri has been a nice surprise this year, and the committee’s shown that they like the Tigers as the third-best team in the SEC. Brady Cook and the passing attack will be tough to stop, and there’s not much that anyone else can do to knock them out of this spot.

    Tulane has their fate in their hands, but they’re looking to repeat as AAC champs. In their way is an SMU team that will be without star quarterback Preston Stone, but the Green Wave wants to ensure the committee keeps them here.

    A win gives the Green Wave the New Year’s Six spot for the Group of Five. Lose, and things get really messy.

    Orange Bowl | Ole Miss vs. Penn State

    It was going to be between Ole Miss and Oklahoma, and the committee likes the Rebels more. It’s hard to argue with that. Lane Kiffin’s squad may not win their division, but they’re still in contention for a New Year’s Six bowl.

    Despite their two losses to Michigan and Ohio State, the committee values Penn State’s dominance over the rest of their schedule. It’s hard to knock the Nittany Lions for losing to two potential playoff teams, so their spot here seems secure.

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