Hey everybody! It’s time for another week for Going Bowling! The first playoff rankings came out this past week and the second installment will come out later today. For clarification my bowl projections are different than the CFP Rankings and just because the committee has them in the playoffs doesn’t mean I do because there’s a lot of season left...
Let’s get after it.
Oklahoma: Orange Bowl vs Georgia (CFP)
Yes, the Sooners are ranked 8th in this past week’s CFP Rankings. But the path for the Sooners is pretty simple, win out and you’re in. I put them in the theoretical 4-spot vs Georgia at the Orange Bowl. As it stands, Oregon and Ohio State would likely be ahead of both of them and possibly Cincinnati (If the committee would actually show them love.
Oklahoma State: Sugar Bowl vs Alabama
Oklahoma State pulled out their 7th straight win against West Virginia on Saturday, defeating the Mountaineers 24-3, thanks to eight sacks from the defense. The Cowboys are 8-1 and are expected to enter the top ten in the CFP for first time since 2016. Alabama barely survived against LSU but are still on track to be the SEC West Champion and face Georgia in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. I don't think they are the number 2 team in all college football though.
Iowa State: Alamo Bowl vs Arizona State
Iowa State bounced back strongly by defeating Texas 30-7, becoming the fifth bowl eligible team in the Big 12. Sitting at 6-3 and with Texas Tech, Oklahoma & TCU remaining. It looks like the Cyclones could be going to either to San Antonio or Orlando this year. Which is nice but probably not the way the Cyclones were expecting this year to go. Arizona State is possibly the third best team in the Pac-12. With Utah and Oregon going to New Year’s Six games, Arizona State will have to do here.
Kansas State: Cheez-It Bowl vs Wake Forest
After defeating the Jayhawks on Saturday, The Wildcats of Little Manhattan became the fourth Big 12 team to become bowl eligible. To add onto that, I think the Kansas State Wildcats are going to win out the rest of the way. They’ve won their last 3 after losing their previous 3. But are peaking at the right time, plus with West Virginia and Baylor visiting, as well as going to Texas on Black Friday. The Wildcats can easily finish 9-3 on the year and finish the year strong. Wake Forest falls here after a loss to North Carolina, I think they’ll continue to slide to either 9-3 or 10-2 on the year and end up in Orlando to eat some Cheez-Its and go to Disneyworld or something like that.
Texas: Texas Bowl vs Mississippi State
When putting Texas in a bowl game, assume they’ll go to a bowl game in Texas unless its a New Year’s Six game. Texas have lost their last four and are sliding fast. With games left against Kansas, West Virginia and Kansas State remaining. Getting a sixth win is going to be tough and I’m not sure if they’ll win 2 out of their 3. Mississippi State will make a bowl game despite the loss to Arkansas on Saturday. The Bulldogs are still a solid team and Mike Leach has them on the right track.
Baylor: Liberty Bowl vs Tennessee
After losing to TCU, I’ve come to the conclusion that Baylor has reached their ceiling. With games vs Oklahoma, at Kansas State and vs Texas Tech. I think they finish at 8-4 and go out with a whimper rather than the roar they had in the middle of the season. Tennessee has had a really good run as of late. Currently 5-4 and with games vs Georgia, South Alabama and Vanderbilt remaining. Tennessee should finish a respectable 7-5 record and will see Baylor in Memphis.
Teams that will not make a bowl game
Texas Tech- Tech had a bye this week and hired a new coach in Joey McGuire but still have to face Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Baylor. The Red Raiders are focused on the next season more than this season. I think they lose the next three.
TCU- They pulled out a very nice win that I wasn’t really expecting vs Baylor. Now, they must travel to either Oklahoma State and/or Iowa State to get that sixth. (They play Kansas next week, so that’s basically a lock.) But those other two games... not so much.
West Virginia- Prior to Saturday’s game, Mike Gundy said West Virginia had the best offensive line they would see thus far. That offensive line gave up eight sacks to Oklahoma State! With Kansas State, Texas and Kansas remaining. The Mountaineers are shaping up for a 5-7 season.