On Tuesday the selection committee let us know that Boise State, not Marshall, is its highest-ranked Group of 5 team, and if the Broncos do win the Mountain West (they face 9-3 Utah State this week for a trip to the conference title game), they will likely earn the automatic New Year’s Six berth. As a result, I adjusted my projected lineup from earlier this week.
In a bowl oddity, there is now actually a surplus of Western teams in my lineup. Someone would have to get shipped east. In this scenario, that’s UCLA.
I also moved around a few Mountain West teams to account for Boise moving up (and included Fresno State, an inadvertent omission earlier this week) and moved around some C-USA teams to make room for Marshall.
I’m now projecting 83 eligible teams for 78 spots. The unlucky ones left out this week: Ohio, Akron, UTEP, Arkansas State and Western Kentucky.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF BOWLS
Michigan State (at-large) vs. UCLA (at-large)
Arizona (at-large) vs. Boise State (Group of 5)
Georgia Tech (ACC) vs. Mississippi State (SEC/B1G/ND)
Ohio State (Big Ten champ) vs. TCU (at-large)
Oregon (CFP No. 2) vs. Florida State (CFP No. 3)
Alabama (CFP No. 1) vs. Baylor (CFP No. 4)
New Orleans, La.
Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt) vs. Nevada (MWC)
San Diego State (MWC) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Las Vegas, Nev.
Colorado State (MWC No. 1) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 No. 6)
Air Force (MWC) vs. Western Michigan (MAC)
Texas State (Sun Belt) vs. Central Michigan (MAC)
Memphis (American) vs. BYU (BYU)
Boca Raton, Fla.
Middle Tennessee (C-USA) vs. Toledo (MAC)
San Diego, Calif.
Utah State (MWC) vs. Navy (Navy)
Bowling Green (MAC) vs. Louisiana Tech (C-USA)
Fresno State (MWC) vs. UAB (C-USA)
Heart of Dallas
Rutgers (B1G) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
Northwestern (B1G) vs. Virginia Tech (ACC Nos. 7-9)
St. Petersburg, Fla.
UCF (American) vs. NC State (ACC No. 10)
Boston College (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. East Carolina (American)
El Paso, Texas
North Carolina (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Washington (Pac-12 No. 5)
Miami (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. South Carolina (SEC Nos. 9-10)
Duke (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Penn State (B1G)
San Diego, Calif.
USC (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. Iowa (B1G)
Arkansas (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Texas (Big 12 No. 5)
Kansas State (Big 12 No. 3) vs. Clemson (ACC No. 2)
Texas A&M (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. West Virginia (Big 12 No. 4)
LSU (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Louisville (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Auburn (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Notre Dame (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Utah (Pac-12 No. 4) vs. Nebraska (B1G)
Georgia (SEC No. 2) vs. Wisconsin (B1G)
Minnesota (B1G) vs. Ole Miss (SEC Nos. 3-8)
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston (American) vs. Florida* (Army/Big 12 No. 7)
Missouri (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Maryland (B1G)
San Antonio, Texas
Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12 No. 2)
Temple* (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Cal (Pac-12 No. 7)
Cincinnati (American) vs. Tennessee (SEC Nos. 9-10)
Northern Illinois (MAC No. 1) vs. South Alabama (Sun Belt)
Teams in bold have officially accepted a bid.
* — Replacement for a conference without enough eligible teams.
** — Notre Dame is eligible for any ACC bowl as long as it’s within one win of the highest available ACC team.
Stewart Mandel is a senior college sports columnist for FOXSports.com. He covered college football and basketball for 15 years at Sports Illustrated. His new book, “The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the College Football Playoff,” is now available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter @slmandel. Send emails and Mailbag questions to Stewart.Mandel@fox.com.