Bowl projections: Clemson-Stanford, OSU-Alabama comprise playoff field after Week 10

Does anyone want a piece of the Tigers?

In 2011, many (myself included) felt 11-1 Big 12 champ Oklahoma State should have played 13-0 LSU in the BCS title game in New Orleans instead of 11-1 non-division champ Alabama. Four years later, in my projected lineup, Les Miles’ current and former employers finally meet in New Orleans after all, albeit for a Sugar Bowl championship.

Right now I have the Big 12 as the playoff odd man out (again), which means Oklahoma State’s upset of TCU caused quite the ripple effect. The Horned Frogs fell to the Russell Athletic Bowl in my latest projections. Similarly, Nebraska’s stunner against previously undefeated Michigan State dropped the Spartans from the Rose Bowl to the Citrus Bowl.

And hey, that Nebraska win had other implications as well. The Huskers may now get to 5-7, which — with only 79 eligible teams currently projected for 80 spots — put them in a bowl this week (Armed Forces).

Without further ado …


Dec. 31 Peach Atlanta Florida (at-large) vs. Temple (Group of 5)
Dec. 31   Cotton  Arlington, Texas Ohio St. (CFP No. 2) vs. Alabama (CFP No. 3) 
Dec. 31   Orange Miami  Clemson (CFP No. 1) vs. Stanford (CFP No. 4)
Jan. 1  Fiesta  Glendale, Ariz. Notre Dame (at-large) vs. Baylor (at-large)
Jan. 1  Rose  Pasadena, Calif. Iowa (B1G) vs. Utah (Pac-12)
Jan. 1    Sugar New Orleans LSU (SEC) vs. Oklahoma St. (Big 12)


Dec. 19   Cure Orlando, Fla. USF (American) vs. Arkansas St. (Sun Belt)
Dec. 19  New Mexico Albuquerque New Mexico (MWC) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Dec. 19 Las Vegas Las Vegas Boise St. (MWC No. 1 or BYU) vs. Cal (Pac-12 No. 6) 
Dec. 19 Camellia Montgomery, Ala. South Alabama (Sun Belt) vs. Ohio (MAC) 
Dec. 19 New Orleans  New Orleans Appalachian St. (Sun Belt) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)
Dec. 21 Miami Beach Miami Houston (American) vs. W. Kentucky (C-USA)
Dec. 22 Idaho Potato Boise Utah State (MWC) vs. C. Michigan (MAC)
Dec. 22 Boca Raton Boca Raton, Fla. Tulsa (American) vs. NIU (MAC)
Dec. 23 Poinsettia San Diego San Diego St. (MWC) vs. Akron* (Army)
Dec. 23  GoDaddy  Mobile, Ala. Bowling Green (MAC) vs. Ga. Southern (Sun Belt)
Dec. 24 Bahamas Nassau Toledo (MAC) vs. La. Tech (C-USA) 
Dec. 24 Hawaii Honolulu Washington* (American) vs. BYU (MWC or BYU)
Dec. 26 St. Petersburg  St. Petersburg Memphis (American) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
Dec. 26  Sun El Paso, Texas Pittsburgh (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 No. 5)
Dec. 26 Heart of Dallas Dallas Buffalo* (Big 12) vs. Middle Tennessee (C-USA)
Dec. 26 Pinstripe Bronx, N.Y. Va. Tech (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Northwestern (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Dec. 26 Independence Shreveport, La. NC State (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Colorado St.* (SEC Nos. 9-10)
Dec. 26 Foster Farms Santa Clara, Calif. Washington St. (Pac-12 No. 4) vs. Penn St. (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Dec. 28  Military Annapolis, Md. Miami (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Navy (American)
Dec. 28 Quick Lane Detroit Western Michigan* (B1G Nos. 8-9) vs. Louisville (ACC Nos. 7-9)
Dec. 29 Arizona Tucson Nevada (MWC) vs. La.-Lafayette* (C-USA)
Dec. 29 Armed Forces Fort Worth, Texas  Air Force (MWC) vs. Nebraska+ (B1G Nos. 8-9)
Dec. 29 Russell Athletic Orlando, Fla. Florida St. (ACC No. 2) vs. TCU (Big 12 No. 3)
Dec. 29 Texas Houston Texas A&M (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 4)
Dec. 30 Birmingham Birmingham, Ala. Cincinnati (American) vs. Kentucky (SEC No. 9-10)
Dec. 30 Belk Charlotte, N.C. Arkansas (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Duke (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Dec. 30 Music City Nashville, Tenn. Auburn (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Indiana (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Dec. 30 Holiday San Diego UCLA (Pac-12 No. 3) vs. Wisconsin (B1G Nos. 2-4)
Jan. 1 Outback Tampa, Fla. Michigan (B1G Nos. 2-4) vs. Tennessee (SEC Nos. 3-8)
Jan. 1 Citrus Orlando, Fla. Mississippi St. (SEC No. 2) vs. Michigan St. (B1G Nos. 2-4)
Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Jacksonville, Fla. Ole Miss (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. North Carolina (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Jan. 2 Liberty Memphis, Tenn. Georgia (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Kansas St. (Big 12 No. 5)
Jan. 2 Alamo San Antonio Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 2) vs. USC (Pac-12 No. 2)
Jan. 2 Cactus Tempe, Ariz. West Virginia (Big 12 No. 6) vs. Arizona St. (Pac-12 No. 7)

* replacement for a conference without enough eligible teams

+ projected 5-7 team

Stewart Mandel is a senior college sports columnist for He covered college football and basketball for 15 years at Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter @slmandel and Facebook. Send emails and Mailbag questions to