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).
Article continues below ...
Without further ado …
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF BOWLS
Florida (at-large) vs. Temple (Group of 5)
Ohio St. (CFP No. 2) vs. Alabama (CFP No. 3)
Clemson (CFP No. 1) vs. Stanford (CFP No. 4)
Notre Dame (at-large) vs. Baylor (at-large)
Iowa (B1G) vs. Utah (Pac-12)
LSU (SEC) vs. Oklahoma St. (Big 12)
USF (American) vs. Arkansas St. (Sun Belt)
New Mexico (MWC) vs. Rice (C-USA)
Boise St. (MWC No. 1 or BYU) vs. Cal (Pac-12 No. 6)
South Alabama (Sun Belt) vs. Ohio (MAC)
Appalachian St. (Sun Belt) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)
Houston (American) vs. W. Kentucky (C-USA)
Utah State (MWC) vs. C. Michigan (MAC)
Boca Raton, Fla.
Tulsa (American) vs. NIU (MAC)
San Diego St. (MWC) vs. Akron* (Army)
Bowling Green (MAC) vs. Ga. Southern (Sun Belt)
Toledo (MAC) vs. La. Tech (C-USA)
Washington* (American) vs. BYU (MWC or BYU)
Memphis (American) vs. Marshall (C-USA)
El Paso, Texas
Pittsburgh (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 No. 5)
Heart of Dallas
Buffalo* (Big 12) vs. Middle Tennessee (C-USA)
Va. Tech (ACC Nos. 3-6) vs. Northwestern (B1G Nos. 5-7)
NC State (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Colorado St.* (SEC Nos. 9-10)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Washington St. (Pac-12 No. 4) vs. Penn St. (B1G Nos. 5-7)
Miami (ACC Nos. 7-9) vs. Navy (American)
Western Michigan* (B1G Nos. 8-9) vs. Louisville (ACC Nos. 7-9)
Michigan (B1G Nos. 2-4) vs. Tennessee (SEC Nos. 3-8)
Mississippi St. (SEC No. 2) vs. Michigan St. (B1G Nos. 2-4)
Ole Miss (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. North Carolina (ACC Nos. 3-6)
Georgia (SEC Nos. 3-8) vs. Kansas St. (Big 12 No. 5)
Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 2) vs. USC (Pac-12 No. 2)
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 FOXSports.com. 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 Stewart.Mandel@fox.com.