Sunday, December 8, 2019

New Year's Six Bowl Games are set

Not a lot of surprises in the New Year's Six. 

Utah dropped out of the projections, and Penn State jumped in.

Peach 1 seed4 seed
Week 10#1 Ohio State#7 Oregon
Week 11#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 12#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 13#1 Ohio State#5 Alabama
Week 14#1 Ohio State#5 Utah
ACTUAL#1 LSU#4 Oklahoma


Fiesta2 seed3 seed
Week 10#2 LSU#5 Clemson
Week 11#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 12#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 13#2 LSU#3 Clemson
Week 14#2 LSU#3 Clemson
ACTUAL#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson


SugarSECBig 12
Week 10#3 Alabama#9 Oklahoma
Week 11#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 12#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 13#4 Georgia#7 Oklahoma
Week 14#4 Georgia#6 Oklahoma
ACTUAL#5 Georgia#7 Baylor


RoseBig TenPac-12
Week 10#4 Penn State#8 Utah
Week 11#8 Minnesota#7 Utah
Week 12#8 Penn State#7 Utah
Week 13#8 Minnesota#6 Utah
Week 14#8 Wisconsin#13 Oregon
ACTUAL#8 Wisconsin#6 Oregon


OrangeACCSEC/B1G/ND
Week 10#19 Wake Forest#6 Georgia
Week 11NR Wake Forest#5 Alabama
Week 12NR Virginia Tech#5 Alabama
Week 13#24 Virginia Tech#10 Penn State
Week 14#23 Virginia#9 Florida
ACTUAL#24 Virginia#9 Florida


CottonG5At-large
Week 10#20 Cincinnati#10 Florida
Week 11#17 Cincinnati#9 Penn State
Week 12#18 Memphis#10 Minnesota
Week 13#18 Memphis#9 Baylor
Week 14#17 Memphis#7 Baylor
ACTUAL#17 Memphis#10 Penn State

Final New Year's Six predictions

With the season in the books and the final rankings a few hours out, here's my final predictions for the New Year's Six.

Semifinals (Peach and Fiesta):
-LSU (#1) vs. Oklahoma (#4)
-Ohio State vs. Clemson (2 vs. 3)

Four conference champions means that only the Rose Bowl doesn't need a replacement team for the Pac-12.

Sugar:  Georgia (SEC replacement) vs. Baylor (Big 12 replacement)
Rose:  Wisconsin (Big Ten replacement) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 champ)
Orange:  Virginia (ACC replacement) vs. Florida (highest ranked non-champ/non-replacement out of SEC/Big Ten/ND)
Cotton:  Memphis (#17, G5) vs. Utah or Penn State (highest ranked team not already placed)

I have to hedge my bet a little with the at-large spot, because I don't know exactly how far Utah might drop.  Although I think the losers from the top 10 this weekend (Utah, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Baylor) end up as #5-8.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Why uva is going to the Orange Bowl

There's still some group of VT fans (and possibly Wake Forest fans) who are holding on to hope that #23 UVA will drop out of the rankings after getting blown out by Clemson on Saturday.  By doing so, that will open up the ACC slot in the Orange Bowl to whichever conference member the bowl wants to invite.

I say this as a diehard Virginia Tech fan that hates everything about UVA - Give up on the Orange Bowl, Hokies.

Historically, the committee has not horribly punished teams for losing their conference championship games.  Sure, teams may drop a spot or two, but there hasn't been a drastic drop for most teams.  Probably the biggest championship game loss by a ranked team in the CFP era was 2018 Northwestern losing to Ohio State by a score of 45-24.  They only dropped one spot in the rankings.

But there are a couple of very simple reasons why UVA will not drop out of the rankings.

First, there must be 25 teams in the top 25.  If one falls out, another must take their place.  All of the unranked Power 5 teams are idle during championship weekend.  So, why would the committee suddenly decide that a team who wasn't worthy of the top 25 last week is suddenly worthy next week when that team didn't play?

More importantly, it's a matter of time.  For all of the other rankings, the committee can think about the games on Sunday, meet on Monday and Tuesday, and release the rankings on Tuesday night.  For the final rankings, they watch the championship games together and then have to come up with the final rankings by noon on Sunday, barely 12 hours after all of the games are done.

The simplest solution for the committee is to drop UVA to #24 or #25, move Navy and Oklahoma State up a spot, and then turn their attention to debate over who the fourth team in the semi-finals should be, which is their primary mission.  Why waste time debating yet another team that isn't on their list going into this weekend?

Finally, it's a matter of protecting the interest of their stakeholders.  Dropping UVA out of the rankings can cause harm to the Orange Bowl, which is one of the New Year's Six bowls that the committee is responsible for arranging.  There's already enough ranked teams from the other conferences to fill the contracted New Year's Six bowl slots, and the only at-large spot will have to be filled by a top 10 team.  Therefore, a #25 ranking has absolutely no bearing on the NY6 bowls.  It doesn't even affect the other bowls.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

New Year's Six projections - Championship Week

Alabama isn't in the CFP this year, and they're most likely not in the New Year's Six!

There's still a lot in flux at the top of the rankings.

Semifinals (Peach and Fiesta):
-LSU (#2) vs. Clemson (#3)
-Ohio State (#1) vs. Utah (#5)

This arrangement will actually give us four conference champions, and the only bowl that would not need a replacement would be the Sugar for the Big 12.

Sugar:  Georgia (#4, SEC replacement) vs. Oklahoma (#6, Big 12 projected champ)
Rose:  Wisconsin (#8, Big Ten replacement) vs. Oregon (#13, Pac-12 replacement)
Orange:  Virginia (#23, ACC replacement) vs. Florida (#9, highest ranked non-champ/non-replacement out of SEC/Big Ten/ND)
Cotton:  Memphis (#17, G5) vs. Baylor (#7, highest ranked team not already placed)

These are actually some of the weaker projections, as some of those teams will likely move around as they play each other.  More than likely, a Wisconsin loss would drop them below Penn State, sending PSU to the Rose Bowl.  Also, a Baylor loss would drop them out of range for the at-large.

Also, an Oregon win over Utah would keep them in the Rose Bowl, but push Utah down (possibly to the Cotton) and pull the Big 12 champ into the semi-finals, likely putting the loser of the game into the Sugar Bowl.

And now, the week to week comparisons:

Semi-final #1 1 seed4 seed
Week 10#1 Ohio State#7 Oregon
Week 11#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 12#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 13#1 Ohio State#5 Alabama
Week 14#1 Ohio State#5 Utah


Semi-final #22 seed3 seed
Week 10#2 LSU#5 Clemson
Week 11#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 12#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 13#2 LSU#3 Clemson
Week 14#2 LSU#3 Clemson


SugarSECBig 12
Week 10#3 Alabama#9 Oklahoma
Week 11#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 12#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 13#4 Georgia#7 Oklahoma
Week 14#4 Georgia#6 Oklahoma


RoseBig TenPac-12
Week 10#4 Penn State#8 Utah
Week 11#8 Minnesota#7 Utah
Week 12#8 Penn State#7 Utah
Week 13#8 Minnesota#6 Utah
Week 14#8 Wisconsin#13 Oregon


OrangeACCSEC/B1G/ND
Week 10#19 Wake Forest#6 Georgia
Week 11NR Wake Forest#5 Alabama
Week 12NR Virginia Tech#5 Alabama
Week 13#24 Virginia Tech#10 Penn State
Week 14#23 Virginia#9 Florida


CottonG5At-large
Week 10#20 Cincinnati#10 Florida
Week 11#17 Cincinnati#9 Penn State
Week 12#18 Memphis#10 Minnesota
Week 13#18 Memphis#9 Baylor
Week 14#17 Memphis#7 Baylor

Alabama, Virginia Tech, and Penn State dropped out of projections, replaced by Oregon, UVA, and Wisconsin.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Week 14 update - conference championships set

ACC Championship:  Clemson Tigers (8-0) vs. UVA Cavaliers (6-2)
Both clinched with the best record in their division, and I can't believe I typed that.

SEC Championship:  Georgia Bulldogs (7-1) vs. LSU Tigers (8-0)
Both teams clinched with the best record in their division.

Big Ten Championship:  Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (7-2)
Ohio State clinched with the best record in the division.  Wisconsin clinched with the head-to-head tiebreaker over Minnesota.  Ohio State did beat Wisconsin earlier in the season.

Pac-12 Championship:  Oregon Ducks (8-1) vs. Utah Utes (8-1)
Both teams clinched with the best record in their division.

Big 12 Championship:  Oklahoma Sooners (8-1) vs. Baylor Bears (8-1)
These are the teams with the two best records in the conference.  Oklahoma won the first meeting.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

New Year's Six Projections - Thanksgiving week

The Peach and Fiesta Bowls are the semi-finals this season, which means that there is only room for one at-large team, who will play the G5 representative in the Cotton Bowl.  This also means that none of the champs who aren't in the CFP will be getting displaced from their regular landing spot.

With LSU and Ohio State flip flopping at #1 and #2, I'm having a hard time keeping Alabama out of the semis based on the current rankings and projections.

Semifinals (Peach and Fiesta):
-LSU (#2) vs. Clemson (#3)
-Ohio State (#1) vs. Alabama (#5)

Two bowls (Sugar with Big 12 and Rose with Pac-12) do not need to find replacements.

Sugar:  Georgia (#4, SEC replacement) vs. Oklahoma (#7, Big 12 projected champ)
Rose:  Minnesota (#8, Big Ten replacement) vs. Utah (#6, Pac-12 projected champ)
Orange:  Virginia Tech (#24, ACC replacement) vs. Penn State (#10, highest ranked non-champ/non-replacement out of SEC/Big Ten/ND)
Cotton:  Memphis (#18, G5) vs. Baylor (#9, highest ranked team not already placed)

And now, the week to week comparisons:

Semi-final #1 1 seed4 seed
Week 10#1 Ohio State#7 Oregon
Week 11#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 12#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 13#1 Ohio State#5 Alabama
Week 14


Semi-final #22 seed3 seed
Week 10#2 LSU#5 Clemson
Week 11#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 12#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 13#2 LSU#3 Clemson
Week 14


SugarSECBig 12
Week 10#3 Alabama#9 Oklahoma
Week 11#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 12#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 13#4 Georgia#7 Oklahoma
Week 14


RoseBig TenPac-12
Week 10#4 Penn State#8 Utah
Week 11#8 Minnesota#7 Utah
Week 12#8 Penn State#7 Utah
Week 13#8 Minnesota#6 Utah
Week 14


OrangeACCSEC/B1G/ND
Week 10#19 Wake Forest#6 Georgia
Week 11NR Wake Forest#5 Alabama
Week 12NR Virginia Tech#5 Alabama
Week 13#24 Virginia Tech#10 Penn State
Week 14


CottonG5At-large
Week 10#20 Cincinnati#10 Florida
Week 11#17 Cincinnati#9 Penn State
Week 12#18 Memphis#10 Minnesota
Week 13#18 Memphis#9 Baylor
Week 14

Oregon dropped out of projections, replaced by Baylor.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Week 13 update

EAT IT PITT.

ACC Coastal gets a divisional championship game on Black Friday.

And the other conferences are doing things too.  Two championship games have been completely set, while the other conferences have one division winner decided.  There are two winner-take-all games, with one other elimination game.

There are 8 or 9 teams fighting for bowl eligibility (the 9th is Missouri who is in the middle of an NCAA appeal).

Saturday, November 23, 2019

ACC Coastal Scenarios after Week 13

And then there were two.

After the last several weeks of examining all of the different scenarios, it all comes down to a single winner-take-all game in Lane Stadium North.

VT and UVA are both coming into the final game of the season with a 5-2 record.  Every other team in the Coastal already has a minimum of three conference losses.

The winner on Black Friday will have a 6-2 conference record, which will be the best record in the division.  No tiebreakers are needed.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New Year's Six projections - week 12

Not nearly as much change in the rankings this week.

The Peach and Fiesta Bowls are the semi-finals this season, which means that there is only room for one at-large team, who will play the G5 representative in the Cotton Bowl.  This also means that none of the champs who aren't in the CFP will be getting displaced from their regular landing spot.

Still don't have a second ranked ACC team at this point.  So I'm looking over at the AP poll, so AP #25 VT gets the nod in my projection here.

Still can't go with the actual top four, as #1 and #4 are set up to play in the SEC championship game.

Peach:  LSU (#1) vs. Oregon (#6)
Fiesta:  Ohio State (#2) vs. Clemson (#3)

The only bowl not needing a replacement for their champ is the Sugar for the Big 12.

Sugar:  Georgia (#4, SEC replacement) vs. Oklahoma (#9, Big 12 projected champ)
Rose:  Penn State (#8, Big Ten replacement) vs. Utah (#7, Pac-12 replacement)
Orange:  Virginia Tech (NR, ACC replacement) vs. Alabama (#5, highest ranked non-champ/non-replacement out of SEC/Big Ten/ND)
Cotton:  Memphis (#18, G5) vs. Minnesota (#10, highest ranked team not already placed)

If I wanted to hedge my bets, I would say that the winner of the Pac-12 championship game will go to a semi-final, with the loser in the Rose Bowl.  Right now, I'm projecting Utah vs. Oregon in that match-up.

And now, the week to week comparisons:

Semi-final #1 1 seed4 seed
Week 10#1 Ohio State#7 Oregon
Week 11#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 12#1 LSU#6 Oregon
Week 13
Week 14


Semi-final #22 seed3 seed
Week 10#2 LSU#5 Clemson
Week 11#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 12#2 Ohio State#3 Clemson
Week 13
Week 14


SugarSECBig 12
Week 10#3 Alabama#9 Oklahoma
Week 11#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 12#4 Georgia#10 Oklahoma
Week 13
Week 14


RoseBig TenPac-12
Week 10#4 Penn State#8 Utah
Week 11#8 Minnesota#7 Utah
Week 12#8 Penn State#7 Utah
Week 13
Week 14


OrangeACCSEC/B1G/ND
Week 10#19 Wake Forest#6 Georgia
Week 11NR Wake Forest#5 Alabama
Week 12NR Virginia Tech#5 Alabama
Week 13
Week 14


CottonG5At-large
Week 10#20 Cincinnati#10 Florida
Week 11#17 Cincinnati#9 Penn State
Week 12#18 Memphis#10 Minnesota
Week 13
Week 14

The only team to drop out of the projections from last week is Florida, replaced by Minnesota.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Week 12 update

Whoa, things are heating up, and the picture is coming into focus.  Let's get straight to the conference races.