Following the release of the initial College Football Playoff Rankings, we are officially in the home stretch of the regular season. In the final few weeks, there will be ample opportunity for teams to jump into the New Year's Six, and even possibly shake up the playoff field.
Projected New Year's Six Field
Sugar Bowl – Alabama vs TCU
I have Alabama losing in the SEC Championship to Georgia and heading to the Sugar Bowl. They will take on TCU who will just barely miss out on the College Football Playoff. If Bryce Young, Will Anderson, and all the other NFL draft locks play in this one for Bama, I believe they will win this one easily. If they don’t, this could be a really close game and one that the Horned Frogs could win.
Rose Bowl – Michigan vs USC
This will be a great matchup and one that I am hoping happens. I see Michigan losing to Ohio State and missing out on the CFP and USC winning the Pac-12 and making the short trip to Pasadena. This would be a matchup of very different teams. Michigan runs the ball down your throat and USC throws it over your head. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out, I have Michigan winning in a close one as of now.
Orange Bowl – North Carolina vs Ole Miss
The Tar Heels have surprised a lot of people and are currently 7-1. Their quarterback Drake Maye has looked very good so far this season and so has that entire offense. Ole Miss has played well this season too; they are also 7-1. This would be two high-powered offenses coming at you the whole game. If these two teams played right now, I would take Ole Miss in a rather close one.
Cotton Bowl – LSU vs Tulane
This would be a very intriguing, in-state, matchup. Big brother LSU vs little brother Tulane. Both of these Louisiana schools have surprised everyone this season. Brian Kelly and LSU were a laughingstock during the offseason and especially after that game-one loss to Florida State. They sit at number ten in the CFP rankings with a 6-2 record. Tulane has taken the American Conference by storm with their only loss coming by three points to Southern Miss in week four. They even have a win over 13th-ranked Kansas State. I would take LSU by about ten if I was forced to choose.
Peach Bowl – 1 Ohio State vs 4 Tennessee
Ohio State runs the table and Tennessee only has one loss on the road at Georgia. That’s how both these teams end up here. Ohio State returns to the playoff and Tennessee makes its debut. This game has two high-powered offenses clashing with each other and I expect a shootout. I predict a score similar to 49-45 or 42-38. I see Ohio State winning this one and moving on to the national championship.
Fiesta Bowl – 2 Georgia vs 3 Clemson
Georgia and Clemson both run the table and we get a rematch of last year’s opening game. Georgia won the first one and I think they will win this one as well. It will be a lower-scoring defensive battle again, but I think Georgia’s offense is a little better than Clemson’s. I can see Georgia winning this one 24-17 or even 20-13.
National Championship – 1 Ohio State vs 2 Georgia
I predict a matchup of undefeated and top-ranked Ohio State vs undefeated and second-ranked Georgia. I truly believe that these are the two best teams in the country and that this will make for a heck of a game. I’m going to take Georgia in this one by no more than one score.