College Football Bowl Game Predictions: Week 13 CFP Rankings Shift Projected Matchups
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: North Carolina defensive back Cam’Ron Kelly.
Updated College Football Bowl Projections for Week 13
One bowl bid down — 81 to go! On Tuesday night, Miami (OH) defeated Ball State, 18-17, to officially claim the first bowl bid of the season, earning a spot in the Bahama’s Bowl.
Miami (OH) will face an opponent from Conference USA.
In addition to the RedHawks securing the first bowl bid of the 2022 season, the College Football Playoff Committee released its updated rankings ahead of Rivalry Week. All of Tuesday’s action prompted updated bowl projections before the rest of the week’s games kick off.
There are now 74 bowl-eligible teams to fill the 82 spots. That number will climb to 75 bowl-eligible teams on Saturday with the Appalachian State vs. Georgia Southern winner becoming bowl-eligible.
That leaves only seven bowl openings with 13 teams on the verge of six wins. Of the remaining 13 teams needing a win, only four are favored this week:
- Buffalo (-4) vs. Kent State
- UAB (-17.5) at Louisiana Tech
- Louisiana (-5.5) at Texas State
- Southern Miss (-3) at UL-Monroe
If all of the favorites win, then we’re up to 79 bowl-eligible teams.
That leaves nine more teams one win shy of earning a bowl berth. However, it won’t be easy for those nine. All of them are underdogs this week:
- Missouri (+3) vs. Arkansas
- Georgia Tech (+35.5) vs. Georgia
- FAU (+7) vs. Western Kentucky
- Rice (+14) at North Texas
- Auburn (+22) at Alabama
- UTEP (+17) at UTSA
- Michigan State (+18) at Penn State
- Vanderbilt (+14) vs. Tennessee
- Miami (+6.5) at Pitt
So, what happens if there aren’t 82 bowl-eligible teams? I’m glad you asked.
The highest-ranked teams, based on their Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores from 2020-21 (the latest data available), will earn the bids. If all of the five-win teams lose this weekend, there would be a maximum of seven five-win teams needed. In these projections, I have three 5-7 teams needed: Rice, UNLV and Auburn.
Here’s the order of teams based on APR that can finish with five wins. Obviously, if any of these teams get win No. 6, they will go bowling and be removed from the APR list.
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- Rice (5-6) 994
- Iowa State (4-7) 986
- UNLV (4-7) 984
- Auburn (5-6) 983* (980)
- Missouri (5-6) 983* (973)
- Michigan State (5-6) 983* (952)
- Miami (5-6) 982
- Georgia Tech (5-6) 979
- Rutgers (4-7) 977
- Indiana (4-7) 976
- Cal (4-7) 975
- West Virginia (4-7) 974* (960)
- Georgia State (4-7) 974* (958)
- Buffalo (5-5) 968* (959)
- Appalachian State (5-6) 968* (953)
*For teams with identical scores, the tiebreaker is the previous year’s APR from 2019-20.
CFP National Championship Prediction
College Football Playoff Semifinals Projections
New Year’s Six Bowl Games
Projections for All Other Bowls
* The highest-rated champion from the Group of Five conferences (American, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) will be selected to play in the Cotton Bowl if it does not qualify for College Football Playoff.
**If there are enough six-win teams to fill 42 bowls, ESPN will create another bowl not listed above. This week, Action Network does not project enough six-win teams for a 42nd bowl.
Highlighted teams are confirmed to have earned a spot in their respective bowls.