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2018 College Football Bowl Projections, Week 13: The Race to Six Wins Is On

Nov 18, 2018 9:44 AM EST
  • We're just two weeks away from the release of all 39 college football bowl games for the 2018 season.
  • More than a dozen five-win Power 5 teams will be playing for bowl eligibility next week, some against each other.
  • There are still a bunch of New Year's Six bowl spots to be decided, and West Virginia's loss to Oklahoma State opens things up even further.

There’s just one week left in the college football regular season, and two weeks until bowl games are finalized. We’re crying, too.

In anticipation of those bowl announcements, we’re projecting the participants in all 39 games. We’re also projecting the point spread in these hypothetical matchups using The Action Network power ratings.

2018 College Football Bowl Projections 

A handful of teams will be playing for bowl eligibility next week. Florida State, Wake Forest, Kansas State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Maryland, Purdue, Arizona and USC, to name a few.

Any Power 5 team with six wins will get into a bowl. If there are too many bowl eligible teams, the Group of 5 schools will get left out, regardless of team quality.

College Football Playoff Projections

Our top four remains the same for a second consecutive week. Alabama, Michigan and Clemson all didn’t look perfect at times this past Saturday, but continue to win.

College Football New Year’s Six Bowls

Here’s what we know at this point about the New Year’s Six bowls. There are four at-large spots, and one will go to the highest-ranked Group of 5 school, which is looking like UCF.

  • LSU is pretty much a lock for an at-large spot. Georgia will get the SEC’s spot in the Sugar Bowl, assuming it loses to Alabama.
  • Ohio State should get the Big Ten’s Rose Bowl spot even with a loss to Michigan, and vice versa.
  • Washington State could get the final at-large bid even if it loses to Washington and the Huskies go to the Rose Bowl.
  • If Washington State gets to the Rose Bowl, Florida and Penn State are two viable options for the final at-large spot. If West Virginia can upset Oklahoma next week, it has a better shot than either of those two.

Every Other 2018 Bowl Game Projection

It looks like there could be more bowl-eligible teams than bowl spots once again, meaning one or two six-win Group of 5 teams could be sitting at home this December.

Buffalo, Western Michigan and UTSA were left out of last season’s bowl games despite having six wins. We don’t really get an explanation on why, but bowl selection is weird, and the committees usually don’t care about team quality after a certain point. They just want to fill seats, which is fair.

But why did 6-6 Western Kentucky make a bowl last season over those three schools? Who knows. Sorry if your team gets left out for a reason we’ll never quite know.

College Football Bowl Tie-Ins for 2018-19

College Football Playoff

  • Cotton Bowl semifinal (Arlington, Texas)
  • Orange Bowl semifinal (Miami)

New Year’s Six

  • Sugar (New Orleans): Big 12 vs. SEC
  • Rose (Pasadena, Calif.): Big Ten vs. Pac-12
  • Peach (Atlanta): At-large vs. at-large
  • Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.): At-large vs. at-large

The highest-ranked Group of 5 team will go to either the Peach or Fiesta Bowl, depending on geography.

Every Other Bowl

Notre Dame has ACC bowl ties, so if it doesn’t reach a New Year’s Six Bowl — it looks very likely that it will — it will take an ACC spot.

BYU was supposed to be tied to the Poinsettia Bowl, but that no longer exists. The Cougars do have a deal with ESPN that guarantees they’ll play in a bowl if eligible.

Liberty has a deal with the Cure Bowl, as well, but it might be tough for the Flames to get to six qualifying wins — even if the Flames beat New Mexico State and Norfolk State, they’ll have two FCS wins, and only one counts toward the six-win threshold.

  • Citrus Bowl (Orlando): SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
  • Outback Bowl (Tampa): Big Ten vs. SEC
  • Gator Bowl (Jacksonville): SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
  • Holiday Bowl (San Diego): Big Ten vs. Pac-12
  • Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Big 12 vs. SEC
  • Military Bowl (Annapolis): ACC vs. American
  • Alamo Bowl (San Antonio): Big 12 vs. Pac-12
  • Arizona Bowl (Tucson): Mountain West vs. Sun Belt
  • Camping World Bowl (Orlando): Big 12 vs. ACC
  • Sun Bowl (El Paso): ACC vs. Pac-12
  • Belk Bowl (Charlotte): SEC vs. ACC
  • Music City Bowl (Nashville): SEC vs. ACC/Big Ten
  • Texas Bowl (Houston): Big 12 vs. SEC
  • Pinstripe Bowl (New York City): Big Ten vs. ACC
  • Independence Bowl (Shreveport, La.): SEC vs. ACC
  • Cactus Bowl (Tempe): Big 12 vs. Pac-12
  • Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit): Big Ten vs. ACC
  • Heart of Dallas Bowl: Big Ten vs. Conference USA
  • San Francisco Bowl: Big Ten vs. Pac-12
  • Hawaii Bowl: Mountain West vs. Conference USA
  • Dollar General Bowl (Mobile): MAC vs. Sun Belt
  • Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth): Big 12 vs. American
  • Birmingham Bowl: SEC vs. American
  • Potato Bowl (Boise): Mountain West vs. MAC
  • Bahamas Bowl: Conference USA vs. MAC
  • Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa): American vs. Conference USA
  • Frisco Bowl (Texas): American vs. at-large
  • Boca Raton Bowl: American vs. Conference USA
  • New Orleans Bowl: Sun Belt vs. Conference USA
  • Cure Bowl (Orlando): American vs. Sun Belt
  • Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.): Sun Belt vs. MAC
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Pac-12 vs. Mountain West
  • New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque): Mountain West vs. Conference USA
Credit:

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: A.J. Green

Follow Steve Petrella on Twitter
@steve_petrella

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