Bowl Predictions 2016: Projections for College Football Playoff

Bowl Predictions 2016: Projections for College Football Playoff

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The dust has settled on the final week of the regular season, which was headlined by a multitude of big-time rivalries that had a dramatic effect on the outlook of college football’s biggest bowl games. 

Obviously, all eyes were on No. 2 Ohio State hosting No. 3 Michigan, one that would end with the Buckeyes winning in double overtime. Here’s a look at the results from each ranked team:

CFP Top 25 Results: Week 13
Rank School Result
1 Alabama W 30-12 v. No. 13 Auburn
2 Ohio State W 30-27 v. No. 3 Michigan
3 Michigan L 30-27 @ No. 2 Ohio State
4 Clemson W 56-7 v. South Carolina
5 Washington W 45-17 @ No. 23 Washington St.
6 Wisconsin W 31-17 v. Minnesota
7 Penn State W 45-12 v. Michigan State
8 Oklahoma Bye
9 Colorado W 27-22 v. No. 22 Utah
10 Oklahoma St. Bye
11 Louisville L 41-38 @ Kentucky
12 USC W 45-27 v. Notre Dame
13 Auburn L 30-12 @ No. 1 Alabama
14 Florida State W 31-13 v. No. 15 Floria
15 Florida L 31-13 @ No. 14 Florida St.
16 Nebraska L 40-10 @ Iowa
17 Tennessee L 45-34 @ Vanderbilt
18 West Virginia W 49-19 @ Iowa St.
19 Boise State L 27-20 @ Air Force
20 Houston L 48-44 @ Memphis
21 Western Michigan W 55-35 v. Toledo
22 Utah L 27-22 v. No. 9 Colorado
23 Washington State L 45-17 v. No. 5 Washington
24 Stanford W 41-17 v. Rice
25 Navy W 75-31 @ SMU

After a week that will see the Top 25 looking very different, here are the teams I think the committee will select to make up the College Football Playoff on Dec. 4:

2016 College Football Playoff Projections
Semifinal Team Team
Peach Bowl No. 1 Alabama No. 4 Washington
Fiesta Bowl No. 2 Clemson No. 3 Ohio State



The Crimson Tide flexed its muscles once again in the Iron Bowl, taking down No. 13 Auburn 30-12. 

Alabama’s defense remained as stout as ever as its points-per-game season average sank to 11.4, which now ranks second in the nation. 

Meeting a No. 15 Florida team in the SEC title game, Alabama’s defense doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon, via ESPN Stats & Info:

Along with an offense that’s averaging over 40 points per game behind the emerging star that is quarterback Jalen Hurts, Alabama will not be stopped, at least before the playoff. 



Clemson has rebounded nicely since its loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago, scoring over 90 points combined against Wake Forest and South Carolina. 

While its win over No. 11 Louisville is looking worse and worse after the Cardinals dropped two-straight games, an ACC championship victory against Virginia Tech will still all but ensure the Tigers make the playoff. 

Deshaun Watson is making one final surge at the Heisman Trophy as he continues to be one of the finest dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. 

A balanced offensive attack with running back Wayne Gallman and wide receiver Mike Williams creates a dangerous Clemson offense that will be a handful to maintain come December.


Ohio State

Ohio State will make the final four even though its No. 7 Penn State and No. 6 Wisconsin competing for the Big Ten championship. 

The Buckeyes’ 30-27 win over No. 3 Michigan improved its record to 11-1, including four wins over ranked opponents. That kind of resume should be too much for the committee to pass up. 

Both its scoring offense and defense is ranked within college football’s top six, while the rushing attack is eighth in the country. 

That includes the prowess of running back Mike Weber and quarterback J.T. Barrett, while Curtis Samuel has provided a well-balanced offensive attack on the ground and through the air. 

The Brooklyn product has racked up over 1,400 total yards and will be the Buckeyes’ X-factor heading into the playoff. 



Currently at No. 5, Washington is in prime position to make the jump into the top four after Michigan’s loss to Ohio State. 

The Huskies are 11-1 with three wins over ranked opponents this season. Its lone loss came against a surging USC, whose efforts to win the Pac-12 South fell just short with No. 9 Colorado’s win over No. 22 Utah on Saturday night. 

Colorado will now be the final roadblock for Washington in the Pac-12 title game after an impressive defensive display in which it caused Utah to turn the ball over four times while allowing just one touchdown on five red-zone attempts. 

But Washington’s offensive attack, led by Heisman candidate Jake Browning has been overwhelming as the Huskies possess the third-best scoring offense in the nation. 

Along with a defense that allows just 17.8 points per game, a Pac-12 title and 12-1 record should be more than enough to put Washington into the semifinals. 


Stats courtesy of