Bowl Predictions 2019: Projections for Top Playoff Contenders Before Week 7

Jake RillAnalyst IIIOctober 12, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 21: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws a pass in the second quarter against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Alabama defeated Southern Miss 49-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

There is a lot of the college football season still to be played. Upsets will happen. Conference championships will be won. And a lot can change in the College Football Playoff landscape between now and the time the committee selects this season's field.

Alabama is the only team to make the College Football Playoff in all five years since its inception. Clemson has made it four times, while Oklahoma and Ohio State have also each made it multiple times. And all four of those programs are strong contenders to return to the CFP this season.

With Week 7 of the season set to unfold Saturday, here's a look at which teams would make the College Football Playoff and the rest of the New Years' Six bowls, as well as a detailed breakdown of the CFP picture at this point in the year.

      

Bowl Projections

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl (Dec. 28): Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Fiesta Bowl (Dec. 28): Clemson vs. Ohio State

      

New Years' Six

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 28): Notre Dame vs. Boise State

Orange Bowl (Dec. 30): LSU vs. Wake Forest

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Georgia vs. Texas

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1): Oregon vs. Wisconsin

      

College Football Playoff Picture, Contenders

Clemson appears to be the team most likely to reach the College Football Playoff among the current contenders. It would be shocking if the Tigers lost another game. They have only one current ranked opponent on their remaining schedule, and that's a home contest against an ACC rival, No. 19 Wake Forest, on Nov. 16.

Ohio State (Big Ten) and Oklahoma (Big 12) have challenging games ahead, but each is the best team in its conference. If the Buckeyes and Sooners take care of business, they should both get into the College Football Playoff.

The No. 3 Buckeyes have remaining games against No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 10 Penn State and No. 16 Michigan. The No. 6 Sooners will play No. 11 Texas and No. 22 Baylor. Both teams will also likely be in their respective conference's championship game.

If both Ohio State and Oklahoma win out, that will likely get them in the CFP. Even one loss may not prevent either school from reaching the playoff, depending on what happens to other teams.

There are a lot of talented teams in the SEC, but how the head-to-head matchups between these programs shake out will go a long way in determining which schools from the conference could reach the College Football Playoff.

Like many years, Alabama is the favorite to emerge from the conference. The Crimson Tide are currently the No. 1 team in the country, and they have upcoming games against No. 24 Texas A&M, No. 5 LSU and No. 12 Auburn. There's also a strong chance that they'll win the SEC West and play in the SEC championship game at the end of the regular season.

But there are also paths for No. 3 Georgia, No. 5 LSU, No. 7 Florida and even No. 12 Auburn to have a chance at the College Football Playoff. All of these teams have tough schedules. It may only take one of them winning out to completely shake up not only the SEC picture, but also the College Football Playoff field.

It's also possible that two SEC teams could make the College Football Playoff. That was the case in the 2017 season, when both Alabama and Georgia made it and then faced off in the National Championship Game.

There's a lot of season left to be played, and the weeks to come will give us a much clearer idea of how this College Football Playoff picture is going to work out.

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