Bowl Predictions 2019: Projecting CFP Playoff Field After Week 11 Games

Jake RillAnalyst IIINovember 10, 2019

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron embraces quarterback Joe Burrow (9) after defeating Alabama 46-41 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

There should be no doubt at this point: LSU has been the most impressive college football team in the country this season.

And that should be reflected in the College Football Playoff rankings, as the Tigers should move up to the No. 1 spot after their impressive 46-41 win at Alabama on Saturday. LSU was ranked No. 2 in the initial CFP rankings, behind only Ohio State.

The Buckeyes also remained undefeated Saturday, throttling Maryland 73-14. But LSU has notched victories over Alabama, Florida and Auburn, all of which were in the top 11 in the first CFP rankings. That should warrant the Tigers moving into the top spot.

Either way, LSU and Ohio State will be the top two teams in the Playoff rankings and be projected as the top two seeds for the CFP. After an exciting Week 11, here are the projections for the rest of the CFP and New Year's Six games.


Bowl Projections

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College Football Playoff

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

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


New Year's Six

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 28): Cincinnati vs. Florida

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

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Alabama vs. Baylor

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


College Football Playoff Picture

There should be some movement in the College Football Playoff rankings after No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Penn State both lost Saturday. And that could give the Crimson Tide and Nittany Lions tough paths to make the CFP this season.

Alabama hadn't notched any impressive wins during its 8-0 start and then lost at home to LSU. The Crimson Tide will have the opportunity to beat a ranked team in their regular-season finale against Auburn, but they likely won't be playing in the SEC Championship Game, which would have been another chance to improve their resume.

It's possible Alabama could still get into the College Football Playoff depending on how other top teams fare the rest of the way, but the Crimson Tide are no longer in control of their destiny.

In order for Penn State to bounce back and be a potential CFP team, it needs to beat Ohio State, which will likely be No. 2 in the rankings. The Buckeyes are in control in the Big Ten, and if the Nittany Lions lose to them Nov. 23, that will likely end their Playoff hopes.

Another potential Big Ten team in the mix is Minnesota, which improved to 9-0 with its home win over Penn State on Saturday. The Golden Gophers will be moving up the CFP rankings after being ranked No. 17 ahead of Week 11, and they have plenty of opportunities to keep climbing spots.

Minnesota has games remaining against Iowa and Wisconsin, and it could also face Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Meanwhile, Clemson and Oklahoma will likely move into the top four in the CFP rankings.

Clemson's resume still isn't too impressive, as it improved to 10-0 with a 55-10 win over N.C. State on Saturday. But the Tigers play Wake Forest in Week 12, and they will be in the ACC Championship Game. So as long as they keep winning in dominant fashion, they should be in position to control their CFP destiny.

Oklahoma's Playoff chances could depend on its upcoming game against Baylor next Saturday. The Sooners have one loss and the Bears are undefeated, and the winner of that matchup will be the favorite to go on to win the Big 12 championship.

It's most likely that that will be Oklahoma. But should Baylor win in Week 12, that could change, and the Bears could enter the CFP conversation.