It’s Tuesday and time for yet another Playoff Picture. Now that we’ve had one week of Selection Committee rankings, I must say I was pleased that mine and theirs were fairly similar. I will be adjusting my rankings every Tuesday for the rest of the season, as well as updating how I would match up the New Year’s Six games.
Sugar Bowl- Mississippi State vs. Oregon
Nothing changes in the playoff matchups this week. By virtue of seeding, Oregon is forced to travel all the way to New Orleans for its semifinal game. I strongly debated flip-flopping Florida State and Mississippi State this week, but I just couldn’t give myself a strong enough reason to do it. This would be an interesting matchup between two Heisman caliber quarterbacks, with Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota.
Rose Bowl- Florida State vs. Auburn
I shouldn’t need to mention by now that this is a rematch last season’s BCS title game, so I won’t say much. Two more Heisman caliber QBs face off in this one in Nick Marshall and Jameis Winston.
Orange Bowl- Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Yet another BCS title game rematch, this one also takes place in the same location as the first one. Unlike the first two games mentioned, there likely aren’t any Heisman candidate QBs playing in this game. Everett Golson had some steam early in the year, but the turnover bug has bitten him.
Fiesta Bowl- Arizona State vs. Baylor
Arizona State makes its New Year’s Six debut near home against Baylor. Earlier in the year, I moved an undefeated Arizona into this spot and they promptly lost their first game. Let’s hope, for the Sun Devils’ sake, they fare better than their in-state rival. It won’t be easy though, as they play Notre Dame this weekend. The polar differences in the student bases propose a compelling dynamic for this game. Arizona State is one of the top party schools in the nation, with Lake Havasu trips being a frequent past time. Baylor is a Baptist college, with church lock-ins probably being much more frequent than hedonistic lake trips full of Bacchanalian debauchery.
Cotton Bowl- TCU vs. Michigan State
I’ve done this before right? Patterson vs. D’Antoni/Narduzzi. Oh yeah, this is familiar. TCU stays close to home and MSU brings its Big 10 defense down to take on the high-powered Horned Frog offense. Michigan State has its first real in-conference test this weekend though with Ohio State, so they may face losing the division and conference crown this weekend. If they win though, it’s smooth sailing until the Big 10 Championship Game.
Peach Bowl- Marshall vs. Kansas State
ECU finally lost again, so my preseason Group of Five pick slides right into this spot. Rakeem Cato and the Thundering Herd are undefeated and showing no signs of stopping. Bill Snyder’s team probably deserves a better matchup than this, but somebody has to play Marshall. It is probably fitting though, since both teams are perpetually underrated (I predicted Kansas State to go 6-6) to ensure that one of them gets a major bowl victory.
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
6. Kansas State
8. Notre Dame
10. Michigan State
11. Arizona State
12. Ohio State
16. Ole Miss
20. Georgia Tech