Week 9 bowl projections: Playoff picture clears + Pitt continues to rise


Credit: Pitt Athletics

We are now eight full weeks into the college football season, and it's safe to say that the picture in the sport is beginning to clear. Teams are starting to rise (cough, Ohio State), while others are tumbling (sorry Penn State fans its true), with a few, we're just not quite totally sure about (sorry Oklahoma fans, it's true).


The good news is, after this weekend we should get even more clarification, with Ohio State facing Penn State, Michigan taking on Michigan State and Georgia facing, frankly, probably it's last big test before the SEC title game (if you can call Florida a "test").


Still, that is now week, and right now, it's time to get you caught up on this week's bowl projections, from five experts across the sport:


The Athletic/Stewart Mandel


College Football Playoff:


Cotton Bowl, December 31st (Arlington, Texas): No. 3 Cincinnati vs. No. 2 Ohio State


Orange Bowl, December 31st (Miami, FL): No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Georgia


Other New Year's Six Games:


Peach Bowl, December 30th (Atlanta, GA): Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss


Fiesta Bowl, January 1st (Glendale, AZ): Michigan vs. Kentucky


Rose Bowl, January 1st (Pasadena, CA): Michigan State vs. Oregon


Sugar Bowl, January 1st (New Orleans, LA): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State

 

The Action Network/Brett McMurphy


College Football Playoff:


Cotton Bowl, December 31st (Arlington, Texas): No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Alabama


Orange Bowl, December 31st (Miami, FL): No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Oklahoma


Other New Year's Six Games:


Peach Bowl, December 30th (Atlanta, GA): Notre Dame vs. Pitt


Fiesta Bowl, January 1st (Glendale, AZ): Ole Miss vs. Cincinnati


Rose Bowl, January 1st (Pasadena, CA): Michigan vs. Oregon


Sugar Bowl, January 1st (New Orleans, LA): Iowa State vs. Kentucky

 

ESPN/Mark Schlabach


College Football Playoff:


Cotton Bowl, December 31st (Arlington, Texas): No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Oklahoma


Orange Bowl, December 31st (Miami, FL): No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 Georgia


Other New Year's Six Games:


Peach Bowl, December 30th (Atlanta, GA): Kentucky vs. Michigan State


Fiesta Bowl, January 1st (Glendale, AZ): Pittsburgh vs. Notre Dame


Rose Bowl, January 1st (Pasadena, CA): Michigan vs. Oregon


Sugar Bowl, January 1st (New Orleans, LA): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State


 

ESPN/Kyle Bonagura


College Football Playoff:


Cotton Bowl, December 31st (Arlington, Texas): No. 3. Cincinnati vs. No. 2 Alabama


Orange Bowl, December 31st (Miami, FL): No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 1 Georgia


Other New Year's Six Games:


Peach Bowl, December 30th (Atlanta, GA): Wake Forest vs. Michigan State


Fiesta Bowl, January 1st (Glendale, AZ): Pittsburgh vs. UT-San Antonio


Rose Bowl, January 1st (Pasadena, CA): Ohio State vs. Oregon


Sugar Bowl, January 1st (New Orleans, LA): Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma

 

CBS Sports/Jerry Palm


College Football Playoff:


Cotton Bowl, December 31st (Arlington, Texas): No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 Georgia


Orange Bowl, December 31st (Miami, FL): No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Oklahoma


Other New Year's Six Games:


Peach Bowl, December 30th (Atlanta, GA): Michigan vs. Kentucky


Fiesta Bowl, January 1st (Glendale, AZ): Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh


Rose Bowl, January 1st (Pasadena, CA): Iowa vs. Oregon


Sugar Bowl, January 1st (New Orleans, LA): Alabama vs. Oklahoma State


There are two big takeaways from this week's bowl update, and ironically, they both come from the state of Pennsylvania.


Those takeaways? It's great to be a Pitt fan this morning, and an awful day if you like Penn State. Sadly, it was just two weeks ago that Penn State was not only in the thick of these projections, but in the playoff picture, and even after losing to Iowa was still headed to a New Year's Six. Now, none of the experts have the Nittany Lions headed to one of the sport's premiere bowl games.


Still, it's not all bad in the Keystone State, with Pitt's win over Clemson putting them at 6-1, with most experts seeing them now as the favorite to win the ACC and represent the league in one of the big New Year's games. Three have them in the Fiesta Bowl, with two playing in the Peach.


Other than that, these projections have largely stayed the same from last week. All five experts have Georgia in the playoff, while four have Ohio State and Oklahoma apiece, with the fourth spot going to Cincinnati in three projections and Alabama two. The only outlier is Michigan with one vote for the College Football Playoff.


Kentucky, Ole Miss, Notre Dame and Oregon are pretty consistently in these projections as well, with Iowa State making its first appearance in weeks as a potential Big 12 representative in the Sugar Bowl.

 

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