Bowl Projections, College Football Playoff Predictions: Week 8

Another week in college football brought us what we believe will be another shakeup in the next release of the College Football Playoff Rankings set for release on Tuesday evening. The biggest fly in the ointment obviously was Michigan’s upset of Ohio State, but there was even more to take in that should change things quite drastically.

The CFP Committee is set to unveil its fifth installment of the CFP Rankings in less than 24 hours, but we like to go ahead and try to peer into the crystal ball to see what we believe will happen.

The committee has been rather unpredictable and inconsistent with its rationale and thinking, so it’s all a big of a Lord of the Rings journey to try and figure it out, but we’re up for it.

Here are our best predictions for what the fifth and penultimate release of the College Football Playoff Rankings will look like.

Kentucky Wildcats

Oct. 27, 2018; Columbia, MO, USA; A general view of a Kentucky Wildcats helmet during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Kentucky won 15-14. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Kentucky has now strung together three-straight victories, the last of which in impressive fashion over Louisville. It’s hard to keep a 9-3 SEC team out of the rankings, so we see the CFP Committee bringing the Wildcats back in this week.

Arkansas Razorbacks (8-4)

AUBURN, AL – AUGUST 30: Arkansas Razorbacks mascot Big Red flexes during the game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on August 30, 2014, in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Why the ranking?

Arkansas was ranked heading into last weekend, so it’ll still be ranked after a pretty standard win over Missouri. Not much to see here other than keeping a team steady for the expected performance.

Houston Cougars (11-1)

Oct. 30, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver KeSean Carter (20) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at TDECU Stadium. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Houston also got a win, but it was over a bad UConn team. The Cougars won’t have much movement either way.

Clemson Tigers (9-3)

WATCH: What Dabo Swinney said about Ohio State before Sugar Bowl
WATCH: What Dabo Swinney said about Ohio State before Sugar Bowl

Dec. 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney reacts late in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Clemson got back into the rankings last week and looked impressive again for the third-straight week. There’s not much to take away from an easy win over South Carolina, but look for the Tigers to continue to rise.

San Diego State Aztecs (11-1)

Dec. 12, 2020; Provo, UT, USA; San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke talks to other coaches before an NCAA college football game against BYU Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. George Frey/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

The schedule might not be the greatest, but an eleven-point win over Boise State will resonate for the name brand of it all. The Aztecs won’t be a big mover but will move up a spot or two from last week.

Wisconsin Badgers (8-4)

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz (5) completes a pass during the fourth quarter of their game Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 35-28. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Wisconsin was rapidly rising in the rankings with an improved offense, but the loss to Minnesota now gives the Badgers four on the year. They will still be inside the top 25, but it’ll be a decent fall.

Texas A&M Aggies (8-4)

Sept. 8, 2018; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies mascot Reveille runs onto the field before the game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Clemson Tigers at Kyle Field. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Texas A&M also suffered its fourth loss of the season, but still has the win over Alabama hanging around its neck. For that reason, the Aggies stay in the top 25, just ahead of Wisconsin.

NC State Wolfpack (9-3)

Oct. 30, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive players celebrate a turnover on downs by the Louisville Cardinals during the second half at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Wolfpack won 28-13. Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

NC State was able to outlast an athletically gifted rival. It won’t look impressive on paper, but beating North Carolina is a good, good win. The Wolfpack will rise modestly.

Utah Utes (9-3)

Former Ohio State commit Clark Phillips on why he flipped to Utah
Former Ohio State commit Clark Phillips on why he flipped to Utah

Sept. 14, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; A general view of the helmet worn by Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) against the Idaho State Bengals at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Utah continues to look impressive and improve as the season goes on. The win over Colorado was on brand and will be noticed by the committee.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (10-2)

Nov 6, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) looks to pass in the fourth quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

To be fair, Wake Forest might be undervalued here, but the committee has let us all know what it thinks of the ACC, so there won’t be much movement by the Demon Deacons from last week, even after a 41-10 beatdown of Boston College.

Pittsburgh Panthers (10-2)

Nov 11, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) passes against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Pitt is also in the ACC, there’s not much it can do to impress the committee. Still, it was another solid week with a blowout of Syracuse. Ho-hum.

Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)

Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams (13) lines up for a play during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the TCU Horned Frogs at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

The committee hasn’t liked Oklahoma that much from the start of these rankings, and another loss — albeit against an arch-rival that’s in the playoff hunt — is only going to solidify that. The Sooners will drop a few spots.

BYU Cougars (10-2)

Oct. 30, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; Brigham Young Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier (25) runs in for a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

BYU finished up an impressive regular season with another win over a Power Five opponent, beating USC 35-31. It’ll be more than enough to boost the Cougars up because of some losses in front of them.

Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2)

Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta (84) smiles after pulling in a reception during an NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

You can argue with the methods and game control, but you can’t argue with the results. Iowa has only lost two games and now plays for a conference title as a top ten team after taking care of business in comeback variety against Nebraska.

Michigan State Spartans (10-2)

WATCH: What Michigan State's Mel Tucker said about Ohio State pregame
WATCH: What Michigan State's Mel Tucker said about Ohio State pregame

Dec 5, 2020; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mel Tucker during the first quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium. Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

The Spartans had a very nice bounce-back win against Penn State after the embarrassing showing vs. Ohio State. They will move up and continue to prove everyone wrong.

Oregon Ducks (10-2)

What Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said about Ohio State postgame
What Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said about Ohio State postgame

Sep 11, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal during the second quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Oregon will likely move up as well, but the bad loss against Utah is still fresh in the committee’s mind. Don’t look for the Ducks to vault too far, and will only rise because of teams in front of them losing.

Ole Miss Rebels (10-2)

Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral (2) during a football game between Tennessee and Ole Miss at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

It’s been the best season ever in Oxford and the Rebels will jump a little further up in the top ten after beating rival Mississippi State by double digits. A New Year’s Six bowl is next on the docket as one of the best teams in the SEC.

Baylor Bears (10-2)

Oct. 30, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Gerry Bohanon (11) celebrates a 31-24 win over the Texas Longhorns during an NCAA football game at McLane Stadium. Stephen Spillman-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

It wasn’t impressive, but when other top teams continue to fall by the wayside, simply winning ugly against Texas Tech was likely a collective exhale for the Bears’ faithful. Don’t look for a significant rise.

Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)

Ohio State vs. Michigan three and out halftime review | Buckeyes Wire
Ohio State vs. Michigan three and out halftime review | Buckeyes Wire

Nov 27, 2021; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) and wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) celebrate a play in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Ohio State has looked like a playoff team ever since the loss to Oregon — except Saturday vs. Michigan. I expect the Buckeyes to still be well inside the top ten, but it’s going to take a ton of chaos to get them back in the playoff picture. Even that may not result in OSU finding a way in. But hey, maybe a Rose Bowl is in the offing?

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1)

Sep 5, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Joe Wilkins Jr. (5) celebrates with running back Kyren Williams (23) after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Notre Dame has passed every test and won every game aside from the lone loss to Cincinnati. The Irish whipped up on rival Stanford to give the CFP Committee something to think about. No real, statement win hurts the ability to move into the top four so Brian Kelly’s crew still needs help more than likely.

Oklahoma State Sooners (11-1)

Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders (3) celebrates during a 24-14 win against Baylor on Oct. 2.

Why the ranking?

While everyone else continues to lose, Oklahoma State stayed in reach and just kept posting W’s. Beating Oklahoma now has the Cowboys just one more victory away from a potential spot in the College Football Playoff.

Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0)

Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Michael Young Jr. (8), left, and quarterback Desmond Ridder celebrates after Ridder ran the ball toward the end zone that set up a touchdown during the 1st half at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

Why the ranking?

Cincinnati took care of business against East Carolina to just one of two teams with an undefeated record. The Bearcats are giving the committee no option but to keep it in the top four as long as it wins next week against Houston in the AAC Championship game.

Michigan Wolverines (11-1)

Nov 20, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins (25) reacts after scoring a touchdown during the second half H| at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Michigan finally broke through against Ohio State by controlling the line of scrimmage on both ends. It was an impressive showing, and the Wolverines will reap the reward. They probably won’t leapfrog Alabama, but will likely check in at No. 3 and in prime position to make the CFP.

Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1)

Jan. 1, 2020; Orlando, Florida; Alabama Crimson Tide mascot Big Al entertains the fans before the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Camping World Stadium. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Alabama needed overtime to get past rival Auburn and probably should have lost the game. There have now been a few narrow escapes this season to give the committee pause. It’ll all go away if the Tide can beat Georgia next week.

Georgia Bulldogs (12-0)

Dec 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; A detailed view of a Georgia Bulldogs helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Why the ranking?

Another week, another impressive win for the Bulldogs. Georgia is probably in the College Football Playoff no matter what happens Saturday in Atlanta and has been the only team that hasn’t fallen victim to an upset-filled college football season.

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Source : https://news.yahoo.com/predicting-fifth-release-college-football-012355561.html

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