Bowl projections: Oregon looks like the clear Rose Bowl contender in the Pac-12

We're less than a week away from the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season.

A lot will change over the final month of the 2021 season, but we'll at least have an idea of what the committee is thinking on Nov. 2, when the first set of rankings comes out. Right now, we're just guessing. But we think we have a pretty good idea.

Here are our post-Week 8 bowl projections with only one change among the teams in the New Year's Six bowl games. Oregon is now the clear favorite to make the Rose Bowl in the Pac-12 after beating UCLA in Week 7.

College Football Playoff semifinals

Orange Bowl (Dec. 31)

  • Georgia vs. Cincinnati

Nothing changes at the top of the bowl projections this week. Georgia will be the No. 1 seed in our projections unless the committee somehow drops the Bulldogs or if they lose. We’re excited to see where Cincinnati slots in the first set of rankings on Nov. 2.

Cotton Bowl (Dec. 31)

  • Alabama vs. Ohio State

Both teams won big on Saturday night. Nothing changes here too. Ohio State has a big game against Penn State this weekend, though that game lost a little luster with the Nittany Lions’ loss to Illinois in Week 8.

New Year's Six games

Peach Bowl (Dec. 30)

  • Pitt (ACC champion) vs. Ole Miss (at-large)

Pitt took a huge step toward the ACC title game with a win over Clemson on Saturday. Pitt’s two or more games ahead of every team in the ACC Coastal. Ole Miss, meanwhile, has a path to a 10-2 season.

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1)

  • Iowa (at-large) vs. Notre Dame (at-large)

Iowa’s trip to Wisconsin on Saturday has the lowest over/under of any game so far this season (36.5). Notre Dame just keeps on winning and there are no ranked teams left on the Irish’s schedule.

Rose Bowl (Jan. 1)

  • Michigan (Big Ten) vs. Oregon (Pac-12)

The Wolverines have a huge game at Michigan State on Saturday. The winner of that game will get this Rose Bowl spot next week. Oregon slots in ahead of our preseason Pac-12 pick Utah after a nice win at UCLA and the Utes’ loss at Oregon State. The Pac-12 sure looks like the Ducks’ to lose.

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1)

  • Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Kentucky (SEC)

Oklahoma had a nice reality check against Kansas on Saturday. The Sooners will be an interesting CFP litmus test next week. They haven’t been totally impressive. How much will the committee be blinded by the Oklahoma aura? Kentucky doesn’t have any ranked teams left on its schedule and thus has the edge over Ole Miss for the No. 2 SEC spot.

Other bowl games

Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 17)

  • Charlotte vs. Ball State

Cure Bowl (Dec. 17)

  • Buffalo vs. Boise State

Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 18)

  • Wyoming vs. Florida Atlantic

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 18)

  • UTEP vs. Air Force

Independence Bowl (Dec. 18)

  • BYU vs. UTSA

LendingTree Bowl (Dec. 18)

  • South Alabama vs. Kent State

L.A. Bowl (Dec. 18)

  • Utah vs. San Diego State

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 18)

  • Marshall vs. Louisiana

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Dec. 20)

  • App State vs. Tulsa

Potato Bowl (Dec. 21)

  • Nevada vs. Miami (Ohio)

Frisco Bowl (Dec. 21)

  • SMU vs. Coastal Carolina

Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 22)

  • Army vs. Washington State

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 23)

  • Syracuse vs. UAB

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24)

  • Fresno State vs. UCF

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 25)

  • Troy vs. Eastern Michigan

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 27)

  • Rutgers vs. Western Michigan

Military Bowl (Dec. 27)

  • Memphis vs. Virginia Tech

Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 28)

  • East Carolina vs. Liberty

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 28)

  • West Virginia vs. Northern Illinois

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 28)

  • Baylor vs. Tennessee

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 28)

  • Virginia vs. UCLA

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 28)

  • Kansas State vs. Maryland

Fenway Bowl (Dec. 29)

  • Houston vs. Clemson

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 29)

  • Boston College vs. Minnesota

Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 29)

  • Wake Forest vs. Iowa State

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29)

  • Oklahoma State vs. Arizona State

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Dec. 30)

  • N.C. State vs. Arkansas

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30)

  • Mississippi State vs. Wisconsin

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 30)

  • Purdue vs. Stanford

Gator Bowl (Dec. 31)

  • North Carolina vs. Florida

Sun Bowl (Dec. 31)

  • Louisville vs. Oregon State

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 31)

  • Utah State vs. Central Michigan

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1)

  • Penn State vs. Auburn

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1)

  • Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

Texas Bowl (Jan. 4)

  • Texas vs. LSU