Post Week 13 bowl projections: Utah jumps into the College Football Playoff ... for now

The door is open for Utah to make the College Football Playoff. Or Oklahoma. Or even Baylor.

Oregon’s loss on Saturday at Arizona State dropped the Ducks from our playoff projection. And might have kicked them out of the New Year’s Six entirely. Unless Oregon beats Utah (or USC) in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Ducks seem destined for the Alamo Bowl.

With Utah sitting at No. 6 in Tuesday’s CFP rankings, we think they have the edge for the final playoff spot assuming LSU beats Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. But Oklahoma, at No. 7 isn’t far behind. Neither is No. 9 Baylor, who jumped up five spots after beating Texas on Saturday.

Oklahoma and Baylor will meet in the Big 12 Championship Game. If the Big 12 champ ends the season with an identical 12-1 record to Utah and the No. 4 spot in the playoff is open, the CFP committee will have a dilemma on its hands.

We think Utah is the solution to that potential dilemma. For now, anyway. Things could change quite a bit over the next couple weeks.

A 5-7 team in a bowl game?

The news that Missouri is still banned from a bowl game opened up a spot for another team on Tuesday. And depending on how the 12 remaining games for teams fighting for bowl eligibility pan out, there could be more bowl spots than teams at 6-6 or better at the end of the season.

Those open spots would go to teams with a 5-7 record based on their Academic Progress Rate. Duke (4-7) and Boston College (5-6) are in a good position there, though the Blue Devils need to beat Miami on Saturday to be considered.

We don’t have a 5-7 team in our bowl projections below. We’re trying to be confident. But ESPN and bowl organizers will have to do a lot of juggling to fill the spots. The SEC has nine teams eligible for 10 bowl spots, though four of those nine teams could end up in New Year’s Six bowls. With ESPN having more leeway to create better matchups, we can be a little creative with our bowl projections. It also makes those projections a bit harder to make. But we’re going to be dreaming about intra-state matchups in both the Quick Lane and Gasparilla Bowls anyway.

Here are our best pre-Thanksgiving guesses. Have a wonderful week. Make sure you take some time for family. And football. Definitely some football.

College Football Playoff

Peach Bowl

Ohio State vs. Utah

Fiesta Bowl

LSU vs. Clemson

New Year’s Six Bowls

Cotton Bowl

Memphis vs. Georgia

Orange Bowl

Virginia vs. Florida

Sugar Bowl

Alabama vs. Oklahoma

Rose Bowl

Oregon vs. Penn State

Other bowls

Bahamas Bowl, Dec. 20

Florida Atlantic vs. Western Michigan

Frisco Bowl, Dec. 20

SMU vs. App State

New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 21

Marshall vs. Hawaii

Cure Bowl, Dec. 21

Arkansas State vs. Florida International

Boca Raton Bowl, Dec. 21

Cincinnati vs. Central Michigan

Camellia Bowl, Dec. 21

Buffalo vs. Georgia State

Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 21

Boise State vs. Washington State

New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 21

Louisiana Tech vs. Louisiana

Gasparilla Bowl, Dec. 23

UCF vs. Florida State

Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24

Navy vs. BYU

Independence Bowl, Dec. 26

Southern Miss vs. Liberty

Quick Lane Bowl, Dec. 26

Michigan State vs. Eastern Michigan

Military Bowl, Dec. 27

Temple vs. North Carolina

Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 27

Pitt vs. Illinois

Texas Bowl, Dec. 27

Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State

Holiday Bowl, Dec. 27

Indiana vs. Washington

Cheez-It Bowl, Dec. 27

Kansas State vs. Wyoming

Camping World Bowl, Dec. 28

Virginia Tech vs. Iowa State

First Responder Bowl, Dec. 30

TCU vs. San Diego State

Music City Bowl, Dec. 30

Louisville vs. UAB

Redbox Bowl, Dec. 30

Iowa vs. Cal

Belk Bowl, Dec. 31

Wake Forest vs. Kentucky

Sun Bowl, Dec. 31

Miami vs. Arizona State

Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31

Texas vs. Tennessee

Arizona Bowl, Dec. 31

Utah State vs. Charlotte

Alamo Bowl, Dec. 31

Baylor vs. USC

Citrus Bowl, Jan. 1

Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame

Outback Bowl, Jan. 1

Minnesota vs. Auburn

Birmingham Bowl, Jan. 2

Tulane vs. Nevada

TaxSlayer Bowl, Jan. 2

Michigan vs. Texas A&M

Potato Bowl, Jan. 3

Toledo vs. Air Force

Armed Forces Bowl, Jan. 4

Ohio vs. Western Kentucky

Mobile Bowl, Jan. 6

Miami, Ohio vs. Georgia Southern

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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