With the 12-team College Football Playoff expansion proposal officially under review, we’re going to move to more teams having a chance at the end of the regular season to win it all in the near future. But until that happens, bowl projections should remain relatively chalk without a shift in the balance of power nationally.
Paul Finebaum said this week he considers Clemson to the be the least likeliest team to get back to the Playoff from last season’s final four, a bit surprising when you look at the Tigers’ schedule this season. Dabo Swinney’s team has won 28 straight home games and has a chance to be a three-touchdown favorite — or more — in every conference matchup this season ahead of the league title game.
If the Tigers beat Georgia in the season opener, they’re virtually a lock to pencil in another semifinal appearance.
As for the rest of our summer bowl projections, there’s wide range of potential elite teams vying for the other spots in the Playoff, not to mention the rest of the New Year’s Six and top-tier bowl games that come over.
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We’re updating our preseason bowl projections again ahead of the July lull, before the hype machine gets cranking at SEC Media Days and the rest of college football world preps for the 2021 season to commence: