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Final bowl projections of 2021

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A wild final week of the season gave us more bowl-eligible teams than bowl spots.

With teams like North Texas and LSU pulling upsets, 83 teams finished the season at 6-6 or better. There are 82 bowl spots, so someone is going to get left out. Who will it be?

There are a couple candidates. The first is a team from the MAC like Ball State or Miami (Ohio). They finished 6-6 and the MAC has had teams left out from bowls before when there are more eligible teams than spots. The other is Liberty. The Flames finished 7-5 and don’t have a bowl tie-in as an independent. 

We’re going with Liberty as the team left out. The MAC has eight bowl-eligible teams and has six bowl tie-ins and the ability to fill a bowl or two in other bowl games. The Quick Lane Bowl was our last game filled this week and we chose Ball State over the Flames because of Ball State’s proximity to Detroit. Sorry Liberty, please hope all you want that we’re wrong. 

Let’s get to our last round of projections before the bowl matchups are revealed on Sunday. We’ll find out the playoff field first and then the New Year’s Six bowls after that. The rest of the bowls will get filled in as the day goes. As always, check Yahoo Sports for everything you need to know on Sunday ahead of bowl season.

College Football Playoff

Orange Bowl

We’re going to go ahead and assume wins for both Georgia and Oklahoma State on Saturday. Georgia’s win over Alabama will be enough to push Oklahoma State into the top four. The committee did itself a favor on Tuesday night by putting Oklahoma State above Notre Dame. Keeping the Irish — who are done for the season — ahead of Oklahoma State would have led to some useless consternation this week.

Cotton Bowl

The Wolverines will stay at No. 2 with a win over Iowa in the Big Ten title game. A Cincinnati win over Houston will give the Bearcats another victory over a top-25 team and bump the Bearcats up a spot too with an Alabama loss. 

New Year’s Six Bowls

Peach Bowl

We’re going with Wake Forest to win the ACC over Pitt. If the Panthers win on Saturday night, they’re heading to the Peach Bowl. It feels pretty certain that you can pencil in Ole Miss vs. the ACC champion in this game. 

Fiesta Bowl

With the Peach Bowl likely set on that matchup, this one is pretty certain too if the favorites win on Saturday.

Rose Bowl

We’re going with Utah to get a second win over Oregon. Ohio State is locked into the Rose Bowl as the No. 2 Big Ten team in the rankings if Michigan makes the playoff. 

Sugar Bowl

Baylor’s head-to-head win over Oklahoma should be enough to keep the Bears above the Sooners in the rankings and into the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. 

Other bowls

Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 17)

Cure Bowl (Dec. 17)

Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 18)

New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 18)

Independence Bowl (Dec. 18)

LendingTree Bowl (Dec. 18)

L.A. Bowl (Dec. 18)

New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 18)

Myrtle Beach Bowl (Dec. 20)

Potato Bowl (Dec. 21)

Frisco Bowl (Dec. 21)

Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 22)

Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 23)

Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24)

Camellia Bowl (Dec. 25)

Quick Lane Bowl (Dec. 27)

Military Bowl (Dec. 27)

Birmingham Bowl (Dec. 28)

First Responder Bowl (Dec. 28)

Liberty Bowl (Dec. 28)

Holiday Bowl (Dec. 28)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Dec. 28)

Fenway Bowl (Dec. 29)

Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 29)

Cheez-It Bowl (Dec. 29)

Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29)

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Dec. 30)

Music City Bowl (Dec. 30)

Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 30)

Gator Bowl (Dec. 31)

Sun Bowl (Dec. 31)

Arizona Bowl (Dec. 31)

Outback Bowl (Jan. 1)

Citrus Bowl (Jan. 1)

Texas Bowl (Jan. 4)

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