A wild and unpredictable college football Week 7 had a drastic impact on the shape of our 2022 college football bowl projections. The College Football Playoff has a completely different feel, and there’s a new Group of Five representative in the Cotton Bowl.
If you’re as excited about the 2022 bowl season as we are, you’ll love some of the projections that have been thrown together.
2022 College Football Bowl Projections | New Year’s Six
Our 2022 CFB bowl projections are comprised of a combination of our own College Football Top 25, and the teams that fall outside of those are selected based on their current standing within their conference.
If you don’t see your favorite team here, there’s a solid chance that they’re not likely to be going bowling in 2022.
Let’s kick off with the Crown Jewels of CFB bowl season, the College Football Playoff and other New Year’s Six games.
Peach Bowl (College Football Playoff) | No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 3 Michigan
Alabama’s defeat to Tennessee has a profound impact on the College Football Playoff in our 2022 bowl projections. The Crimson Tide no longer occupy a place in the final four, and their slide from first in our College Football Top 25 mixes up the two semifinals quite nicely.
The Peach Bowl plays host to the first, with a clash between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Michigan Wolverines offering a repeat of last year’s Orange Bowl. That’s not to say that there’d be a repeat of the 34-11 Georgia win from just over a year ago.
The Wolverines are very much a different team from last year, and the combination of an imposing offensive line and a running back room spearheaded by Blake Corum has been hard to live with for most teams.
Michigan dominated Penn State in Week 6, while the Bulldogs shut out Vanderbilt 55-0 to continue their unbeaten run.
Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff) | No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Tennessee
The Fiesta Bowl sees the most significant alteration from our previous 2022 college football bowl projections. Ohio State sat at home and watched the carnage unfold, swooping in behind the debris left by the Crimson Tide capitulation to move up to the top spot in our College Football Top 25.
Meanwhile, Tennessee is breathing in rare air. After years of relative failure, the Volunteers are a legitimate college football force once more.
You could expect a high-scoring affair should these two teams tussle in the College Football Playoff. They’re high-powered, free-scoring offenses led by highly-regarded 2023 NFL Draft prospects in C.J. Stroud and Hendon Hooker.
With incredible supporting casts –including Pro Football Network Offensive Player of Week 7, Jalin Hyatt — and some questionable pieces in both secondaries, this has the potential to be incredibly explosive.
Rose Bowl | UCLA vs. Penn State
Penn State got humbled somewhat against Michigan in Week 7, having their unbeaten record unceremoniously stripped and putting their chances of challenging for a Big Ten title on hold.
However, with the Wolverines and Buckeyes taking up two of the spots in the College Football Playoff, the Nittany Lions would be the representative for the Big Ten in the marquee bowl game — The Rose Bowl — narrowly beating out Illinois.
They’ll face the Pac-12 champion UCLA Bruins in Pasadena. While Chip Kelly’s team remains unbeaten after their college football Week 7 bye, our 2022 bowl projections would suggest that somewhere down the stretch they succumb to the conference’s cannibalistic tendencies and drop a game that costs them a place in the CFB Playoff.
USC continued that not-so-proud tradition with defeat to a Utah team that already had two defeats on their résumé.
Cotton Bowl | Tulane vs. Syracuse
As the highest-ranked Group of Five program in our College Football Top 25, the Tulane Green Wave ride into the Cotton Bowl in our most recent 2022 bowl projections. The team with some of the best helmets and uniforms in all of college football also happen to be playing with a style to meet that swagger.
A swarming defense, an impressive offensive line, and a quarterback and running back combo that rival any in their conference has Tulane 3-0 in conference play and 6-1 overall after their 45-31 win over the USF Bulls.
Meanwhile, Syracuse is overcoming all expectations this season to emerge as a major player in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Alongside Clemson, the Orange are one of just two undefeated teams in the conference following a dominant win over preseason conference contenders NC State.
Dino Babers’ team has an underrated defense, a dynamic dual-threat in Garrett Shrader, and one of the nation’s leading rushers in Sean “Trackspeed” Tucker. Expect fireworks from this matchup.
Sugar Bowl | Alabama vs. TCU
Last week, Alabama was riding high as the top team in our College Football Top 25. Now, they’re on the outside of the College Football Playoff looking in. It would be foolish to bet against the Crimson Tide rebounding, but at this moment in time, they figure to be only the third-highest-ranked team in the SEC behind Georgia and Tennessee.
Their “reward” for finishing third in the conference is a matchup against the Big 12 champions. The Crimson Tide lost in the Sugar Bowl in consecutive seasons at the climax of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
According to our current 2022 college football bowl projections, that would be the TCU Horned Frogs. Sonny Dykes’ team remains undefeated after a nail-biting overtime win over Oklahoma State. Quentin Johnston would be quite the handful for a ‘Bama defense that was torched by Tennessee’s Hyatt this week.
Orange Bowl | Ole Miss vs. Clemson
The final New Years’ Six matchup of our 2022 college football bowl projections sees an enticing matchup between Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss Rebels and Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers.
Ole Miss leads the SEC West after their 48-34 win over Auburn. While their toughest games are yet to come, they boast arguably the best RB room in the nation and have been ferocious defensively, something that you can’t always say about the Rebels’ unit.
Currently undefeated through seven games and playing their best football at the right time, Clemson fans may feel somewhat upset by seeing their team miss out on the CFB Playoff for the second consecutive season. However, a sluggish start to the season may ultimately cost them a berth in the final four if teams ahead of them stay on course.
An Orange Bowl clash with Ole Miss should give DJ Uiagalelei the ultimate shootout to prove his NFL credentials should he choose to declare at the end of the year.
Projections for the Remaining 2022 College Football Bowl Games
Illinois vs. Kentucky
LSU vs. Minnesota
Music City Bowl
Nebraska vs. Mississippi State
Buffalo vs. Utah State
Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M
Miami (FL) vs. Utah
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Michigan State vs. Florida
Oklahoma State vs. USC
North Carolina vs. Kansas State
Pittsburgh vs. Iowa
Texas vs. Auburn
Georgia Tech vs. Oregon
West Virginia vs. South Carolina
NC State vs. East Carolina
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Kansas vs. Purdue
Cincinnati vs. Arkansas
First Responder Bowl
Duke vs. Wyoming
Troy vs. Bowling Green
Quick Lane Bowl
Louisville vs. Eastern Michigan
Notre Dame vs. San Diego State
Washington vs. UCF
UAB vs. BYU
Armed Forces Bowl
Baylor vs. Vanderbilt
New Orleans Bowl
Old Dominion vs. Western Kentucky
Boca Raton Bowl
North Texas vs. South Alabama
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. UNLV
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Southern Miss. vs. Memphis
UTSA vs. San Jose State
Las Vegas Bowl
Oregon State vs. Maryland
Lending Tree Bowl
Rice vs. Georgia Southern
Boise State vs. California
New Mexico Bowl
Liberty vs. Air Force
Florida A&M vs. Delaware State
Florida State vs. Houston
Coastal Carolina vs. Toledo
Florida Atlantic vs. Ball State
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.