Although a number of top-ranked teams being on a bye in College Football Week 8 saw little impact at the very top of our College Football Top 25, our latest 2022 bowl projections still see some movement in the New Year’s Six bowls. Furthermore, the usual college football chaos has caused a ripple effect across projections for all 43 bowl games in 2022.
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
After a well-deserved weekend off for both the Georgia Bulldogs and Michigan Wolverines, the Peach Bowl College Football Playoffs matchup remains the same in our 2022 bowl projections. Although it would represent a repeat of last year’s Orange Bowl semi-final, there are plenty of reasons to believe that the Wolverines could scare the Bulldogs a little more this time around.
Both teams have substantial hurdles to overcome until they can confirm their place in the final four, however. Georgia faces a Tennessee team ranked fourth in our College Football Top 25 in two weeks’ time. Can they tame Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt to remain as the team to beat in the SEC? How would an SEC Championship Game defeat impact their final standing?
Meanwhile, the Wolverines looked unstoppable against Penn State last time out, but their biggest test is still yet to come. While Jim Harbaugh got the Ohio State monkey off his back last season, the Buckeyes are as strong as ever and could stand in the way of a Michigan repeat trip to the College Football Playoffs. Speaking of those Buckeyes…
Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff) | No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 4 Tennessee
Ohio State remains the team to beat as the number one ranked team in our College Football Top 25. After a week’s rest, C.J. Stroud and his plethora of weapons came out firing on all cylinders to ruthlessly despatch a listless Iowa Hawkeyes team. Each of Julian Fleming, Emeka Egbuka, and Marvin Harrison Jr. snagged a touchdown pass from Stroud as the Buckeyes rolled to a 54-10.
With an electric offense combined with a vastly improved defense from last year, it’s hard to argue against Ohio State being comfortably the number one team in the nation. In our 2022 college football bowl projections, that earns them a date with the surprise team of the season in the second of the College Football Playoff games, the Fiesta Bowl.
You can’t really read anything into Tennessee’s walkover win over FCS UT Martin in college football Week 8 other than that they didn’t suffer a hangover from their historic, goal-post-destroying win over Alabama. As the only other unbeaten team in the SEC, the Volunteers have earned their seat at the top table at this stage. Now, they have to cling to it down a stretch that includes a visit to Athens to take on Georgia.
Rose Bowl | Oregon vs. Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions bounced back from their humbling at the hands of Michigan by laying a beat down on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a “White Out” game in Beaver Stadium. Despite a ring of boos reverberating around the stadium on his announcement as the starting quarterback, Sean Clifford threw for four touchdowns in the 45-17 win.
The win cements Penn State’s status as the third-best team in the Big Ten. With Ohio State and Michigan set to contest the College Football Playoffs in our 2022 bowl projections, that earns them the right to represent the Big Ten conference in the most iconic of all the bowl games — The Rose Bowl.
There they’ll meet the current projected Pac-12 champions, Oregon. The Ducks hosted unbeaten UCLA in Eugene in one of the marquee matchups of college football Week 8, with the Pac-12 rearing its cannibalistic head once more, as there is now the chance of an undefeated conference champion making a play for the playoffs.
The Bruins couldn’t live with the Bo Nix-led Oregon offense, with the former Auburn quarterback throwing for 283 yards and five touchdowns. With just one defeat to Georgia on their résumé, Oregon could be considered a long shot for the final four, but a berth in the Rose Bowl is a much more likely outcome at the end of the regular season.
Cotton Bowl | Tulane vs. Wake Forest
For the second consecutive week, the Tulane Green Wave take up a Cotton Bowl berth in our 2022 college football projections. Currently ranked 22nd in our College Football Top 25, they narrowly edge out Cincinnati as the highest-ranked Group of Five team, with the reward of a New Years Six appearance awaiting the beautifully uniformed men from New Orleans.
The Wave continued to wash over college football in Week 8, with a convincing 38-28 win over conference rivals Memphis. On the back of passing, rushing, and return touchdowns, Tulane was 35-0 up at the half. The Green Wave possess a swarming defense, an impressive offensive line, and a quarterback and running back combo that rivals any in their conference.
In our 2022 college football bowl projections, they face a Wake Forest team who surpasses Syracuse as the number two ranked team in the ACC following their commanding 43-15 win over a poor Boston College team. Despite missing time at the start of the season, quarterback Sam Hartman is playing himself back into Heisman Trophy contention. The Demon Deacons QB dominated the Eagles, accounting for six total touchdowns.
Sugar Bowl | Alabama vs. TCU
It would be foolish to bet against Alabama rebounding from their college football Week 7 defeat to Tennessee. The Crimson Tide still have a route to the College Football Playoffs via the SEC Championship Game, and Nick Saban’s team has shown before that they only need the smallest opportunity to maximize their impact on the national stage.
However, at this point in time, they’re on the outside looking in when it comes to our college football bowl projections. As the third-ranked team in the SEC according to our College Football Top 25, they face the Big 12 champion in the Sugar Bowl. The Crimson Tide lost in the Sugar Bowl in consecutive seasons at the climax of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
At present, that Big 12 champion looks to be the TCU Horned Frogs. Sonny Dyke’s team overcame a potential banana skin during college football Week 8, defeating a strong Kansas State team who has a penchant for upsetting the big boys in the Big 12. An unanswered 28 points that included two Kendre Miller rushing touchdowns ensured that TCU remains the team to beat in the Big 12 with five games left to play for the Horned Frogs.
Orange Bowl | Clemson vs. Ole Miss
The final New Year’s 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.
Although they remain undefeated following their comeback win over Syracuse, Clemson still looks set to miss out on a College Football Playoffs berth according to our 2022 bowl projections. Question marks over their offense, exacerbated by a quarterback controversy brewing following D.J. Uiagalelei’s benching for Cade Klubnik, are clouding a team whose defense is arguably the best in the nation.
Meanwhile, Ole Miss dropped their first game of the season after failing to score in the second half of their 45-20 loss to LSU. The Rebels have a difficult schedule down the stretch of the season that could impact their postseason outlook. However, at this point in time, their 15th overall ranking in our College Football Top 25 is enough to earn them a spot in the Orange Bowl.
Projections for the Remaining 2022 College Football Bowl Games
Illinois vs. LSU
Kentucky vs. Wisconsin
Music City Bowl
Nebraska vs. South Carolina
Toledo vs. San Jose State
Syracuse vs. Florida
Florida State vs. Utah
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Minnesota vs. Arkansas
Oklahoma State vs. USC
North Carolina vs. Kansas State
Louisville vs. Rutgers
Texas vs. Auburn
Georgia Tech vs. UCLA
Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State
Pittsburgh vs. Houston
Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Baylor vs. Maryland
Cincinnati vs. Texas A&M
First Responder Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Duke
Old Dominion vs. Eastern Michigan
Quick Lane Bowl
N.C. State vs. Ball State
Notre Dame vs. Air Force
UCF vs. Washington
North Texas vs. BYU
Armed Forces Bowl
Kansas vs. SMU
New Orleans Bowl
Coastal Carolina vs. Rice
Boca Raton Bowl
Western Kentucky vs. Troy
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. UNLV
Myrtle Beach Bowl
Southern Miss. vs. East Carolina
UTSA vs. Wyoming
Las Vegas Bowl
Oregon State vs. Purdue
Lending Tree Bowl
UAB vs. Georgia Southern
Boise State vs. Washington State
New Mexico Bowl
Liberty vs. San Diego State
Florida A&M vs. North Carolina Central
Miami (FL) vs. Memphis
South Alabama vs. Buffalo
UTEP vs. Bowling Green