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Final 2017 College Football Bowl Projections

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Sad as it is to say, the 2017 college football campaign in on its last legs and is moving on to the final phase: the postseason. While it’s a bummer that we only have a handful of games left in the year, the excitement is also about to pick up even more because it means the chase for the national title is down to four in the College Football Playoff.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and take a look at the postseason picture one final time — figuring out which teams wind up in certain bowl games prior to the official announcements on Sunday afternoon. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 16th:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl No. 2 Oklahoma* No. 3 Georgia*
Sugar Bowl No. 1 Clemson* No. 4 Alabama

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl UCF* Notre Dame
Fiesta Bowl USC* Penn State
Orange Bowl Miami Wisconsin
Cotton Bowl Ohio State* Auburn

2017 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Orleans Bowl Troy North Texas
Cure Bowl Marshall Georgia State
Las Vegas Bowl Arizona Boise State
New Mexico Bowl Colorado State UTSA
Camellia Bowl Akron Arkansas State
Boca Raton Bowl Temple Florida Atlantic
Frisco Bowl SMU UCLA
Gasparilla Bowl Western Kentucky FIU
Bahamas Bowl UAB+ Ohio+
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Wyoming Northern Illinois
Birmingham Bowl USF West Virginia
Armed Forces Bowl Army+ Southern Miss
Dollar General Bowl Toledo App. State
Hawaii Bowl Fresno State Houston
Cactus Bowl Kansas State Oregon
Quick Lane Bowl Central Michigan Purdue
Heart of Dallas Bowl Texas Tech Utah
Independence Bowl Louisiana Tech Duke
Pinstripe Bowl Boston College Iowa
Texas Bowl Texas Missouri
Foster Farms Bowl San Diego State Washington State
Military Bowl Virginia Navy
Camping World Bowl N.C. State Oklahoma State
Alamo Bowl TCU Washington
Holiday Bowl Michigan State Stanford
Belk Bowl Texas A&M Wake Forest
Sun Bowl Florida State Arizona State
Music City Bowl Kentucky Northwestern
TaxSlayer Bowl Louisville Mississippi State
Liberty Bowl Iowa State Memphis
Arizona Bowl Utah State N.M. State
Outback Bowl South Carolina Michigan
Citrus Bowl Virginia Tech LSU

+Accepted bowl invite

*Clinched New Year’s Six Bowl bid

Note: Buffalo, Middle Tennessee and Western Michigan also qualified for a bowl but were not selected

Toledo rockets past Akron, wins first MAC title since 2004

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It’s been a while, but the wait was more than worth it for the Toledo football program.

Prior to the MAC championship game Saturday afternoon, the oddsmakers had installed Toledo (11-2) as a 21-point favorite over Akron (7-6).  That ultimately proved to be relatively accurate as the Rockets had little problem dispatching the Zips in a 45-28 win.  With the victory, Toledo claimed its first MAC crown since 2004 and its third win total in the game.

The Zips were making their second appearance in the game and first since 2005.

Leading the way yet again for the Rockets was Logan Woodside, with the quarterback completing 23 of his 37 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns.  Terry Swanson chipped with 180 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The defense, though, may have been the story of the day for Toledo as they held Akron to just 123 yards of offense — 76 passing, 47 rushing — through almost three quarters of play; as UT’s defense went into prevent mode, Akron finished with 396 yards.  While they forced just two turnovers — the Rockets’ offense had five — UT forced five three-and-outs and seven punts overall.

2017 College Football Bowl Projections after Week 13

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Thanksgiving weekend in college football brought plenty of turkey, gravy and an extra dose of chaos as the postseason picture in the sport was shaken up from coast-to-coast. No matter if you were looking at the College Football Playoff or trying to figure out the various conference races, chances are you saw a surprise outcome or two in Week 13 given the number of results that ranged from eye-opening to downright shocking.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and take a look at the postseason picture — figuring out which teams wind up in certain bowl games prior to the official announcement. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 16th:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl No. 2 Oklahoma No. 3 Auburn
Sugar Bowl No. 1 Clemson No. 4 Alabama

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl UCF Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl USC Ohio State
Orange Bowl Miami Georgia
Cotton Bowl Notre Dame Penn State

2016 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Orleans Bowl Troy North Texas
Cure Bowl Western Kentucky Georgia State
Las Vegas Bowl Arizona State Boise State
New Mexico Bowl Colorado State Marshall
Camellia Bowl Akron Arkansas State
Boca Raton Bowl South Florida Florida Atlantic
Frisco Bowl Houston Northern Illinois
Gasparilla Bowl Memphis Florida International
Bahamas Bowl UAB* Ohio*
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Wyoming Central Michigan
Birmingham Bowl Duke SMU
Armed Forces Bowl Army* Southern Miss
Dollar General Bowl Toledo App. State
Hawaii Bowl Fresno State Navy
Cactus Bowl Kansas State Oregon
Quick Lane Bowl Western Michigan West Virginia
Heart of Dallas Bowl Texas Tech UCLA
Independence Bowl Louisiana Tech Wake Forest
Pinstripe Bowl Boston College Iowa
Texas Bowl Texas Missouri
Foster Farms Bowl San Diego State Washington State
Military Bowl Virginia Temple
Camping World Bowl Virginia Tech Oklahoma State
Alamo Bowl TCU Washington
Holiday Bowl Northwestern Stanford
Belk Bowl Texas A&M N.C. State
Sun Bowl Louisville Arizona
Music City Bowl Kentucky Purdue
TaxSlayer Bowl Florida State Mississippi State
Liberty Bowl Iowa State Utah
Arizona Bowl Utah State N.M. State
Outback Bowl South Carolina Michigan
Citrus Bowl Michigan State LSU

*Accepted bowl invite

+ Buffalo, Middle Tennessee and UTSA also qualified for a bowl

Toledo punches ticket to MAC Championship Game to face Akron

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The preseason favorite to win the MAC is now one step closer to coming through on that expectation. Toledo (10-2, 7-1 MAC) clinched the MAC West Division on Friday afternoon by defeating the defending MAC champ, Western Michigan (6-6, 4-4 MAC), by a score of 37-10.

Toledo will play Akron, the East Division champion, in the MAC Championship Game on Dec. 2 at Ford Field in Detroit. Toledo will be playing in the MAC Championship Game for the fifth time, but this will be their first trip since 2004. Akron is also ending a championship game drought by making their second appearance and their first since 2005. The two schools have not faced each other in the MAC Championship Game until this season.

Western Michigan represented the MAC in the New Years Six bowl lineup a year ago after going undefeated in the regular season and being the highest-ranked conference champion among the Group of Five conferences. The stakes will not be that high this season for Toledo or Akron. With two ranked teams in the American Athletic Conference expected to play for the AAC championship (UCF and Memphis are currently ranked, but USF would likely be ranked with a win over UCF), and Boise state floating in the bottom of the top 25 from the selection committee, even a Toledo blowout of the Zips would not likely be enough to make a push in the final week.

Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Rockets were 7-of-14 on third down conversions in the game. The Rockets are expected to be a sizable favorite against Akron next week.

At 6-6, Western Michigan is bowl eligible.

Akron earns second-ever spot in MAC championship game

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Akron came into Week 13 needing to either win or rely on someone else to lose.  In the end, the Zips decided to just go ahead and punch their own ticket to the Motor City, thank you very much.

Jumping out to a 24-7 halftime lead Tuesday night, that margin proved to be more than enough for Akron as they easily cruised past rival Kent State in a 24-14 win.  Kent actually outgained its hosts 246-191, but a fumble return for a touchdown with less than 20 seconds left in the second quarter essentially sealed the win for Akron.

Both Akron and Ohio entered this week tied atop the MAC East at 5-2.  However, the Zips beat the Bobcats in Week 12, meaning Akron is the first MAC team to claim a spot in the conference championship game at Detroit’s Ford Field next weekend.

This will mark the Zips’s second-ever title-game appearance, with the first coming in 2005.  That season, Akron beat Northern Illinois 31-30 for its first-ever conference championship.

Akron will play either NIU (6-1) or Toledo (6-1) in this year’s title game, although it’s trending heavily toward the Rockets as they own the head-to-head with the Huskies.  So, the possibilities?

Toledo wins the West with either a win over Western Michigan OR an NIU loss. Northern Illinois needs to beat Central Michigan AND have Toledo lose to WMU at home to win the division.