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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

Wilton Speight confirms restrictions placed on transfer from Michigan

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One of a few players who has decided to part ways with the Michigan football program of late, Wilton Speight has shed some additional light on his move away from Ann Arbor.

In late November, Speight announced that he had decided to transfer from the Wolverines. There was some question as to whether Speight would remain with the team through the postseason, as well as what if any restrictions were placed on his transfer.

On social media Friday, Speight clarified those two areas of concern.

So, in addition to the six other teams in the Big Ten East as well as 2018 cross-divisional foes Nebraska, Wisconsin and Northwestern, the quarterback will also be barred from transferring to 2018 non-conference opponents Notre Dame, Western Michigan and SMU.

As the Virginia native is leaving U-M as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2018 if he opts for another FBS school. Next season will be Speight’s final year of eligibility.

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.

Notre Dame tandem headlines six Outland Trophy semifinalists

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Suffice to say, Notre Dame will be well-represented when it comes to one particular award.

The Football Writer’s Association of America announced Thursday night its six semifinalists for the 2017 Outland Trophy.  The third-oldest award in college football, the Outland has been handed out annually since 1946 to the best interior lineman in college football on either offense or defense.

This year, there are five offensive linemen and one defensive lineman who can win the award.

Those six semifinalists are Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown, Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (pictured), Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson, Western Michigan offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Ohio State center Billy Price.  That list will be whittled down to three finalists next week.

Last year’s winner was Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson.  Offensive linemen have claimed 11 of the last 14 Outlands.