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Sunday, October 17, 2021

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    Bowl projections: Georgia takes top seed, Cincinnati enters College Football Playoff after Alabama upset – CBS Sports

    Texas A&M turned the 2021 college football season on its head Saturday night by coming from behind late to beat No. 1 Alabama, 41-38, at Kyle Field. That result also turned the College Football Playoff projection on its head.

    Let’s start with the new projected No. 1 seed, the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia, which was already in the projected CFP field, won comfortably at Auburn on Saturday, 34-10. The Bulldogs appear to have the best defense in the country, and the stats back that up. The Dawgs are the top ranked team in relative total defense and relative scoring defense. And as we all know, defense wins championships.

    The newly projected No. 4 seed would be historic if it comes to pass. Cincinnati is now expected to step in as the final team in the field, facing UGA in the Orange Bowl. The Bearcats would become the Group of Five program to be selected to play in the CFP if they win out.

    Cincinnati throttled Temple on Friday, 52-3. Though the Bearcats cannot control their schedule, they can control how they play against it. Cincinnati handled Temple like a playoff team should. It is important for Cincy to continue doing that against such opponents.

    It also needs help from Notre Dame, which will likely be its best win. Cincinnati needs that to look as good as possible. The Fighting Irish won late at Virginia Tech, 32-29, so they are still doing their part for the Bearcats.

    Iowa knocked out Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford in the first half, then knocked off the Nittany Lions for good, 23-20. The Hawkeyes move up in the CFP projections to the No. 2 seed. They are expected to take on Oklahoma. The Sooners changed quarterbacks and their fortunes in a 55-48 come- from-behind win over Texas, the largest in Red River Showdown history. In this scenario, Oklahoma and Iowa would meet in the Cotton Bowl.

    This projection is based on all four of these teams finishing undefeated. Most notably, that would mean second losses for each of Alabama and Ohio State in their respective conference championship games.

    College Football Playoff

    Jan. 10

    National Championship

    Title game Semifinal winners

    Dec. 31

    Orange Bowl
    Miami Gardens, Fla.


    (1) Georgia vs. (4) Cincinnati

    Dec. 31

    Cotton Bowl
    Arlington, Texas


    (2) Iowa vs. (3) Oklahoma

    These results, of course, will have a ripple effect throughout the bowl projections, especially the remainder of the New Year’s Six games. Those expected matchups will be revealed on Sunday morning right in this space on CBS Sports.

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