Bowl projections: Washington joins playoff after Oklahoma bumps Texas

Just when it seemed like Texas was back and a run at the College Football Playoff seemed in the offing, an impressive win by Oklahoma has changed the outlook of this week’s bowl projections.

It might seem a simple plug-in for the Sooners to keep the Big 12 with representation in the field, however that’s not the major adjustment this week. It’s Washington that is moving up to the semifinals ahead of a showdown with Oregon, another potential contender for the vacancy created by the Longhorns. The Huskies with the nation’s top offense and home field have the slight edge to get the win Saturday.

The advantage any potential champion from the Pac-12 has on the Big 12 is the strength of the league is significantly superior. Unless Oklahoma runs the table, it’d be expected that a one-loss team from the Pac-12 would get through, though that projection certainly could change with eight more weeks of games remaining.

Texas would have a decent argument if it can run through the rest of its game and beat an unblemished Sooners team in the Big 12 title. The Longhorns slip into the New Year’s Six for now and are appropriately matched with Oregon. Oklahoma jumps up to the NY6 and a meeting with Ohio State.

Reminder: Some conferences may not fulfill their bowl allotment. Asterisks denote a replacement pick. James Madison is eligible for a bowl if there are not enough six-win teams to fill all the spots.

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