College Football Playoff Projections – Week 5

    College Football Playoff projections heading into Week 5. Which teams will reach the sport's grand stage this postseason?

    October 17, 2016

    College Football Playoff projections heading into Week 5. Which teams will reach the sport’s grand stage?


    Semifinal No. 1 – Fiesta Bowl

    Date: Dec. 31
    Location: Glendale, Arizona
    Tie-ins: CFP No. 2/CFP No. 3
    Fiesta Bowl Projection: No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Ohio State

    The Tigers put together a strong first half both on offense and defense last game against Georgia Tech, one week after finally looking like a College Football Playoff contender against South Carolina State. Dabo Swinney is still looking for more offensive fireworks, but Brent Venables’ defense shut down the Yellow Jackets’ spread-option attack. Now the focus shifts to the showdown with Louisville. Lamar Jackson will pick up his share of yards, but the Tigers will keep the Cardinals out of the end zone enough to pass a huge ACC Atlantic Division test.

    Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes were off last week and are preparing to host former coordinator Chris Ash and Rutgers this week. J.T. Barrett is playing very much like the Heisman Trophy contender he was expected to be coming into the season, and youth has not stopped the Buckeyes from looking like a real CFP contender. There are a few tough road games and the tilt against Michigan, but the Buckeyes look primed to come out of the Big Ten this year.

    Semifinal No. 2 – Peach Bowl

    Date: Dec. 31
    Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    Tie-ins: CFP No. 1/CFP No. 4
    Peach Bowl Projection: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Stanford

    One week after Nick Saban’s squad came back from an early deficit to break its two-game skid against Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide shut out Saban’s alma mater, Kent State. Alabama is getting set to host Kentucky this week before the schedule gets very tough. The Tide have games looming at Arkansas and on the road against Tennessee before coming home to face Texas A&M, which could be the toughest challenger to Saban’s bunch in the SEC West.

    Stanford has UCLA’s number. The Cardinal beat the Bruins for the ninth straight time, moving head coach David Shaw to a combined 12-2 against UCLA and USC in his career. A huge test looms, though, as the Cardinal have a Friday night date at Washington, which has become a darling pick by many college football observers to make it to the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Ryan Burns will need to play his best game yet as a starter.

    MORE: Complete College Football Bowl Projections – Week 5

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