The Complete Guide to College Football: Postseason Edition

The final guide to the 2021 college football season.

Hey, college football fans and curious QBL readers! Thanks for following this article series all season long. It’s been one of my favorite things to write, and I’m always thrilled that the powers that be at QBList let me write about the thing I love talking about the most. If you’re ever interested in talking college football, let me know on Twitter (@MrAdster99).

Thankfully, I get to write one more article for this season. It feels like we finally figured out which teams were legitimate and which teams were pretenders just in time for the season to end, which is a real bummer. But, such is the nature of the college football season, and I’m sure that next season I’ll be right back at Square One trying to figure out which teams are going to be good. Then, as always, I’m going to throw my hands in the air in frustration and watch all the games I can to try to make sense of the voodoo magic that is College Football Chaos.

There really aren’t any more Playoff storylines that we need to watch out for. I think the Committee finally got it right, although I do have some questions about the seeding of the teams. Sure seems like Cincinnati deserved the #3 spot after manhandling Houston, while Georgia should have grabbed the #4 spot after getting boat raced by Alabama in the SECCG. I’m sorry for doubting you, King Saban. At least we (speaking as a graduate of a G5 school) finally get to watch a G5 school take on Alabama.

Even if Cincinnati loses by 3 TDs, it won’t be any less of an achievement, because literally everyone not named Alabama or Clemson gets crushed in the Playoff. Just ask Notre Dame (2-time Playoff victim), who is probably just thrilled to be sitting right outside the Playoff and in a nice matchup with Oklahoma State. Same with Oklahoma, who mercifully allowed us to avoid another year of the Sooners getting trashed by Alabama in the first round of the Playoff. I’m looking forward to seeing that more often in the SEC come 2025.

 

A Bowl Game Primer

 

While there are a ton of must-watch bowl games this postseason, there are a couple that I think are especially worth tuning into:

  1. Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29): Oregon vs. Oklahoma – Two teams that fell short of postseason aspirations and currently lack a head coach (Oregon’s head coach is dipping for Miami (FL), while Oklahoma’s head coach is moving to USC) will meet in the Alamo Bowl just ahead of the New Year’s Six games. It’s going to be very interesting to watch these teams because they are both very talented but will almost certainly be missing some draft-ready players due to opt-outs, like Oregon’s star DE Kayvon Thibodeaux. Oregon’s star offensive coordinator, Joe Moorhead, will also be out for the game, as he is leaving Oregon to fix up Akron’s dumpster fire of a program. Prediction: Oklahoma wins by 10.
  2. Gator Bowl (Dec. 31): Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M – Two teams that sort of fizzled out at the end, but otherwise had seasons to be proud of will meet in Jacksonville on New Year’s Eve. Wake Forest finally reached an ACC championship game, while Texas A&M is the only team this season to have beaten Alabama. Wake Forest just extended their head coach, Dave Clawson (the “Claw”), for a very long time, while Texas A&M still has a head coach named Jimbo. Prediction: This one’s gonna be fun. Texas A&M by a TD.
  3. LA Bowl (Dec. 18): Utah State vs. Oregon State – Thanks a lot, Aggies. You really ruined the matchup we all wanted: San Diego State’s Matt Araiza‘s booming punts in SoFi Stadium against an upstart Beavers squad. Instead, Utah State had to go and blow out San Diego State. Now, we get to witness Utah State against an upstart Beavers squad. Oregon State is better than its record, while Utah State may have overperformed a little bit in the championship game. Prediction: Oregon State by 2 TDs.
  4. Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1): Ole Miss vs. Baylor – If you’re looking for something to watch on New Year’s Day that isn’t a snooze-worthy hockey game or an Ohio State blowout in the Rose Bowl, you could do a whole lot worse than the Sugar Bowl. My projections have this game as one of the closer bowls of the postseason, and it pairs a Baylor team that is in the midst of an incredible turnaround with an Ole Miss team that is in the midst of an incredible turnaround. Ole Miss hasn’t won 10 games in a season since 2015, while Baylor went from 2-7 in 2020 to 11-2 and a Big 12 Conference Champion in 2021. Prediction: Ole Miss by a field goal.
  5. The Army/Navy Game (Dec. 11) – Army’s got the better record, the better team by pretty much every metric, and they’ve won 4 of the last 5 editions of this game. Naturally, this game should be pretty darn close. Prediction: Navy by 3-5 points.

 

Bowl Predictions

 

Bowl Schedule and Projections

 

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