Bowl projections: USA TODAY's latest bowl outlook for Iowa Hawkeyes
Change was expected. Change was delivered.
LSU and Alabama both occupied spots in last week's College Football Playoff projection, but something had to give with the Tigers and Tide facing off.
Entering the game, discussion was that a close loss to Alabama would keep LSU in contention because of its quality wins. But with the Crimson Tide falling, they're in danger of missing out of the field for the first time. Lacking a victory against a team in last week's rankings, Alabama's only opportunity left is at No. 13 Auburn. But with a resume likely without a division title, it will be an uphill fight against potential division champions from the Big 12 or Pac-12.
Which brings us to the No. 4 spot this week. LSU, Ohio State and Clemson are firmly in the field. Oregon, winners of eight in a row after opening the season with a loss to Auburn, get the nod. The Ducks are on track to reach the Pac-12 title game. And if, as expected, Utah meets them there with one loss then their case should be strong enough to get them in.
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There's still a lot of chaos possible. Georgia's seeming resurgence could shake things up with the Bulldogs a threat to beat LSU in the SEC title game. Baylor could still upset things by staying unbeaten in the Big 12. But that would probably require the Bears to beat Oklahoma twice. And after a string of close wins, confidence is not high.
The Sooners were poised to maybe take a jump by beating Baylor on the road this week, but defensive issues against Iowa State will have the committee questioning their worth when compared to other contenders.
A reminder: Some conferences may not fulfill their bowl allotment. Asterisks denote a replacement pick.