Final 2016 NY6 Bowl Projections: USC vs Penn State in Rose Bowl?

Jan 1, 2016; Pasadena, CA, USA; General view of the Rose Bowl before the game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Stanford Cardinal in the 2016 Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2016; Pasadena, CA, USA; General view of the Rose Bowl before the game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Stanford Cardinal in the 2016 Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday marked the end of the college football season, with high-profile championship games being played in the ACC, Big Ten and SEC. What’s it mean for the NY6 bowl projections, and primarily the Rose Bowl?

USC entered the week needing some help to get to the Rose Bowl, the desired destination for the winner of the Pac-12. But with No. 4 Washington getting a big victory over previously No. 8 Colorado, the Trojans are now licking their chops at a potential trip up the 110 Freeway on January 2nd.

The Huskies are all but officially headed to the College Football Playoff, meaning the Rose Bowl will be contractually obligated to then take the next highest-ranked Pac-12 team.

The Trojans were 11th on Tuesday, but Colorado’s blowout loss likely makes them a prime candidate to be jumped, especially with No. 10 Oklahoma State falling to Oklahoma on Saturday.

USC (9-3) has both a head-to-head victory over the Buffaloes, along with a more impressive resume. They have two Top 10 victories to Colorado’s none, and beat Washington on the road, who just demolished CU on a neutral field by a 31-point margin.

READ MORE: What the Penultimate CFP Rankings Meant For USC’s Rose Bowl Hopes

Will it be enough to make the jump and face Big Ten champion Penn State? We’ll find Sunday morning, when ESPN’s four-hour College Football Playoff: Top 25 Selection Show begins at 9 a.m. PT, with the final Top 25 rankings being released around 11:30 a.m. PT.

For now, here’s some NY6 bowl projections…

The College Football Playoff:

Peach Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Ohio StateFiesta Bowl: No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Washington

Even though Ohio State was ranked No. 2 in the penultimate rankings, look for the Buckeyes to fall to No. 4 after championship week.

The committee’s M.O. thus far as been to sort teams by loss record, while using conference championships and head-to-head matchups as tiebreakers. Clemson and Washington winning the ACC and Pac-12 respectively will allow them to jump OSU, while keeping the four teams intact.

New Years Six Bowl Projections:

Rose Bowl: USC (Pac-12 No. 2) vs. Penn State (B1G Champion)Orange Bowl: Michigan (B1G No. 2) vs. Florida State (ACC No. 2)Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. Auburn (SEC No. 2)Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan (Group of Five No. 1) vs. Wisconsin (At large)

As it appears, the biggest loser from championship weekend is Colorado. The Buffaloes went from being a win away from the Rose Bowl, to tumbling out of the New Years Six bowls following a 31-point shellacking at the hands of Washington.

That should allow USC to pass them in the CFP Rankings and back into the Rose Bowl, while CU is headed to the Alamo Bowl to face Big 12 runner-up Oklahoma State.

More from Reign of Troy

The Trojans and Nittany Lions have met only twice in Pasadena. The 2009 meeting was USC’s most recent Rose Bowl appearance, as Mark Sanchez threw for a record 413 yards in a 38-24 win.

TRENDING: USC Football Players Excited About Potential Rose Bowl Berth

The rest of the field is straightforward, with the only question being who becomes the SEC’s representative in the Sugar Bowl. Aside from No. 1 and 13-0 Alabama, the much ballyhooed conference has a host of four-loss teams, including Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

Auburn was the highest ranked of the four last Tuesday, and it should remain that way following the Gators’ 54-16 blowout loss to Alabama on Saturday.

In the Cotton Bowl, 13-0 Western Michigan all but clinched their Group of Five ticket on Friday when they won the MAC, and then got a favor when Temple took down red-hot Navy in the AAC title game.

Big Ten runner-up Wisconsin likely slots in as their opponent, being both the highest ranked and most attractive at-large team, over the aforementioned Colorado.