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Bowl Projections: The Big 12 is in position for the playoff ... right now

With teams at Nos. 5 and 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the Big 12 looks poised to strike if one of the teams in the top four of the current rankings loses.

Or the Big 12 could self-sabotage itself.

How so? Saturday’s game between TCU and Oklahoma could very well be a prequel to the Big 12 title game in three weeks. The winner of Saturday’s game likely wins the regular-season conference title. But if the team that loses the game — and the regular season title — wins the Big 12 Championship Game, every team in the conference will have two losses.

And the Big 12 will miss the Playoff.

The conference title game was instituted as a possible last-second boost to the regular-season champion’s title hopes. While we understand that sentiment from the league office, it’s hard not to wonder just how spectacularly it could backfire in the Big 12’s face.

Here are this week’s bowl projections. With seven games between teams in the top 21 of the playoff rankings, these are going to look a lot different next week.

New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 16
Louisiana Tech vs. Arkansas State

Cure Bowl, Dec. 16
Middle Tennessee State vs. Georgia State

Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 16
Oregon vs. Boise State

New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 16
Texas San-Antonio vs. Colorado State

Camellia Bowl, Dec. 16
UAB vs. Troy

Boca Raton Bowl, Dec. 19
South Florida vs. Marshall

Frisco Bowl, Dec. 20
SMU vs. Akron

St. Petersburg Bowl, Dec. 21
Florida International vs. Northern Illinois

Bahamas Bowl, Dec. 22
Florida Atlantic vs. Toledo

Potato Bowl, Dec. 22
Ohio vs. Wyoming

Birmingham Bowl, Dec. 23
Missouri vs. Houston

Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 23
Army vs. Western Kentucky

Dollar General Bowl, Dec. 23
Southern Miss vs. Appalachian State

Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24
Navy vs. San Diego State

Quick Lane Bowl, Dec. 26
Western Michigan vs. Temple

Heart of Dallas Bowl, Dec. 26
North Texas vs. Central Michigan

Cactus Bowl, Dec. 26
Kansas State vs. Utah

Independence Bowl, Dec. 27
Wake Forest vs. Arizona State

Pinstripe Bowl, Dec. 27
Syracuse vs. Nebraska

Foster Farms Bowl, Dec. 27
Purdue vs. Washington State

Texas Bowl, Dec. 27
Texas vs.Texas A&M

Holiday Bowl, Dec. 28
Iowa vs. USC

Military Bowl, Dec. 28
Boston College vs. Memphis

Camping World Bowl, Dec. 28
Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Alamo Bowl, Dec. 28
Iowa State vs. Stanford

Belk Bowl, Dec. 29
NC State vs. Mississippi State

Sun Bowl, Dec. 29
Georgia Tech vs. Arizona

Music City Bowl, Dec. 29
Kentucky vs. Northwestern

Cotton Bowl, Dec. 29
TCU vs. Penn State

Arizona Bowl, Dec. 30
Fresno State vs. Idaho

TaxSlayer Bowl, Dec. 30
Louisville vs. South Carolina

Liberty Bowl, Dec. 30
West Virginia vs. Vanderbilt

Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 30
Washington vs. Wisconsin

Orange Bowl, Dec. 30
Miami vs. Ohio State

Outback Bowl, Jan. 1
Michigan State vs. LSU

Peach Bowl, Jan. 1
Oklahoma vs. Central Florida

Citrus Bowl, Jan. 1
Michigan vs. Auburn

Rose Bowl, Jan. 1 [College Football Playoff Semifinal]
Notre Dame vs. Georgia

Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1 [College Football Playoff Semifinal]
Alabama vs. Clemson