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Bowl projections: How far did Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M fall?

AP Photo / Bob Levey
Auburn hurt Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M's BCS hopes in an upset win last week.

Here are our sixth bowl projections of the season, which is the last with the BCS in place.

Once again, the projection this week is that Alabama and Oregon will meet in the title game. In addition, the projection is the Pac-12 and SEC will have two teams apiece in the BCS and that Fresno State will get a BCS berth, too.

Things we learned
From Jadeveon Clowney returning to form to Florida State's complete dismantling of Clemson, here are the lessons learned from the college football weekend. More ...

Last weekend's upsets in the SEC shook up a lot of projections. One storyline to follow the rest of the way: Every team in the SEC except Alabama, Auburn and Missouri have at least two losses. This season, it's difficult to see an SEC team getting into the BCS with three losses, so, basically, the SEC's potential BCS teams are the aforementioned trio.

UCF's upset of Louisville last Friday gives the Knights the inside track to the AAC's automatic BCS bid. As for Fresno State, the Bulldogs are unbeaten and No. 17 in this week's BCS standings. BCS rules stipulate that if a team from a non-automatic qualifying conference (Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt) finishes in the top 12 of the final BCS standings or finishes in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and is ranked ahead of a league champ from an automatic qualifying conference, the non-AQ team is guaranteed a spot. Fresno State is six spots ahead of UCF this week.

Worth noting is that the MAC's Northern Illinois also is unbeaten and one spot behind Fresno State. As with Fresno, NIU should be favored in the rest of its games.

The final BCS standings will be released Dec. 8.

Remember that a bowl's tie-in with a league doesn't necessarily mean it will get the third- or fourth-, etc., place team from the league; instead, it means it gets the third or fourth, etc., selection from that league.

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Oregon's uniforms

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BCS MATCHUPS

BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Jan. 6
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2
Projection: Alabama vs. Oregon
Note: SEC power vs. Pac-12 finesse. It would be a fitting end to the BCS era. But will either of these teams finish unbeaten? Both have tougher remaining schedules than Florida State or anyone in the Big Ten or Big 12.

ROSE BOWL

Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 5 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/Big Ten vs. BCS/Pac-12
Projection: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Note: The Big Ten and Pac-12 champs head to Pasadena automatically if they are not in the title game. And even if one or both is in the title game, Rose Bowl organizers still crave a Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup.

FIESTA BOWL

Site: Glendale, Ariz.
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/Big 12 vs. BCS
Projection: Baylor vs. Fresno State
Note: The Big 12 champ is contractually obligated to the Fiesta if it is not in the national title game. This season, the Fiesta gets the last pick among the at-large teams. Fresno State seems a good bet to finish unbeaten; if the Bulldogs finish unbeaten, they will be in the BCS -- and they would be the last at-large pick. Baylor is this week's pick to win the Big 12, which might be the most wide open of any league race. Baylor hasn't been in a "major" bowl since the Cotton Bowl following the 1980 season; the Bears have made just four major bowl appearances in their history. Fresno State never has been in a "major" bowl.

SUGAR BOWL

Site: New Orleans
Date: Jan. 2
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/SEC vs. BCS
Projection: Auburn vs. UCF
Note: The SEC champ is contractually obligated to the Sugar if it is not in the national title game. But the Sugar always wants an SEC team even if the champ is in the title game. The Sugar gets the second pick among the at-large teams. By virtue of its win over Louisville last Friday, UCF is the pick to win the AAC. Louisville would be far more palatable to BCS bowls. Alas ...

ORANGE BOWL

Site: Miami
Date: Jan. 3
Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BCS/ACC vs. BCS
Projection: Florida State vs. Wisconsin
Note: If the ACC champ is not in the BCS championship game, it is contractually obligated to go to the Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl gets the first pick among the at-large teams. If Notre Dame is eligible for a BCS bowl, it will be picked. But the Irish "qualifying" for a BCS bid is a long shot. That gives Wisconsin a great shot if it can get to 10 wins, which means the Badgers need to win out. Wisconsin also needs Fresno State -- or another non-AQ team -- to get into the BCS. If that doesn't happen, Clemson could get an at-large spot, just not in the Orange Bowl.

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Best of Week 8

Check out the top images from the eighth weekend of college football play.

THE OTHER BOWLS

NEW MEXICO BOWL

Site: Albuquerque
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 2 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mountain West No. 4/5 vs. Pac-12 No. 7
Projection: San Jose State vs. Arizona

LAS VEGAS BOWL

Site: Las Vegas
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 3:30 p.m., ABC
Matchup: Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac-12 No. 5
Projection: Boise State vs. Oregon State
Note: Boise State is the projection because Fresno State looks as if it could end up in the BCS.

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL

Site: Boise, Idaho
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mid-American vs. Mountain West No. 6
Projection: Ball State vs. Utah
Note: Projection is Mountain West won't be able to fill its slot because Fresno State will be in the BCS. The Pac-12 projects to have an "extra" team, and Utah would slide in nicely here.

NEW ORLEANS BOWL

Site: New Orleans
Date: Dec. 21
Time/TV: 9 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Conference USA vs. Sun Belt
Projection: Tulane vs. Arkansas State
Note: Tulane is only one win away from bowl eligibility. The Green Wave haven't been bowling since 2002 and have been to just two bowls in the past 25 seasons.

BEEF 'O' BRADY'S BOWL

Site: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Date: Dec. 23
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 6 vs. Conference USA
Projection: SMU vs. Middle Tennessee State

HAWAII BOWL

Site: Honolulu
Date: Dec. 24
Time/TV: 8 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Conference USA vs. Mountain West No. 4/5
Projection: Rice vs. Utah State
Note: It makes sense to pick a Mountain West team that didn't play a regular-season game at Hawaii, and Utah State fits that description.

LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA BOWL

Site: Detroit
Date: Dec. 26
Time/TV: 6 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 8 vs. Mid-American
Projection: Western Kentucky vs. Ohio
Note: Projection is Big Ten won't be able to fill its slot. Western should get to at least six wins in coach Bobby Petrino's first season, and having Petrino would be a boon for any bowl of this ilk.

POINSETTIA BOWL

Site: San Diego
Date: Dec. 26
Time/TV: 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Army if bowl-eligible vs. Mountain West No. 2
Projection: Notre Dame vs. San Diego State
Note: Projection is Army won't be eligible. Notre Dame doesn't have a set landing spot if it doesn't make the BCS, and this might be best fit for Irish. This would be a home game for San Diego State.

MILITARY BOWL

Site: Annapolis, Md.
Date: Dec. 27
Time/TV: 2:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 8 vs. Conference USA
Projection: Maryland vs. Marshall

TEXAS BOWL

Site: Houston
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 6 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6
Projection: Iowa vs. TCU

KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL

Site: San Francisco
Date: Dec. 27
Time/TV: 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: BYU if bowl-eligible vs. Pac-12 No. 6
Projection: BYU vs. USC
Note: USC plays 13 regular-season games, so it needs to get to seven wins to become bowl-eligible. The Trojans play Utah this weekend and a win over the Utes might be the difference between getting to seven wins or staying home for the postseason.

PINSTRIPE BOWL

Site: New York
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: Noon, ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 4 vs. Big 12 No. 7
Projection: Cincinnati vs. West Virginia

BELK BOWL

Site: Charlotte, N.C.
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 3:20 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 3 vs. ACC No. 5
Projection: Rutgers vs. North Carolina State

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL

Site: Orlando
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 6:45 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 2 vs. ACC No. 3
Projection: Louisville vs. Miami

BUFFALO WILD WINGS BOWL

Site: Tempe, Ariz.
Date: Dec. 28
Time/TV: 10:15 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 4 vs. Big 12 No. 4
Projection: Nebraska vs. Oklahoma State

ARMED FORCES BOWL

Site: Fort Worth, Texas
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 11:45 a.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mountain West No. 3 vs. Navy if bowl-eligible
Projection: Colorado State vs. Navy

MUSIC CITY BOWL

Site: Nashville
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 3:15 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 6 vs. SEC No. 7
Projection: Georgia Tech vs. South Carolina

ALAMO BOWL

Site: San Antonio
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 6:45 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac-12 No. 2
Projection: Oklahoma vs. UCLA

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees (11) hands off to running back George Atkinson III during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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Alternate college football uniforms

Check out special college football uniforms worn during the 2013 season.

HOLIDAY BOWL

Site: San Diego
Date: Dec. 30
Time/TV: 10:15 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big 12 No. 5 vs. Pac-12 No. 3
Projection: Texas vs. Washington

ADVOCARE V100 BOWL

Site: Shreveport, La.
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 12:30 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 7 vs. SEC No. 10
Projection: Pittsburgh vs. Bowling Green
Note: This formerly was known as the Independence Bowl. Projection is the SEC won't fill its slot.

SUN BOWL

Site: El Paso, Texas
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 2 p.m., CBS
Matchup: ACC No. 4 vs. Pac-12 No. 4
Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Arizona State

LIBERTY BOWL

Site: Memphis
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 4 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Conference USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 8 or 9/AAC No. 6
Projection: East Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL

Site: Atlanta
Date: Dec. 31
Time/TV: 8 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: ACC No. 2 vs. SEC No. 5
Projection: Clemson vs. Ole Miss

HEART OF DALLAS BOWL

Site: Dallas
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: Noon, ESPNU
Matchup: Big Ten No. 7 vs. Conference USA
Projection: Northwestern vs. North Texas
Note: North Texas hasn't been in a bowl since 2004. UNT is in Denton, a Dallas suburb.

GATOR BOWL

Site: Jacksonville
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: Noon, ESPN2
Matchup: Big Ten No. 5 vs. SEC No. 6
Projection: Minnesota vs. Georgia

CAPITAL ONE BOWL

Site: Orlando
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 1 p.m., ABC
Matchup: Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Projection: Michigan vs. Missouri

OUTBACK BOWL

Site: Tampa
Date: Jan. 1
Time/TV: 1 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3/4
Projection: Michigan State vs. Texas A&M

COTTON BOWL

Site: Arlington, Texas
Date: Jan. 3
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m., Fox
Matchup: Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3/4
Projection: Texas Tech vs. LSU

BBVA COMPASS BOWL

Site: Birmingham, Ala.
Date: Jan. 4
Time/TV: 1 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: AAC No. 5 vs. SEC No. 8/9
Projection: Houston vs. Florida

GODADDY.COM BOWL

Site: Mobile, Ala.
Date: Jan. 5
Time/TV: 9 p.m., ESPN
Matchup: Mid-American vs. Sun Belt
Projection: Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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