Bowl projections: Texas takes Alabama’s place in College Football Playoff after upset in Tuscaloosa

Claire Komarek, CBS Sports

Records fell and a new team rose into the College Football Playoff projection Saturday night as No. 11 Texas toppled No. 3 Alabama 34-24 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian became just the third Nick Saban assistant to defeat his former boss, and in doing so, the ‘Horns ended the Crimson Tide’s 21-game home winning streak, previously the longest active mark in the nation.

Alabama, previously projected to finish the season No. 4 in the CFP Rankings, is now out of the playoff field with Texas projected to take the No. 3 seed as an undefeated Big 12 champion.

No. 1 Georgia (45-0 vs. Ball State) and No. 2 Michigan (35-7 vs. UNLV) maintain the top spots after dominant nonconference victories, while No. 4 Florida State — projected as an undefeated ACC champion — is in the process of maintaining the last spot in the field as it is presently running through Southern Miss at home.

If the Longhorns quality for the playoff as projected, it would mark the second straight year the Big 12 puts a team in the field. This as Texas and Oklahoma prepare to depart the Big 12 for the SEC beginning July 1, 2024.

Texas’ win over Alabama will reverberate through the New Year’s Six and the rest of the bowl projections. Those will be updated in this space and on our CBS Sports bowl projections page Sunday morning. 

College Football Playoff

Jan. 8

National Championship

Title game Semifinal winners

Jan. 1

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, Calif.


(2) Michigan vs. (3) Texas

Jan. 1

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans


(1) Georgia  vs. (4) Florida State

Jerry Palm’s complete, updated bowl projections after Week 2 will be available Sunday morning.

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