Jerry Palm (CBSSports) – Duke vs. Baylor
Phil Steele (Phil Steele’s College Football Preview) – Louisville vs. Kansas State
Brett McMurphy (ESPN) – Duke vs. West Virginia
Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Duke vs. Oklahoma
Bill Bender (Sporting News) – Duke vs. West Virginia
David M. Hale (ESPN ACC Blog)/Brandon Chatmon (Big 12 Blog) – Duke vs. Baylor
Brant Parsons (Orlando Sentinel) – Duke vs. TCU
Following the first set of rankings released by the College Football Playoff selection committee, the Russell Athletic Bowl projections saw its fewest changes to date. Bill Bender was the only featured media member to change his picks from last week, choosing West Virginia to replace TCU as the Big 12’s representative in the matchup.
Along with Baylor, West Virginia is now the favorite to visit to Orlando, earning a spot in two media members’ projections. The Mountaineers are coming off of their convincing 34-10 win over Oklahoma State on the road and will host TCU this weekend with ESPN’s “College GameDay” on-site.
Of the seven teams in the projections this week, only three of them have previously played a bowl game in Orlando. Duke, the overwhelming favorite to make the trek for the ACC, joins Baylor, Kansas State and TCU as the four teams looking to make their first bowl appearance in Orlando.
Every team in this week’s projections earned a spot in the newly-released CFP rankings with TCU leading the way at No. 7 and Kansas State coming in at No. 9. Baylor enters the rankings at 13th, with Oklahoma at 18th and West Virginia close behind at 20th. Duke and Louisville round out the rankings earning the 24th and 25th spot, respectively.