Rose Bowl (Playoff semifinal)
Projection: No. 1 Ohio State (13-0) vs. No. 4 Florida (11-1)
The word: In our way-too-early projection, we’re picking the Gators as the fourth-seeded Playoff team. It’s a bit hazy, sure, but there is a justifiable path to the Playoff for Dan Mullen in Year 3 at Florida. Let’s say Florida finishes 11-1 during the regular season with its only loss coming to Georgia in Jacksonville — which would include a Top 10 win over LSU in Gainesville. Georgia finishes 11-1 with a loss to Alabama, thus wins the East with the tiebreaker. Then, the Crimson Tide beat the Bulldogs again in Atlanta, ensuring Florida is the SEC’s second-most attractive option for the Playoff committee.
If that came to pass, the best part would be the pundits who would point to Florida’s appearance in the CFP as proof that Dan Mullen is a better coach than Kirby Smart.