Tennessee highlights week 7 changes

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Could we see a first-time participant in the college football playoffs? Tennessee steps into the national title picture after Saturday’s victory at LSU. The Vols are poised to climb to the top of the polls if they knock out top-ranked Alabama in Knoxville. Updated bowl projections entering Week 7, however, suggest otherwise.

To suggest there’s a clear playoff picture mid-season is nonsense — there are too many competitive teams outside of the “Big 3” capable of making it happen. Two undefeated players remain in the Big 12 and Pac-12, along with two programs behind Ohio State in the Big Ten battling next week in hopes of remaining unscathed.

Perhaps the darkest projection is which team emerges from the ranks of the Group of Five as New Year’s Six qualifiers. Preseason pick Houston is out of the picture, while Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina are the two teams best positioned to participate in the conversation over the next month and change. Enough talk, let’s move on to the scheduled matches.

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Here’s a look at our updated bowl projections for every game entering Week 7.