The thought of Michigan State circling the bowl, waiting on the flush, made me ponder the entirety of the NY6 from 2015. Here's a brief look at all of the teams and where they are now, at the midway point of 2016, and it isn't pretty.
Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
Alabama vs Michigan State
Alabama is currently sitting atop the college football world. They are the defending National Champs, and a record third trip to the College Football Playoff appears imminent.
Michigan State, on the other hand, seems to have never recovered from the dismantling at the hands of the Crimson Tide. A return to the CFP is impossible now and if mentioned wouldn't even serve as a punchline for a joke they're so bad.
Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
Clemson vs Oklahoma
Clemson is sleepwalking thru the 2016 season, much like Florida State in '14 and Ohio State in '15, but so far, they're keeping their train on the tracks. They seem likely to win the ACC and return to the CFP at this point.
Oklahoma is an interesting case. Following two losses to 2015/16 NY6 teams (Houston and Ohio State), Oklahoma is sitting at 4-2, in control of their own destiny for a Big XII championship. But, in order for a two-loss P5 team to make the CFP, some chaos needs to occur. It could happen, even if it's not likely, it's not impossible. And, it's going to happen one day (a two-loss playoff team).
Houston vs Florida State
Houston came into 2016 as the sexiest team in America not named Alabama or Ohio State. The Tom Herman love affair is very real, and following a win over Oklahoma to kick off the 2016 season, they looked destined to crash the Power 5 party in the CFP. But, then Navy went all Navy on them, and the dream is dead.
Florida State looked like a legitimate CFP contender, but following a pair of early losses to North Carolina and Louisville, I don't see a way for them to return to the CFP, but an NY6 bid isn't out of the question.
Oklahoma State vs Ole Miss
Oklahoma State was another sexy pick this year, as a dark horse contender for the Big XII title. That lasted all of a week. They dropped their second game to a Mid American Conference team - at home - and they were done. Sitting at 4-2, a trip to the Alamo Bowl looks like their ceiling.
Ole Miss (whom I omitted by mistake, we'll say) is sitting at 3-3, and looks to finish at about 7-5, which is a very disappointing season in Oxford. Hugh Freeze has created expectations, and they're a pretty good team, but they're not able to capture the magic like they did in 2015.
Iowa vs Standford
Iowa is straight trash. Well, to be fair, they're not Michigan State bad, but they're a notch below Stanford on the 2016 Underachievement Scale.
Stanford is lost like last years Easter Eggs, but thankfully they grabbed a win over Notre Dame to steady their ship following a two week sweep at the hands of the entire state of Washington.
Notre Dame vs Ohio State
Notre Dame? They are the Titanic meets the Hindenberg. Right now, a bowl game is all but completely out of reach. They're sitting at 2-5 with Army as the only game you can see them easily winning, on their remaining schedule. It's just a mess in South Bend.
Ohio State, on the other hand, seems like they're a couple of hurdles away from a return to the CFP, and they're a virtual lock for a third consecutive NY6 bowl, sitting at 6-0, ranked #2 in the polls.
So, by my count, there are all of three of the 12 teams from last year's NY6 that have a realistic chance of returning this season. That is a staggering number, to me. I can't believe how far so many of those teams have fallen. Two of them may not even make bowl games, PERIOD, after each was ranked in the Top 10.
As an added bonus though, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer appear to have their teams on a collision course, which will be a treat for everyone who's a fan of college football.