Insider : Bowl Projections
In the final weekend of college football regular season there are still questions that still have to be resolved. Where will Florida, Florida State, UCF go bowling? Who will play in Sunshine State Bowl games? and who playing in the BCS Bowls? I break down the scenarios this weekend.
BCS Title Game – Notre Dame vs Alabama
Scenario- Winner of Bama-Georgia plays Notre Dame for the title. I am projecting Alabama to defeat Georgia in SEC Title Game.
Orange Bowl- Louisville vs Florida State
Scenario- Kent State has a chance to end up here if the win MAC Championship over Northern Illinois. Kent State needs a win and be in the top 16 of the BCS final rankings. They are currently 17th. A win and losses by Texas and UCLA could do the trick and bump Big East champ Louisville to Sugar Bowl. I am projecting Kent State to lose to Northern llinois and Florida State to defeat Georgia Tech.
Sugar Bowl – Florida vs Oklahoma
Scenario- The Gators are all but a lock for Sugar Bowl and all indications are that Oklahoma will end up here even if they win the Big 12 title as there are reports that the Sooners want to go to Sugar instead of Fiesta Bowl where the Sooners have been there often recently. If Kent State qualifies for BCS could bump Oklahoma out of the BCS completely and drop them to the Cotton Bowl. Should the Sooners lose to TCU on Saturday could also cause the Sooners to drop to the Cotton Bowl. We are projecting the Sooners to take care of TCU.
Fiesta Bowl – Oregon vs Kansas State
Scenario- Oregon should be lock as an At-Large team while Kansas State would clinch the berth to Fiesta Bowl with a win over Texas on Saturday. A loss by Kansas State and win by Oklahoma means the Sooners win the Big 12 and could end up here. But the Sooners do not want to return to the state of Arizona so the Wild Cats may end up here even with a loss. We are projecting a Kansas State win over Texas.
Rose Bowl – Stanford vs Nebraska
Scenario- Its simple winner of Pac 12 title game Stanford/UCLA and winner of Big 10 title game between Wisconsin/Nebraska will end up in Pasedena.
Capital One Bowl (Orlando) – Michigan vs Texas AM
Scenario- Big 10 vs SEC matchup here, Michigan all but a lock to end up in Orlando as its most attractive choice out of the Big 10. SEC was first thought to be the loser of Alabama-Georgia would end up in Orlando, however there a strong push to bring in Texas AM and possibly the soon to be Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Johnny Manziel and the buzz that is around the Aggies to Orlando. We will project that Georgia-Alabama will get passed by Texas AM and Johnny Football.
Outback Bowl (Tampa) – Northwestern vs South Carolina
Scenario- This is where it gets very tricky, If Alabama defeats Georgia, South Carolina more then likely ends up in Tampa with Mississippi State and Vanderbilt in the mix. If Georgia defeats Alabama, look for LSU to end up in Tampa. Tampa will have to pick between Wisconsin/Nebraska loser and Northwestern for this spot. We project Tampa to go with the Wildcats .
Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) – Wisconsin vs Vanderbilt
Scenario- Just like scenaro above, Gator Bowl will pick who ever Tampa does not pick between South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State. Jacksonville would love to have Steve Spurrier in Jacksonville and the Gamecocks may prefer to go to Jacksonville instead of a trip to Tampa which they have done previously. If South Carolina is off the board, then the Gator Bowl will pick between Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. I project Vanderbilt who had better season and is more excited to travel to a bowl game then the Bulldogs.
Chick-Fil – A Bowl (Atlanta) – Clemson vs Georgia
Scenario- Clemson lock to be in Atlanta especially with potential matchup with Georgia looming if Georgia loses to Alabama. The question is though what if FSU loses to Georgia Tech? does Atlanta take the Seminoles here and Clemson drop to Orlando for Russell Athletic Bowl? or does Atlanta still pick Clemson and the Seminoles drop to Orlando for second straight season? or do the Noles drop to El Paso for the Sun Bowl? Also if Georgia defeats Alabama , who ends up in Atlanta? LSU, South Carolina ,Mississippi State, all join the mix at that point with the edge to LSU.
Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando) Dec 29- Rutgers vs Virginia Tech
Scenario- Rutgers will be in Orlando following the loss to Louisville. Va Tech would be the choice here assuming the Noles win the ACC title. Should the Noles lose to Georgia Tech, then FSU may end up back in Orlando for the 2nd straight season or Clemson may be here if FSU ends up in Atlanta.
Beef O Brady Bowl (St Pete) – East Carolina vs Middle Tennessee
Scenario- If UCF loses to Tulsa on Saturday, the Knights will end up here, but I am projecting UCF to defeat Tulsa. if Pittsburgh and Connecticut win this weekend, then the Big East would be able to fill all the bowl game slots including this game. In that scenario, Pittsburgh would be the team to come to St Pete. I am projecting Connecticut to lose this weekend which would mean Beef O Brady would pick an At Large more then likely either from Sun Belt or MAC conference. I am projecting Middle Tenn to lose to Arkansas State in defacto Sun Belt title game and end up here with La-Monroe, Arkansas State as options as well.
Liberty Bowl (Memphis)- UCF vs Arkansas State
Scenario- This was supposed to be SEC vs CUSA champ game but the SEC will not have all bowl slots filled and under contract this year the CompassBowl in Birmingham will get the SEC team before Liberty which opens up the slot. Word out of Memphis is that the Sun Belt Champion ends up here which I project to be Arkansas State to play the UCF/Tulsa winner. La-Monroe could also slip in here as well as team from the MAC.
Insider : Bowl Projections by Eric Lopez