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Bowl Projections...sort of

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As I mentioned last week in my bowls entry I wasn't going to be doing any projections as there is still way too many games left to make any solid projections that go beyond guess work. If you want to try to predict how the ACC will shake out the rest of the way, be my guest. But I need content and even though I hate the current state of the bowl system, I love looking at potential match-ups. So in this entry I'm going to do what I've done a few times in the past in the College Football threads and jumble together bowl projections from various sites to give you an idea of where your favorite or hated team might be playing a meaningless game in late December. I'll take projections from ESPN.com, CFN.com, CBS Sportsline, CollegeBCS.com, and SI.com and throw little comments that will provide little to no insight.

 

December 19th - Poinsettia Bowl (Mountain West #3 vs. at-large)

Utah/Air Force/Wyoming vs. Kansas/Northern Illinois/UCLA/Ohio

 

Army had a conditional bid here but their incredibly slim bowl chances went up in smoke when they get blown by Air Force so it's anyones guess as to who gets the at-large bid but will likely go to a 6-6 BCS conference team or someone from the MAC.

 

December 21st - Las Vegas Bowl (Mountain West #1 vs. Pac-10 #4)

BYU vs. Oregon State/Washington State/Oregon

 

I should have corrected bravesfan, or whatever his name is now, in the College Football thread as he was under the impression that the Hawaii is the Pac-10's #4 choice but it's actually their last one. In any event BYU will lock up the Mountain West this week with a win over Wyoming and the greatest a trip a Mormon can have, Las Vegas. I'd say most likely the loser of the Civil War ends up here as the opponent.

 

December 22nd - New Orleans Bowl (Sun Belt #1 vs. Conference USA #5)

Middle Tennesse/Troy vs. UTEP/SMU/Rice

 

Obviously God caused Hurricane Katrina to prevent New Oreleans from being subjected to another Sun Belt bowl game but it's back this year. At least the Sun Belt will manage to end up with more than one winning team this year. MTSU hosts Troy on November 25th and that will decide the conference and I'm soooooo tempted to break my no Sun Belt games rule in my pick 'em contest for that game. UTEP was the popular choice here but I'm pulling for SMU as they have an outside shot at their first bowl game since the death penalty.

 

December 23rd - Birmingham Bowl Bowl (Conference USA #3 vs. Big East #5/6)

Southern Miss vs. South Florida/Pittsburgh

 

Now raise your hand if you actually knew there was something called the Birmingham Bowl this year? The projections were unanimous for Southern Miss and only one picked Pittsburgh instead of USF.

 

December 23rd - New Mexico Bowl (WAC #3 vs. Mountain West #4)

Nevada/San Jose State vs. New Mexico

 

Okay now raise your hand if you actually knew there was something called the New Mexico Bowl this year? See this is the problem with a lot of these little bowls as they can only hope to get a decent crowd if the home team becomes bowl eligible and then really is it even a bowl game at that point or just a glorified home game? New Mexico will have to sweat a little for a bowl eligiblity as they play BYU and TCU next but finish the season at home against awful San Diego State. Now the WAC projections are split down the middle which is odd because I'd think Nevada would definately take Boise State's spot in the MPC Computers Bowl but half of them think San Jose State will but I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

 

December 23rd - Armed Forces Bowl (Mountain West #2 vs. Conference USA #4)

TCU vs. Tulsa/UTEP/SMU/East Carolina

 

This is actually not a new bowl but the bowl formerly known as the Fort Worth Bowl and I know you are all appalled that such a historic bowl would go corporate, sort of. Oddly enough Navy and Army didn't have any sort of conditional bid here. TCU is the unanimous choice since it played on their homefield and have in the past rejected other invites just to stay home although this year they get their by default. Projections have no clue who goes from Conference USA here.

 

December 24th - Hawaii Bowl (WAC #2 vs. Pac-10 #6)

Hawaii vs. Arizona State/Washington State

 

Again this week's big story was the shocking news that Hawaii accepted an invite to the Hawaii Bowl. All but one of the projections had ASU going here.

 

December 26th - Motor City Bowl (MAC #1 vs. Big Ten #7)

Central Michigan/Ohio/Western Michigan vs. Cincinnati/Iowa/Middle Tennessee

 

CMU has emerged as this week's favorite to win the MAC but that conference has been impossible to figure out this year. Now with it almost a lock that Ohio State and Michigan will give the Big Ten BCS bids there's a very good chance the Big Ten won't fill their last bid and Cincinnati for geographic reasons, and because the Big East is losing a bid which I'll get to, was the popular choice. CollegeBCS.com was the one who picked MTSU and I don't know what they are thinking there.

 

December 27th - Emerald Bowl (Pac-10 #5 vs. ACC #7)

Washington State/Oregon/Arizona State vs. Florida State/Boston College/Maryland

 

It's still incredibly stupid to have a bowl game in an area as indifferent towards college sports as the Bay Area but at least they have the Pac-10 on board now so Stanford will have a bowl game to go to if they ever become bowl eligible again this decade. FSU is the odds on favorite to go here and watching them travel across the country for a game they won't give a shit about will be fun.

 

December 28th - Independence Bowl (Big XII #7 vs. SEC #8)

Oklahoma State/Kansas State/Texas Tech vs. Alabama/Georgia/South Carolina/Kentucky

 

The Big XII bowl picture is fairly unsettled so tough to guess here. One of the dissapointing 6-6 SEC teams will end up here.

 

December 28th - Texas Bowl (Big East #3/#4 vs. Big XII #8)

Rutgers vs. Kansas State/Oklahoma State

 

This is technically a new bowl game but it was the replacement for the Houston Bowl that went belly up but is being played in...Houston. Confused? Anyways that is correct what you read, Rutgers even with probably a 10-2 record will end up in a nothing bowl game against 6-6 Big XII team. Basically no bowls wanted the Big East after the purge a couple of years ago, which in hindsight hasn't hurt the conference at all, and this is the result of it.

 

December 28th - Holiday Bowl (Pac-10 #2 vs. Big XII #3)

USC/California vs. Texas A&M/Missouri/Nebraska

 

Holiday Bowl has really emerged as one of the biggest non-BCS bowls in recent years and it should be no different this year. But man fuck all these projections as only one has USC getting to the Rose Bowl which means most think Cal will win their match-up. USC likely killed their BCS at-large chances with the loss to Oregon State although there is a slim chance that they could get in if a lot of things break their way, one being Boise State failing to get into the BCS. Obviously if USC ends up here, Nebraksa wouldn't be the selection from the Big XII.

 

December 29th - Music City Bowl (ACC #5 vs. SEC #6)

Wake Forest/Virginia Tech/Boston College/Maryland/Miami vs. South Carolina/Kentucky/Alabama

 

Again the ACC is impossible to figure out who is going where right now as Wake Forest was the only team that showed up on two of the projections although I'd say Miami is a longshot here.

 

December 29th - Sun Bowl (Pac-10 #3 vs. Big XII #5/Big East #2)

Oregon/Oregon State/Washington State vs. Missouri/West Virginia

 

Yup the complete lack of wanting the Big East strikes again. The Gator Bowl has a deal this year where they can pick a Big XII team over the second place Big East team. Big XII fans travel very well so don't be shocked if an 11-1 Big East team gets passed over and sent to El Paso, especially if the Gator Bowl has a shot at getting Nebraska who's fans can almost sell out bowl games on their own. The Civil War winner likely goes here from the Pac-10.

 

December 29th - Liberty Bowl (Conference USA #1 vs. SEC #7)

Houston/Tulsa vs. Kentucky/Alabama

 

Houston's mild upset of Tulsa this week makes them the run away favorite now to win Conference USA.

 

December 29th - Champs Sports Bowl (ACC #4 vs. Big Ten #5)

Boston College/Virginia Tech/Maryland/Florida State vs. Iowa/Minnesota

 

No bowl game that gets BCS conference teams every year produces more lackluster games than the Champs Sports Bowl and this year should be no different. CFN.com is the one that picked Minnesota so obviously Vern has been bribing them.

 

December 29th - Insight Bowl (Big XII #6 vs. Big Ten #6)

Texas Tech/Oklahoma State vs. Indiana/Wyoming/Central Michigan/Utah

 

Again because both Ohio State and Michigan are going to be the BCS and because the Big Ten is incredibly mediocre once you get past the top three teams, this bid might not be filled by their conference. Texas Tech was the almost unanimous pick here for the Big XII. I'm still trying to figure out why the Insight parted ways with the Pac-10 when it's natural fit for the Arizona schools.

 

That's enough for tonight, cover the rest tommorrow.

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