After predicting all the conferences, it’s time to look at what bowl season looks like. And let’s be honest, if you read this blog, or any other college football blog, you watch most of these games. Don’t be like one of those people who says there’s way too many bowl games (it’s like hipsters wanting a trophy for not owning a TV). We know there’s probably too many…but it’s football, so who cares. Just watch and enjoy!
So it seems like my Bachelor’s degree in Bowl Gameology is not enough anymore. You need at least a Masters in that, plus a minor in Bracketology (which can be very useful come March Madness time). It has gotten to the point of insanity when figuring out all the tie-ins. So if you enjoy crazy algebraic equations, this might be the thing for you. OK so here we go:
|Date||Bowl||Bowl Tie-In #1||Bowl Tie-In #2||Team #1||Team #2|
|January 12, 2015||CFP Championship||Sugar Winner||Rose Winner||Florida State||Oregon|
|January 4, 2015||GoDaddy Bowl||MAC||Sun Belt #1||Bowling Green||Louisiana|
|January 3, 2015||Birmingham Bowl||American||SEC 3rd Tier||Houston||Troy*|
|January 2, 2015||Cactus Bowl||Big XII #5/MWC #7||Pac-12 #7/MWC #7||Colorado State||Arizona State|
|January 2, 2015||Alamo Bowl||Big XII #2||Pac-12 #2||Texas||Washington|
|January 2, 2015||TaxSlayer Bowl||ACC 2nd Tier/Big Ten #5||SEC 2nd Tier||Miami||Florida|
|January 2, 2015||Armed Forces Bowl||Army or Big XII #7||American or C-USA||SMU*||UTSA|
|January 1, 2015||Sugar Bowl||CFP Poll #1||CFP Poll #4||Florida State||South Carolina|
|January 1, 2015||Rose Bowl||CFP Poll #2||CFP Poll #3||Oklahoma||Oregon|
|January 1, 2015||Cotton Bowl||CFP At-Large||CFP At-Large||Baylor||Ohio State|
|January 1, 2015||Outback Bowl||SEC 2nd Tier||Big Ten #3||Texas A&M||Nebraska|
|January 1, 2015||Capital One Bowl||ACC #3 or Big Ten #2||SEC #2||Duke||Georgia|
|December 31, 2014||Orange Bowl||ACC #1/CFP At-Large||SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame||Michigan State||Notre Dame|
|December 31, 2014||Fiesta Bowl||CFP At-Large||CFP At-Large||UCLA||Alabama|
|December 31, 2014||Peach Bowl||CFP At-Large||CFP At-Large||Marshall||Auburn|
|December 30, 2014||San Francisco Bowl||Big Ten #7||Pac-12 #4||Iowa||Stanford|
|December 30, 2014||Belk Bowl||ACC 2nd Tier||SEC 2nd Tier||Clemson||Vanderbilt|
|December 30, 2014||Music City Bowl||Big Ten #6/ACC 2nd Tier||SEC 2nd Tier||Minnesota||Ole Miss|
|December 29, 2014||Texas Bowl||SEC 2nd Tier||Big XII #6||LSU||TCU|
|December 29, 2014||Russell Athletic Bowl||ACC #2||Big XII #3||Louisville||Kansas State|
|December 29, 2014||Liberty Bowl||SEC 2nd Tier||Big XII #4||Mississippi State||Oklahoma State|
|December 27, 2014||Holiday Bowl||Big Ten #4||Pac-12 #3||Wisconsin||USC|
|December 27, 2014||Pinstripe Bowl||ACC 2nd Tier||Big Ten #8||North Carolina||Northwestern|
|December 27, 2014||Independence Bowl||ACC 3rd Tier||SEC 3rd Tier or C-USA||NC State||North Texas|
|December 27, 2014||Sun Bowl||ACC 2nd Tier||Pac-12 #5||Virginia Tech||Arizona|
|December 27, 2014||Military Bowl||ACC 3rd Tier||American||Pittsburgh||Cincinnati|
|December 26, 2014||Bitcoin Bowl||ACC 3rd Tier||American||Georgia Tech||UCF|
|December 26, 2014||Detroit Bowl||ACC 3rd Tier||Big Ten #9||Buffalo*||Michigan|
|December 26, 2014||Heart of Dallas Bowl||Big Ten #10||C-USA||ULM*||Rice|
|December 24, 2014||Hawaii Bowl||C-USA||MWC #3||Middle Tennessee||San Diego State|
|December 24, 2014||Bahamas Bowl||C-USA||MAC||UNLV*||Ball State|
|December 23, 2014||Poinsettia Bowl||Navy||MWC #2||Navy||Utah State|
|December 23, 2014||Boca Raton Bowl||C-USA||MAC||Florida Atlantic||Northern Illinois|
|December 22, 2014||Miami Beach Bowl||BYU||American||BYU||East Carolina|
|December 20, 2014||Camellia Bowl||MAC||Sun Belt #3||Toledo||Arkansas State|
|December 20, 2014||Idaho Potato Bowl||MWC #6||MAC||Wyoming||Ohio|
|December 20, 2014||Las Vegas Bowl||Pac-12 #6||MWC #1||Oregon State||Boise State|
|December 20, 2014||New Mexico Bowl||C-USA||MWC #4||Missouri*||Fresno State|
|December 20, 2014||New Orleans Bowl||C-USA or MWC #5||Sun Belt #2 or C-USA||Louisiana Tech||South Alabama|
First of all an asterisk means a team is entered that doesn’t correspond to a bowl tie-in because that conference didn’t have enough teams. Also, this season should see the first time a waiver truly has to be used as there will not be enough bowl-eligible teams. I see them being one short. So the best 5-7 team would go, and I believe that would be Missouri. As you can see, I am going a tiny bit away from most experts when it comes to my CFP picks. FSU, Oklahoma, and Oregon are picks many have made. I don’t know of anyone who has picked South Carolina but I think this is their year to make some noise. Also, when it’s all said and done, I see Oregon upsetting (kind of) Florida State to win the title. Other notes:
- South Alabama (New Orleans) and UTSA (Armed Forces) look like they would be going to their first bowls in school history. Impressive, since, if you combine the ages of the football programs, it doesn’t even get back to the 20th century.
- Since it has become apparent that many programs lose money going to bowl games (and hope to recoup it by just being better the next year by getting better recruits who watch the higher profile games, etc.), I peg a few teams to be playing in their home states. I know this doesn’t afford a student-athlete a chance to travel to some exotic locale like Boise, it saves the school a lot of money and also guarantees a good crowd at games. The teams that I see playing near (or at) home this season in a bowl game are: Louisiana Tech (New Orleans), Florida Atlantic (Boca Raton), Rice (Heart of Dallas), Michigan (Detroit), UCF (Bitcoin), USC (Holiday), TCU (Texas), Stanford (San Francisco), Baylor (Cotton), SMU and UTSA (Armed Forces), Miami and Florida (TaxSlayer), Texas (Alamo), Arizona State (Cactus), Troy (Birmingham).
- The College Football Playoff committee has their work cut out for them. Picking these teams won’t be easy. Now, picking the first eight will be in my estimation. They would be Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Baylor, Michigan State, Alabama, Ohio State. They would be automatics. Marshall would be the other automatic as the best Weak Group of Five team. The other three spots would be dicey at best and would be cause for a lot of debate. UCLA and Auburn seemed like relatively safe picks although there are a couple other SEC or Pac-12 teams I could pick. Either way, I figured to select one more SEC and one more Pac-12 team. The last one was up to Notre Dame and BYU. Despite the fact I think BYU will be one or two spots higher in the rankings by the end of the year, I think The Committee will have a tough time passing on the Irish so they get the final spot. This should just fuel the fire more for the BYU going to a conference talks in the off-season.
- Two bowls get the shaft this year (and not in a good way). The Independence Bowl and Outback Bowl have been relegated to ESPN2 rather than ESPN or ABC (or CBS if you’re the Sun Bowl which still makes no sense other than it being historically that way). This means both of these bowls are definite picks for the specialty packs. However, depending on what Sportsnet does, you could see upwards of ten bowl games on the specialty packs this year. That’s a lot if you don’t have either the Super Sports Pack or the U.S. College Sports Package.
Next up will be my Heisman predictions along with a few other predictions for this season. As for tomorrow, the first game of the college football season is upon us…for you American neighbours. For us up here, I have looked and looked and looked and can’t see any evidence that the FCS game tomorrow will be on the specialty pack and I know for sure it isn’t on either TSN or TSN2. So it looks like Thursday night will be the first night for college football for us up here (unless we somehow get the Abilene Christian-Georgia State game on Wednesday night which I highly doubt as well). I will keep you updated on how things are looking for week one.
Update: Oh, ye (or me) of little faith. I wake up this morning to find Sam Houston State-Eastern Washington is now on the specialty packs! So I guess I may have to play this game this year with Bell (and possibly Rogers). Oh well, it’s on and it’s time for some college football (finally!)
Update #2: Man things seem to change on a dime with this TSN thing. I shouldn’t have bought into what many were saying that since TSN3 was showing Winnipeg Jets games, TSN4 was showing Toronto Maple Leafs games and TSN5 was showing Ottawa Senators games that these channels would essentially be regional channels, a la Sportsnet’s shitfest of a family of channels. I should give a Lee Corso “Not So Fast My Friend.” Looks like they will be not totally different channels but most of the programming will be different across the board. Meaning, as of this point, it looks like there is 2 NCAA games Thursday night and 3 on Saturday. It’s about time!!!!
Update #3: Noticed I had Notre Dame in the Fiesta instead of the Orange. The only access Notre Dame has to the New Year’s Day bowls is the Orange Bowl and only twice in 12 years. So they go there now and Alabama heads out west to face UCLA in the Fiesta. Either way, you’re looking at sell-outs at both places.