College Football

And finally, the bowl predictions…yes, all of them.

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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.

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6 thoughts on “And finally, the bowl predictions…yes, all of them.

  1. I didn’t get the Sam Houston – Eastern Washington game on the Sports Pak with Execulink (which gets its content from Rogers). Any word if South Carolina vs. A&M will be on the TSN 1-5 or will it be on the sports pak. I just moved from the U.S. and Directv, and am a college nut (and subsequently being tortured over here with the lack of direction/information regarding broadcast schedules.

    1. To be perfectly honest, I never checked Rogers schedules on Saturday morning. That is the first time I noticed it on my Bell Fibe schedule. I just assumed that since Bell and Rogers have such closely linked schedules for college football on their specialty packs, that it would have been on both. You might want to check right now about the Wednesday night Abilene Christian-Georgia State game. I put it on my PVR today so it should be on your guide by tomorrow at the latest. If that game is not there, you might want to contact Execulink and see what the fuck is going on there.
      As for A&M-South Carolina, it will not be on any of the TSN family of networks. Thursday night you will see Wake Forest-ULM on TSN2 and Boise State-Ole Miss on TSN3. A&M-South Carolina and Temple-Vanderbilt will most definitely appear on the specialty pack (U.S. College Sports Package for me; Super Sports Pack for you).
      Question: where in the U.S. did you move from? And I apologize on behalf of college football fans and TV viewers in pretty much all of Canada. Rogers, Bell, Shaw, any other affiliates and smaller companies, and the CRTC can basically take the blame for the current state of television in this country.

  2. I moved from Michigan — thanks for the condolences! Looks like TSN is stepping it up by showing some of the good games such as BSU-Ole Miss (although showing Wake Forest – Louisiana on TSN2 is puzzling). I just switched over to Execulink because they had both B10 Network and Sports Pak, but they have not yet added the TSN 3-5 channels. Im going to have to get a Rogers or Bell Username and password and watch online until then.

    1. Ah Michigan. So Sparty or Big Blue for you (or neither)?

      TSN, so far, looks like they will definitely step up with 5 games this opening weekend. I expect three every weekend the rest of the way if not more which is very good for TSN. I wish Sportsnet had figured out this model years ago but they are stuck with their horrible programming ideas over at Rogers.
      I am a bit surprised at Wake Forest-ULM there, but I have a feeling that was the spot given for college football so they had to choose a game starting at that time.
      Yeah lucky you with BTN. Bell customers don’t get it. We also, now, don’t get the CBS Sports Network. Between the two of those, we have lost at least 6 games a week. The BTN games get onto the U.S. College Sports package most of the time but it’s not a guarantee. I am still waiting, with the changes that CRTC is making for TV around the country, for both Rogers and Bell to bolster their college football packages (among other packages and channels). I wouldn’t be surprised next year to see. along with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and SEC Network games, they include ESPNEWS games and a bunch of ESPN3 games. Maybe they finally get the rights to some FOX Sports games and put them there as well (I can dream right?).

  3. Maize and Blue for sure. Sucks right now that Sparty is on top, as I hear about it constantly. You aren’t missing much on CBS Sports Network, it is brutal, and has gone way downhill. FoxSports1 is being missed a bit, I don’t see anyone carrying those games.
    I may get the Pac12 International Youtube subscription:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/pac12networksintl

    Thanks for the info – good to find a fellow College Sports Geek in the Northern Frontier!

    1. Yeah I had only seen a few games on there. I know Carter Blackburn (from ESPN) had moved over so at least the booth would be a bit better. It just sucks to lose anywhere from 2 to 4 more games a week as well.
      Rogers owns the rights to show FOX college football properties (and I think all the FOX sports properties period if I am not mistaken). And since Sportsnet won’t show college football anymore thanks to overpaying to show the NHL for next 12 years, they have a sunk cost sitting there that they are doing nothing with. And the fans suffer.

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