College Football

Too Early Bowl Projections

Unlike the Way-Way-Too-Early Bowl Projections from a few weeks ago, this one may have some more accuracy to it.  To be honest, the final four and the New Year’s Six are still a tiny bit of a crapshoot.  Certain teams are almost surely going to be in there regardless of next week’s games.  I did have to make some predictions on next week’s games.  Here are those predictions:

  • Alabama to beat Missouri in the SEC Championship
  • Florida State to BARELY beat Georgia Tech (as per usual) in the ACC Championship
  • Wisconsin to beat Ohio State (but I think it will not be a blowout)
  • Oregon to beat Arizona in a close Pac-12 championship
  • TCU to lay waste to Iowa State
  • Baylor to beat Kansas State in a shootout

This would set up the first College Football Playoff as such:

Sugar Bowl Alabama TCU
Rose Bowl Florida State Oregon

I see Alabama beating TCU in the Sugar with relative ease (or at least that’s what the final score will indicate).  Florida State’s 29-game winning streak should come to an end against Oregon at the Rose Bowl.  Alabama-Oregon for the national championship.  Yes I think that would appease pretty much every college football fan out there.

As for the New Year’s Six we would see the following:

Cotton Bowl Baylor Boise State
Orange Bowl Georgia Tech Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl Arizona Ohio State
Peach Bowl Missisippi State Michigan State

As much as I would think it would be somewhat hilarious for Boise State to lose the Mountain West Championship and Memphis move into that spot, I think the Broncos would have to start their practice squad for them to lose to Fresno State.  Only one other SEC team and three Big Ten squads in there.  Should make for some interesting banter but I can honestly see Ohio State being left out altogether if they lose big to Wisconsin.  It would probably open the door for a team like Ole Miss but who knows at this point.

As for the rest of the bowls, I have this so far:

GoDaddy Bowl Western Michigan Louisiana-Lafayette
Birmingham Bowl Memphis South Carolina
Cactus Bowl Texas Washington
Alamo Bowl Kansas State Arizona State
TaxSlayer Bowl Maryland Georgia
Armed Forces Bowl Arkansas Houston
Outback Bowl Florida Minnesota
Citrus Bowl Iowa Missouri
Foster Farms Bowl Illinois USC
Belk Bowl Duke LSU
Music City Bowl Louisville Ole Miss
Texas Bowl Auburn NC State
Russell Athletic Bowl Clemson Oklahoma
Liberty Bowl Tennessee West Virginia
Holiday Bowl Nebraska UCLA
Pinstripe Bowl Pittsburgh Penn State
Independence Bowl North Carolina Texas A&M
Sun Bowl Notre Dame Utah
Military Bowl Boston College Cincinnati
Bitcoin Bowl Miami UCF
Quick Lane Bowl Virginia Tech Rutgers
Heart of Dallas Bowl Nevada Marshall
Hawaii Bowl Rice Utah State
Bahamas Bowl Middle Tennessee Northern Illinois
Poinsettia Bowl Navy* San Diego State
Boca Raton Bowl UAB Toledo
Miami Beach Bowl BYU* East Carolina
Camellia Bowl Bowling Green South Alabama
Idaho Potato Bowl Fresno State Central Michigan
Las Vegas Bowl Stanford Colorado State
New Mexico Bowl UTEP Air Force
New Orleans Bowl Louisiana Tech Arkansas State

Bowl bids will not be nearly as forthcoming this season as they were in the past when it would be two weeks before the conference championship games and teams would get invites.  I see maybe half a dozen coming in before Friday night when the real set of games begins.  I see a few teams being selected because of proximity (i.e. Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl) but for the most part it has to do with what makes the most intriguing matchups or gets the best teams in depending on bowl selection order.  The SEC and ACC have messed it up even more by tiering the bowl selections and putting sets of bowls in pools.  Then again, this could end up being better than the current bowl selection order method because it could allow conferences to send teams where it makes sense (as in don’t send Buffalo to Idaho for a bowl game unless you absolutely have to).  Navy and BYU have already accepted their bowl bids.

As for UAB, I hope that they do get a bowl bid.  To shut them out would add insult (among a long line of insults) to injury.  I have a feeling this may open the door for a few more FBS programs to either drop to FCS or drop football altogether (as they can’t drop to D-II or D-III….or even Canadian University football).  The money just isn’t there for some programs and nothing that is done can change that.  Some programs have set themselves up for failure whereas others have ended up this way through not so much fault of their own.  Could be a very interesting next few years.  Also, I erred earlier (either on Twitter or on here I can’t remember).  I forgot that Charlotte joins Conference USA’s East Division next season.  This would mean C-USA would want to add another team for the 2016 season (since 2015 would be next to impossible).  Many are saying James Madison would move up from FCS since they rejected a Sun Belt invitation a while back.  I think it comes down to JMU or Troy to move up.  Troy would make more sense from a geographical standpoint as it fills in for the spot UAB vacates in that regard.  It would drop the Sun Belt to 10 teams meaning they would have to invite two programs from the FCS to create a conference championship which I am sure they want.  Looks like another mini-round of realignment.  Oh joy.

I will try my best to update the bowl game chart when changes occur but don’t expect much over the next 48 hours.

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