College Football

Still Way-way-way-too early Bowl Projections

It’s getting better though.  I mean at least the first set of College Football Playoff rankings are out.  And lo and behold, there is already a lot of debate about them.  Texas A&M at #4 and Washington at #5.  Add Ohio State at #6 and it becomes a bit confusing.  The Aggies are obviously in the 4-spot because of their strength of schedule.  So why is Ohio State below Washington then when their only loss is to a Penn State team who somehow got to #12?  Again, this will clear itself up but there will be hiccups along the way.  It also gives every college football media person a chance to give their CFP picks and debate about it ad nauseum.

Alright on to the task at hand.  Bowl projections.  OK just hear me out.  Yes it is still really too early.  But at least now my projections can make some sense (unlike my predictions before the start of the season which were terrible this year).  Let’s start with my CFP projections:

December 31, 2016 7:00 Fiesta Bowl Clemson Washington
December 31, 2016 3:00 Peach Bowl Alabama Ohio State

I think tOSU will beat Michigan in The Game and then win the Big Ten Championship.  The other three will win out.  Makes it very easy to select the top four.  Tough luck Big XII.  Now onto the New Year’s Six bowls:

January 2, 2017 8:30 Sugar Bowl Texas A&M Oklahoma
January 2, 2017 5:00 Rose Bowl Michigan Utah
January 2, 2017 1:00 Cotton Bowl North Carolina Western Michigan
December 30, 2016 8:00 Orange Bowl Louisville Wisconsin

The five conference tie-ins plus Western Michigan are relatively easy picks.  It’s the other at-large and the shared tie-in for the Orange Bowl that becomes a bit of a prickly issue.  For those two spots I would have to select from Baylor, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and LSU.  I believe the Hokies and Heels would both win out, meaning VT would get to the ACC Championship Game.  A loss to Clemson there would actually bump them below UNC in the pecking order, giving the Fighting Fedoras a spot opposite WMU in the Cotton Bowl.  As for the Orange Bowl spot, it would be down to a Big Ten or SEC team: so Wisconsin or LSU.  Even with a Big Ten Championship loss I think Wisconsin would have the resume to get the nod over LSU.  Then again, a lot can change between now and the beginning of December.

Finally, here are the other projections:

January 2, 2017 1:00 Outback Bowl Florida Nebraska
December 31, 2016 11:00 TaxSlayer Bowl Tennessee Florida State
December 31, 2016 11:00 Citrus Bowl LSU Penn State
December 30, 2016 5:30 Arizona Bowl New Mexico Georgia Southern
December 30, 2016 3:30 Music City Bowl Arkansas Northwestern
December 30, 2016 2:30 Sun Bowl Stanford North Carolina
December 30, 2016 12:00 Liberty Bowl Auburn TCU
December 29, 2016 9:00 Alamo Bowl Washington State Baylor
December 29, 2016 5:30 Belk Bowl Kentucky Wake Forest
December 29, 2016 2:00 Birmingham Bowl Ole Miss Temple
December 28, 2016 9:00 Texas Bowl Georgia West Virginia
December 28, 2016 5:30 Russell Athletic Bowl Oklahoma State Virginia Tech
December 28, 2016 2:00 Pinstripe Bowl Minnesota Miami
December 27, 2016 10:15 Cactus Bowl UCLA Kansas State
December 27, 2016 7:00 Holiday Bowl Iowa Colorado
December 27, 2016 3:30 Military Bowl Pittsburgh USF
December 27, 2016 12:00 Heart of Dallas Bowl Colorado State* Southern Miss
December 26, 2016 5:00 Independence Bowl South Carolina Western Kentucky
December 26, 2016 2:30 Quick Lane Bowl Maryland Eastern Michigan
December 26, 2016 11:00 St. Petersburg Bowl Georgia Tech Houston
December 24, 2016 8:00 Hawaii Bowl Hawaii Middle Tennessee
December 23, 2016 8:00 Dollar General Bowl Ohio Arkansas State
December 23, 2016 4:30 Armed Forces Bowl Navy Texas
December 23, 2016 1:00 Bahamas Bowl Tulsa Akron
December 22, 2016 10:30 Foster Farms Bowl Indiana USC
December 22, 2016 7:00 Idaho Potato Bowl San Diego State Toledo
December 21, 2016 9:00 Poinsettia Bowl BYU Air Force
December 20, 2016 7:00 Boca Raton Bowl Cincinnati Old Dominion
December 19, 2016 2:30 Miami Beach Bowl Memphis Ball State
December 17, 2016 9:00 New Orleans Bowl Louisiana Tech Appalachian State
December 17, 2016 5:30 Camellia Bowl Central Michigan Troy
December 17, 2016 5:30 Cure Bowl Boston College** Idaho
December 17, 2016 3:30 Las Vegas Bowl Arizona State Boise State
December 17, 2016 2:00 New Mexico Bowl Wyoming South Alabama*

*conference cannot fill spot

**team with 5-7 record with highest APR score

To be honest I am totally guessing on the APR score.  It could be almost any 5-7 team.  I still cannot foresee a scenario where all the bowl slots will be filled with bowl-eligible teams.  Army cannot get in at 6-6 since they have two wins over FCS teams.  They would have to get to 7-5 and I don’t see that happening.  However, I don’t know if they would be included before a 5-7 team here.

At this point I see some pretty good pre-Christmas bowl matchups including BYU/Air Force at the Poinsettia, Arizona State/Boise State at the Las Vegas, and Navy/Texas at the Armed Forces.  There’s a good chance none of these will happen.  But remember the hype when there was that possibility that the Holy War between BYU and Utah would go to Vegas and then it happened.  People lost their minds about it.  It was almost the only hype on that entire day when all the bowl spots were handed out.  Which brings me back to my post I made about how I would fix the bowl games.  One idea is to make it like CBS’s Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament.  If ESPN could somehow make a show where most of the bowl selections are made live it would actually generate ratings and interest.  Won’t happen but hey, they can send me a message if they want: I have a ton of ideas.

Alright, tomorrow will be the CFB TV schedule, followed by the NFL version on Friday.  Tonight we got some more MACtion for you people with the specialty pack.  Toledo travels to Akron needing to win to keep their MAC West hopes alive.  Also, rumour has it there is an important baseball game tonight.  Enjoy!

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