Friday, November 21, 2014

Bowl Outlook

With two weeks to go, this is a look at the upcoming bowl season.  It is not prudent nor wise to talk about who will be in the "Access Bowl" in the scenario below.  I have gleaned this from others' predicitons as well as looking at the current standings and remaining schedule.  The bowls are generally listed in order of selection order, with information provided where possible for each conference.  Some conferences do not have a preselected order of selection:


Since the Orange Bowl is one of the sites for the national semifinals, the Russell Athletic Bowl has first pick of the ACC bowls this year.  After that, the Belk, Pinstripe, Sun and either the Music City or Gator Bowls share in the selection process.  The other bowls are lower tier bowls and choose their teams after the other slots are filled. 
Playoff:  Florida State is currently projected to make the national playoff. 
Russell Athletic:  Notre Dame
Belk:  Duke
Pinstripe:  Georgia Tech
Sun:  Clemson
Music City:  Louisville
Military:  Boston College
Independence:  Miami of Florida
Quick Lane:  North Carolina or North Carolina State
Bitcoin:  Virginia Tech

Birmingham:  East Carolina is the favorite to earn a birth in the Birmingham Bowl.
Bitcoin:  Central Florida
Miami Beach:  Memphis
Military:  Cincinnati
Armed Forces: Houston

Big 12:
Playoff:  TCU or Baylor
Cotton:  TCU or Baylor
Alamo:  Kansas State
Russell Athletic:  Oklahoma
Texas:  West Virginia
Liberty:  Texas
Cactus:  If Oklahoma State does not become bowl eligible, the Big 12 is likely not able to fulfill its bowl committments, especially if they get a team in the playoffs.  Since the game is in Tempe, Boise State and Colorado State are obvious candidates.


Big Ten:
Cotton:  Ohio State
Citrus:  Michigan State
Outback:  Wisconsin
Holiday:  Nebraska
TaxSlayer: Minnesota
Pinstripe:  Penn State
Foster Farms:  Iowa
Heart of Dallas:  Maryland
Quick Lane:  Rutgers

Conference USA:
The Conference USA Champion selects which bowl it wants to attend, then the other bowls fall in line after that.  Teams with seven wins will be placed in bowls before 6-win teams.
Heart of Dallas:  Louisiana Tech or Marshall
Bahamas:  Louisiana Tech or Marshall
New Mexico:  Rice or UTEP
Boca Raton:  UAB (if bowl eligible)
Hawai'i:  UTEP

(Conference USA may not be able to fulfill its bowl commitments, which would open up a bowl for an at-large selection.)

GoDaddy:  Northern Illinois is expected to get the GoDaddy Bowl
Bahamas:  Western Michigan
Camellia:  Toledo
Boca Raton:  Central Michigan
Idaho Potato:  Bowling Green

Mountain West:

Royal Purple:  Boise State, Colorado State, Air Force, Utah State, San Diego State or Fresno State
Poinsettia Bowl:  Colorado State, San Diego State, Utah State, or Nevada
Idaho Potato:  Air Force
New Mexico:  Utah State, New Mexico, or Air Force
Hawai'i Bowl:  Boise State or Nevada
New Orleans:  San Diego State

(The conference already has enough bowl eligible teams to meet its commitments.  If the league champion gets an invitation to play in the Access Bowl, they will need Fresno State or Wyoming to become bowl eligible to fill all their slots.)


Playoff:  Oregon
Fiesta:  UCLA
Alamo:  Arizona
Holiday:  Arizona State
Foster Farms: Arizona State
Sun:  USC or Utah
Royal Purple:  Utah, Washington, or Stanford
Cactus Bowl:  Utah or Washington

The PAC-12 could have an extra bowl eligible team.


After the committee chooses the participants for its five bowl games, the Citrus has first pick of remaining SEC teams.  The SEC league office then chooses the league's participants in the Outback, Belk, Liberty, Music City, Texas, and Taxslayer, with no preference as to win-loss records.  After those bowls are filled, the Birmingham has next pick, followed by the Independence.   

Playoff:  Alabama
Peach:  Mississippi State
Citrus:  Georgia
Peach:  Auburn
Belk:  Mississippi
Liberty:  Florida
Music City: Tennessee
Outback:  Texas A&M
TaxSlayer:  Missouri
Texas:  LSU
Birmingham:  South Carolina.  If the SEC gets two teams in the playoffs, they likely will not be able to fill this bowl--if no other P5 teams are available, especially one from the South, Marshall and Boise State are definite possibilities.
Independence:  The SEC likely will not fill this bowl--South Alabama has been mentioned.  Since it is in Shreveport, Louisiana Tech also has to be a candidate.

(The conference currently has eight bowl eligible teams, and South Carolina is projected to get there.) 

Sun Belt:

GoDaddy:  Louisiana-Lafayette
New Orleans:  Arkansas State
Camellia:  Texas State or South Alabama


Army is committed to the Armed Forces Bowl each year if they qualify.  They won't this year, so that bowl will have to pick a substitute.  Stanford is mentioned for that, but since Air Force is having such a great year, you'd have to think they might have a say.
BYU will play in the Miami Beach Bowl.
Navy will play in the Poinsettia Bowl against a Mountain West team.

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