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2018 Bowl Projections - Week 3

Posted on November 15, 2018, in Football by Karl Hess.

We're at about the halfway mark of our bowl projections here at HoosPlace. What's clear is that we probably know about as much as we did going into the first week of projections. But we don't let that dissuade us as we're an opionated bunch. Let's dive into the week's picks.

College Football Playoff

Maize

Orange Bowl: 1 Alabama vs 4 Notre Dame

Cotton Bowl: 2 Michigan vs 3 Clemson

No change.  I have Alabama in the Orange instead of the Cotton because Michigan is #2 instead of Clemson.  Clemson gets the Orange if they’re #2 instead.  That gap is closing as the ACC Atlantic closes the gap on the B1G East.

Karl

Cotton Bowl: 1 Alabama vs 4 Michigan

Orange Bowl: 2 Clemson vs 3 Notre Dame

Status quo here. Michigan and Notre Dame have big games approaching. It’s hard to imagine that things will remain static the rest of way. But maybe that will be the big upset no one expected.

Kendall

Cotton Bowl: 1 Alabama vs 4 Notre Dame

Orange Bowl: 2 Clemson vs 3 Michigan

Ho-hum, status quo. Hoofans want Clemson and Notre Dame to stay unbeaten and make the CFP field for two reasons: 1) ACC revenue sharing, and 2) Potentially better bowl slotting for Virginia.

New Year's Six

Kendall

Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs Washington State

Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs West Virginia

Peach Bowl: Florida vs UCF

I hate putting a 3-loss Florida team in the NY6… but there just aren’t any better options.

If Syracuse runs the table, beating Notre Dame and Boston College, they might have a case (and it’d send Georgia to the CFP and drop ND down to the other NY6 games).

I don’t think a 9-3 Boston College team (wins over FSU and Cuse down the stretch) slips in over Florida, given the oppressive SEC bias and all.

A 12-1, MWC champion Utah State team would get a crack at NY6 bowl if I were running college football, but I’m not sure that’s rooted in reality.

Kentucky’s loss to Tennessee and NC State’s loss to Wake Forest killed their NY6 chances.

Washington is a decent darkhorse to consider. Currently 7-3, they’ll get an easy win over Oregon State, then face Wazzu in Pullman. Win both, win the Pac-12 North, and likely face Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Maize

Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs Washington State

Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia vs UCF

Peach Bowl: LSU vs Texas

I hate putting Florida in the Peach Bowl too, so I won’t.  We’ll project Texas to beat Iowa State this weekend, which should vault them past Florida and Penn State.  If Syracuse can beat Notre Dame, that just might give them an NY6 berth, but here’s betting they don’t.  (You should root for this to happen, though.)

Karl

Sugar Bowl: LSU vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs Washington State

Fiesta Bowl: Georgia vs West Virginia

Peach Bowl: Florida vs UCF

NC State and Kentucky really shit the bed last week. So now we’re left with a group of teams that are kind of meh but someone has to get the bowl berth here. I honestly like the idea of another Group of 5 team getting a chance with UCF (Utah State, Cincinnati, UAB, Buffalo, Army, Boise, Fresno, Troy, or maybe even Houston would be on the menu) but we know that’s most definitely not happening. I’m not sure the bowl bylaws even allow for that sort of thing but it’s a moot point.

So, by default, let’s welcome the Florida Gators to the party.

ACC Bowls

Camping World Bowl

Karl

Syracuse vs Iowa State

No matter the outcome of this weekend’s game between Texas and Iowa State, it’s difficult to see the Alamo Bowl passing on the Longhorns. Iowa State heads to Orlando for the after Christmas trip. 

On the ACC side, NC State is going to tumble right past Orlando after blowing a NY6 shot with their loss to Wake.

A Syracuse win over Notre Dame this weekend throws a wrench in the entire process but elevates Syracuse to a possible NY6 slot depending on a ton of other factors. Lose to Notre Dame but beat BC (I think they will as of right now) and they’re likely Orlando bound.

Maize

Syracuse vs Texas Tech

How’s this for irony: Iowa State is better off losing to Texas than beating them.  If I’m right about that pushing Texas past Florida and Penn State, it would also then put ISU in the Alamo Bowl.  Win, and Texas gets the Alamo for obvious geographical reasons.  Since I’ve got the Horns in that game, ISU gets the trip to San Antonio and the CW Bowl is reduced to taking the winner of Texas Tech and Baylor.

Kendall

Boston College vs Iowa State

Syracuse travels to Boston College in a HUGE ender to the ACC regular season. The winner (I’ve got BC) gets the coveted Camping World slot.

TIER ONE ACC BOWLS

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl / Franklin American Mortgate Music City Bowl

Kendall

NC State vs Missouri

The TaxSlayer/Music City slot has five good choices among ACC teams. 6-3 with Louisville, UNC, and ECU left to go… pencil in State for a 9-3 finish… outpacing 8-4 Syracuse, Virginia, and Duke teams, and an 8-5 Pitt squad.

Karl

Boston College vs Mississippi State (Music City)

Three weeks in and this matchup still makes sense. It’s just about the only game that hasn’t changed one or both selections in my picks yet.

Maize

Boston College vs Mississippi State (Music City)

Sticking with this one.

Belk Bowl

Maize

NC State vs South Carolina

That loss to Wake was not so good for UVA fans wanting to go to Charlotte.

Kendall

Virginia vs South Carolina

I’m choosing to be optimistic this week. Charlotte would have already hosten Pitt in the ACCCG, and seen how Panther fans do not travel. Duke will have backdoored their 8-4 record, and Syracuse’s hot story of early November will tank by Thanksgiving after two quick losses. It’s Virginia in Charlotte, after removing the Virginia Tech monkey from off her back.

Karl

NC State vs South Carolina

This is too good to be true for the Belk Bowl folks. This is the type of game they wish for in their prayers each night.

Hyundai Sun Bowl

Karl

Virginia vs Cal

I continue to think that El Paso is our reward for a 7 or 8 win season. On the plus side, we get an interesting matchup. Winner gets the US News #1 Public School Rivalry Trophy.

Maize

Pitt vs Arizona State

This does seem like the bowl that you put someone in after you’ve optimized all the other matchups.

Kendall

Syracuse vs Arizona State

Surprisingly sexy matchup here. Meanwhile, the ACC seriously needs to do something about its Sun Bowl tie-in. What a shitty “reward” for a good season. El Paso! Yaaaay! (Fartsound.)

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Kendall

Pitt vs Purdue

The more I think about it, the more certain I become that Pitt is NYC bound. Duke draws the short straw and slides to the “Additional Bowls.”

Karl

Pitt vs Wisconsin

The ACC gives Pitt the ability to pick between El Paso and New York City. Winter in the Big Apple doesn’t impress Pitt, so they take the convenient trip for their fans. 

Wisconsin has yet to play in the Pinstripe Bowl, so they fit the bowl’s and conference’s criteria. There are quite a few ties between Pitt and Wiscy, so this matchup makes for a good story line for the bowl.

Maize

Virginia vs Michigan State

Here’s UVA’s problem.  Out of NC State, Pitt, BC, UVA, and GT (yes, Georgia Tech) only four of them can go to a “Tier 1” bowl.  The first three are close to locks.  If the Hoos can’t handle the triple option, would the better bowls prefer a 7-5 GT to an 8-4 (hopefully) UVA?  Maybe, maybe not.  If it’s the Pinstripe, UVA has a better shot, with our location working in our favor. 

ADDITIONAL BOWLS (FORMERLY TIER TWO)

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman

Maize

Duke vs Temple

Duke “scheduled for success” and so despite a likely 8-4 record, they find themselves here.

Kendall

Duke vs South Florida

SHRUG

Karl

Duke vs Cincinnati

A rematch of the 2012 Belk Bowl is in the cards here. The Military Bowl could do a lot worse than this game.

Walk-On's Independence Bowl

Karl

Georgia Tech vs Tulane

Because the CFP & NY6 are filled with SEC teams, they can’t fill this slot. I still like this pairing from last week. I could see the Hoos and Georgia Tech flipped with the Hoos also playing Tulane. The Green Wave make a lot of sense for the bowl’s AAC/CUSA replacement.

Maize

Georgia Tech vs Tulane

Still don’t think the SEC will be able to fill its slots this far down.

Kendall

Georgia Tech vs Tennessee

Two teams rising late in the season, should be a pretty good matchup.

Quick Lane Bowl

Kendall

Miami vs Eastern Michigan

Miami’s my last bowl-eligible ACC team (Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and FSU fall short), and they get shipped to Siberia. SORRY, MAIZE! I only say that because it’s Detroit in December, and that shit is cold.

Karl

Miami vs Eastern Michigan

This weekend’s Miami-Virginia Tech game is likely a bowl elimination game for the two teams. The Hokies, who are going to need two wins to qualify, have looked worse than Miami lately. So let’s give Miami the nod this week.

The B1G still has several teams in play that could land here but they’re all going to require an upset or two to happen. So Eastern Michigan is excited to find a home so close to their fans.

Maize

Miami vs Western Michigan

The average high on December 26 is 33 degrees, ya big baby :P  Anyway, yeah, Miami is the last bowl-eligible team (bye Hokies) and even that is no guarantee - I’m not opposed at all to watching the Hokies sink Miami’s bowl chances and then get sunk themselves, though that probably requires all their attempts at scheduling a 12th game to fall through.  (Also, Eastern may be physically closer but Western has an actual fanbase.)

The Weekly Rants

We've run out of teams before we've run out of possible bowl games yet again. So we're going to rant a bit.

Kendall

I’d like to riff off of what Maize said in this space last week...

“Nobody left in the ACC, so it’s time for Maize’s Bowl Rant of the Week which is sort of about the Pinstripe Bowl but more about northern bowls in general, i.e., there shouldn’t be any.  OK, the Motor City Bowl is fun and I’ve been I think like three times, in one case because I won free tickets because the Lions scored a touchdown and my seat was called and I got four tix.  But that’s kind of the point.  The Lions score touchdowns with relative frequency, which means a lot of free tickets get handed out.  See, fans in the north, if they travel for bowl games, want to go somewhere warm for a couple days.  And fans in the south think the north has the plague for six months and won’t go anywhere near a snowflake.  And in New York, your game is like the 500th most important thing happening in town that day.  The locals don’t give a damn.  When I go to a bowl game I like to do things like blow the day playing mini-golf.  Which means when it comes down to it, I’d rather go to Shreveport.  Bowls - at least, the non-glamorous ones - should be in smallish southern cities, not huge metropolises with NFL stadiums.  Someone get Charleston, South Carolina on the line immediately and line them up.  Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple days in Charleston?  The Citadel’s stadium holds 21,000 and it’s due for an expansion.  That’s plenty.”

That’s an excellent point. Small stadiums make better mid- and low-tier bowl games, anyway. Here’s a bulleted list.

New Orleans - Benson Field at Yulman Stadium, home of the Tulane Green Wave, seats 30K, and New Orleans is just about the best bowl destination ever conceived.

Boca Raton (near Palm Beach) - FAU Stadium, seats 30K.

San Jose - CEFCU Stadium, home of the San Jose State Spartans, seats 30,456.

Nashville - Play another bowl game in Nash Vegas, but this one at Vanderbilt Stadium.

Fort Collins - Canvas Stadium, home of the Colorado State Rams, seats 41K. I’ve been there, it’s awesome. Maybe a bit cold/snowy in December… but no worse than f**** Detroit.

Houston - The Texas Bowl is played at NRG Stadium (home of the Texans), but University of Houston and/or Rice could get some love.

Charlottesville - F*** it, we should be hosting a bowl game. Boise, Annapolis, Montgomery (AL), and El Paso have bowl games, so should glorious Charlottesville, VA. How about the “Jefferson Bowl?” Don’t groan. (Meanwhile, don’t get me started about hosting NCAA Tournament games in the JPJ. That’s an absolute no-brainer.)

Maize

I’d add Savannah to that list if only they had a proper stadium.  How about Austin, Texas?  They’re close to getting an MLS team, which means medium-sized stadium with no wintertime obligations.  And Salt Lake City’s kind of wintry, but hey, so is Boise.

The new rant of the week is this: We all hate corporate-named bowls.  We know this.  The Capital One Bowl was ten billion times dumber than the Citrus Bowl.  But those are, amazingly, mercifully, disappearing.  The Citrus Bowl is back.  So is the Gator Bowl.  Even the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl dropped the corporations and tried to come up with something uniquely Tampa-ish.  (Good thing, too, because when Beef O’Brady’s advertised during their own bowl game, someone forgot to tell them you’re supposed to make the food look appetizing.)  The result is the Gasparilla Bowl, but still, many points for trying.  If we can get the Copper Bowl and Motor City Bowl back, we’ll be doing great.

Our next target is flat-out lazily naming the bowl directly after the city (or state) that it’s in.  This is really just a form of corporate advertising too; it’s just, they’re advertising the location instead.  Only the Las Vegas Bowl can get away with this, and that’s because that name actually sounds great and also because the Regrettable Shotgun Marriage Bowl doesn’t have the same ring to it.  New Mexico is creative enough to call their airport a “Sunport” (fine, whatever) but can’t come up with anything New Mexic-ish to call their bowl game?  And don’t get me started on the Boca Raton Bowl or Frisco Bowl.  Nobody is coming to visit your shitty suburban sprawling, IKEA-having, urban planner’s McMansionville-ridden nightmare on the edge of Dallas!

Here you go: Canyon Bowl. Legion Bowl.  Bluebonnet Bowl.  Surf Bowl.  Aloha Bowl.  Rodeo Bowl.  Cajun Bowl.  Area 51 Bowl.  There.  I just re-named all your lazy State Bowl and City Bowl names with something still incredibly and obviously reminiscent of the place you’re trying to advertise, and brought back a few venerable, perfectly-good names to boot.  You can have them all for free.  If you’re having trouble with this, go talk to the Camellia Bowl people, that bowl is only like four years old but those people know what the hell they’re doing.

Karl

I’m going to chip in this week. I’m a big fan of the bowl games and names of the past. Maize pulled out a good one with the Bluebonnet Bowl (current Texas Bowl should rename itself to this). 

I was always a fan of the Freedom Bowl which I believe was played in Anaheim. 

The Birmingham Bowl, if not using Maize’s perfect alternative of Legion Bowl, could return to its roots as the All American Bowl. 

The First Responder Bowl played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas should be the Big Tex Bowl in honor of the giant character of the same name at the Texas State Fairgrounds where the Cotton Bowl is located. 

The New Mexico Bowl should be the Turquoise Bowl. 

And I’m all in on renaming the Boca Raton Bowl the Del Boca Vista Bowl.

Looking at the source of all truth on the Internet, Wikipedia informs me that there is going to be a bowl game in Chicago beginning in 2020 to be played at Wrigley Field. Also debuting in 2020, the Myrtle Beach Bowl in Conway, South Carolina was announced this week on November 13 by ESPN. It will pit a team from Conference USA vs a team from the MAC.

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Football, 2018 Bowls