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It was an eventful week in the college football world. The impacts rippled throughout the bowl universe, especially as it pertains to the ACC. Alabama's loss to LSU shook up the playoff picture. It allowed Clemson to solidify their position in the playoff field.

And the Hoos taking care of business at home versus Georgia Tech along with Virginia Tech upsetting Wake Forest sets up another Black Friday game for all the marbles.

Maize and Karl got together to offer their projections and takes on the CFP, NY6, and ACC bowl slate.

College Football Playoff

Maize

Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs Oregon

Peach Bowl: Ohio State vs Clemson

First, I’m an idiot.  I wrote last week’s projections as if Alabama and LSU were in different divisions of the SEC, which, obviously, they are not.  I allow myself the one reminder that I didn’t make a “real” projection - it was less a prediction and more an exercise in the possibility of pure chaos.

That sort of chaos was never really possible, of course, but a different kind might arise if LSU stumbles in the SEC CG.  (They would have to lose two of their remaining games against SEC bottom-feeders and also-rans not to get there.)  One thing’s for sure: Alabama’s in trouble - and barring major upheaval, close to certain not to make it to the playoff.  The committee won’t look kindly on a team that doesn’t even win their division, unless multiple other contenders all take huge dumps on the field.

Karl

Fiesta Bowl: LSU vs Oregon

Peach Bowl: Ohio State vs Clemson

Maybe I'm being naive, but...

Wow, Bama is screwed. It’s hard to imagine a CFP without the Crimson Tide participating. But their loss to LSU has them on the outside looking in.

It’s easy to suspect that the committee will find a way to include them. But the reality is that they really need another huge win, like they’d get in the SEC Championship Game, to bolster their case. Unfortunately, unless LSU drops two games to close the season, that isn’t happening.

This week’s CFP rankings have Oregon at 6 and Utah at 7. The PAC 12 figures to be the biggest beneficiary of the Alabama loss as Oregon and Utah should play in the PAC 12 Championship Game with one loss each. If that’s the case, and LSU doesn’t lose to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, then the Oregon-Utah game is looking like a CFP elimination game.

Like Maize, I’m leaning towards Oregon there.

Beware undefeated Minnesota and Baylor. They’re lurking with some big opportunities remaining.

New Year's Six

Maize

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Georgia

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Minnesota vs Utah

Cotton Bowl: Florida vs Cincinnati

Yes, this makes me want to puke.  But, the Orange Bowl has to take an ACC team... and Notre Dame’s tie-in to the Orange Bowl is not the ACC’s tie-in, but the one opposite the ACC (if there’s not a higher-ranked Big Ten or SEC team.)  If all goes as planned, the UVA-VT game is shaping up to decide the Coastal champion.  Wake was slotted here last week, but they got housed by the now up-and-coming Hokies.  Forget the demolition by Duke - it was ages ago, and VT is likely to be 8-3 going into that UVA game.  Without Bryce Hall, the UVA defense has given us no reason to feel confident it can stop a suddenly rolling VT squad.  If UVA can pull off that win, it probably sends them to Miami.  We’ll see how things go.

Karl

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Georgia

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs Oklahoma

Rose Bowl: Minnesota vs Utah

Cotton Bowl: Florida vs Memphis

I don’t want to talk about the Orange Bowl. Maize laid out the logic nicely. It’s depressing. Let’s move on.

Baylor has a big opportunity this weekend to shake things up when they host Oklahoma. It would be nice to get some new blood into the mix. But Baylor? Really? Again, depressing.

Minnesota vs Utah (or maybe Oregon) seems to be the most unlikely Rose Bowl matchup since Washington vs Purdue in 2001 or the games in 1996 (USC vs Northwestern) or 1997 (Arizona State vs Ohio State). If Minnesota’s longshot bid for the CFP doesn’t come home, I’m 100% sold on the Gophers in Pasadena.

Florida vs Memphis has the potential to be fun. Nearly the entire college football universe will be in the corner of Memphis.

ACC Bowls

Camping World Bowl (Orlando, December 28)

Maize

Notre Dame vs Texas

No change from last week.  I’m still sending Baylor to the Alamo Bowl (which picks ahead of this one) and keeping the blue-blood matchup in Orlando.

Karl

Notre Dame vs Texas

Texas got the big win over K State last weekend. I was projecting otherwise. Now the Camping World Bowl gets the big name matchup you know that they’re craving.

Music City Bowl (Nashville, December 30)

Maize

Louisville vs Tennessee

Keeping this pick the same, too, despite a drubbing suffered by the Cardinals at the hands of Miami.  If they can run the table against a relative body-bag schedule, they’ll still have a profile good enough to land them here, and the attractive proximity to Nashville to boot.

Karl

Miami vs Kentucky

Don’t look now but Miami is playing well lately. They have a good shot at winning 8 games. And if they do, it means that they’ll close the season on a 5 game winning streak. A hot team with a national brand name becomes an easy sell for the Music City Bowl. 

For the SEC, it feels like this will certainly be Tennessee or Kentucky. Maize likes the Vols. I’ll take the Wildcats.

Belk Bowl (Charlotte, December 31)

Maize

Wake Forest vs Mississippi State

The loss (for this bowl) of Virginia Tech gives them an opportunity to pick an instate team instead, and please the home crowd by giving them one of the SEC’s tomato cans that scrapes into eligibility by virtue of the usual SEC marshmallow OOC schedule.

Karl

Wake Forest vs Mississippi State

Wake crashes back to Earth with a late season swoon and a season ending injury to star wide receiver Sage Surratt. The Deacs become one of four ACC teams to finish the season with 8 wins.

This works out well for the Belk Bowl who doesn’t stop to blink before inviting Wake.

Mississippi State will need to win the Egg Bowl to even qualify for a bowl. The SEC, top heavy in the bowl selections as usual, will have several bowls in their allotment filled with replacement teams. The Belk Bowl flirts with that fate but they’re able to snag the last remaining bowl eligible team out of the SEC.

Sun Bowl (El Paso, December 31)

Maize

Virginia vs Washington

Another week of data in the Pac-12 and we’re not really any closer to solving the pecking order there.  The Sun Bowl would probably love to have Arizona State, but the Sun Devils aren’t even any kind of a lock to finish the season eligible, despite starting it 5-1.

Karl

Virginia vs Arizona State

Beat VT and go to the Orange Bowl. Lose and get shipped to El Paso. Those are quite the divergent scenarios for our Hoos. At least I’ll get to fulfill my childhood fascination of seeing UVA play in the Sun Bowl.

It’s possible that most of the PAC 12 finishes with 6-6 records. That’s how I see Arizona State playing out their season. 

In this scenario, the Sun Bowl is able to arrange The Bryce Perkins Bowl. With that opportunity on the table, I think they grab it.

Pinstripe Bowl (The Bronx, December 27)

Maize

Pittsburgh vs Indiana

Not much reason to change this one up, either.  The names aren’t the hottest, but it’s a sneaky good matchup.

Karl

Pittsburgh vs Illinois

The B1G tries to keep the same teams from appearing in the same bowls over the course of the conference’s agreements with their bowl partners. Because this will be Illinois’s first bowl game since 2014, the field is essentially wide open for the Illini. As a result, they punch a little above their weight and get this game over Iowa in my projections. The Hawkeyes head to the RedBox Bowl. The Hoosiers get the Gator Bowl. And everyone is happy.

Military Bowl (Annapolis, December 27)

Maize

Miami vs Navy

It bears a strong resemblance to Catholics vs. Convicts since Notre Dame’s iconic uniforms are really just hand-me-downs from Navy.  Instead it’s Middies vs. Miami.

Karl

Florida State vs Temple

Like with Miami, brand names matter in these selections. Faced with a Louisville or Florida State pick, the Military Bowl goes for the Noles. The ACC also helps grease the skids here to keep FSU out of Shreveport for the second time in three years.

The AAC has no real pecking order for their bowl games. It’s up to the conference, bowls, and teams to work together to sort it out. If you remove Navy from the equation (and I do because a Navy team finishing with probably 8 wins or more deserves better), then Temple is the next most logical choice to land here.

Independence Bowl (Shreveport, December 26)

Maize

Florida State vs UAB

I didn’t slot FSU last week because I (somewhat wishfully) had them losing this week to Boston College.  That didn’t happen, and it probably costs the Eagles any bowl spot at all.  This would be the Seminoles second trip to Shreveport in three years, and they played Southern Miss in their last visit, so we’ll avoid the rematch here.

Karl

Louisville vs Charlotte

Louisville is just happy to be in a bowl after their 2018 season debacle. And Shreveport sort of makes sense for them geographically, at least more than Annapolis would.

The SEC and AAC have exhausted their eligible teams by the time the Independence Bowl can fill their game. Western Kentucky is probably the natural fit but they already played Louisville this season. 

Charlotte slides in to claim their program's first bowl berth.

And we fans get to revisit the last days of the old Metro (basketball) Conference with this game. You probably don’t actually watch unless you have a betting interest in the game, however.

Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit, December 26)

Maize

North Carolina vs Michigan State

Though I’m hoping for FSU instead so we can call it the Incredibly Disgruntled Fanbases Bowl.

Karl

NC State vs Michigan State

Michigan State is a lead pipe lock here if they’re available. 

For the ACC, it’s coming down to the three North Carolina Triangle teams. I think State and UNC will be a bowl elimination game. Maybe it’s the ABC (Anyone But Carolina) bias working, but I like the Wolfpack at home in that game. I also have Duke getting to 6 wins, but State is the more attractive choice because you don’t get a hoops game in conjunction with the bowl.

Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, December 23)

Karl

Duke vs Florida Atlantic

Duke needs two wins yet to qualify for a bowl. I think they get Syracuse this weekend for win number 5. After that, they pull an upset over a suddenly shaky Wake Forest team before losing to Miami to close the season at 6-6.

That means I have to consider the Gasparilla Bowl. And if you’re Duke, would you rather play in Tampa two days before Christmas against a CUSA team? Or would you rather battle a physical Michigan State team in their home state the day after Christmas?

Yeah, I’d take the trip to Tampa and be home for the holidays too.

With the AAC champ almost certainly heading to the Cotton Bowl this year, the AAC falls one team short of covering its bowl allotment. Because the Gasparilla Bowl already has relationships with CUSA and the ACC, they work this out to be an ACC vs CUSA matchup.

CUSA has no set bowl pecking order other than their champ picking their spot. So lets give the Owls a game in Florida and the chance to knock off a Power 5 team in Duke. The Gasparilla Bowl probably loves getting a local team in to sell tickets as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article contains the tags:

Football, 2019, Bowl Games