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Football

Final Bowl Projections

Posted on December 6, 2019 in The Team by Karl Hess.

Bowl selections are made on Sunday. Here at HoosPlace, that means that it's time to go on the record with final projections.

Kendall is back this week to pinch hit for Maize.

Note that these selections were made prior to the PAC 12 Championship Game. But Karl was selfishly on vacation this week and could not publish until late Friday night.

Let's get down to business.

College Football Playoff

Karl

Fiesta Bowl: 2 Ohio State vs 3 Clemson

Peach Bowl: 1 LSU vs 4 Oklahoma

Winners of the big four conference championship games get the call (sorry PAC 12). Oregon beats Utah to make it a moot point.

Kendall

Fiesta Bowl: 1 Ohio State vs 4 Utah

Peach Bowl:  2 LSU vs 3 Clemson

This is pretty much locked in at this point, right? But we still have Ohio State vs Wisconsin, LSU vs Georgia, Clemson vs UVA, and Utah vs Oregon, with Georgia, the winner of Oklahoma/Baylor, and I guess Florida lurking in the shadows. Sets up a fun weekend of college football. Here’s hoping for the Wisconsin, Baylor, and, of course, UVA upsets to give us a totally fresh CFP field… 1 LSU vs 4 Baylor // 2 Utah vs 3 Georgia? Something like that? Just keep the POS Big Ten out. (Sorry, Maize.)

New Year's Six

Kendall

Orange Bowl: Virginia vs Alabama

Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma vs Georgia

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs Oregon

Cotton Bowl: Florida vs Cincinnati

I want Penn State in the Orange Bowl, but will settle for a deflated, disappointed Alabama who is likely seeing a lot of its stars sit out to preserve NFL futures. I think this whole situation *might* set up like the 2009 Sugar Bowl, in which upstart Utah crushed heavily-favored Alabama, 31-17. That win essentially catapulted Utah into the Power 5, and led to a decade run for the Utes that reads like this: 10-3, 10-3, 8-5, 5-7, 5-7, 9-4, 10-3, 9-4, 7-6, 9-5, 11-1. There was a two-season downturn in 2012-2013, but the program has settled into certain top-25 status and is now on the verge of a CFP appearance. I want that same sort of rise for Virginia, and facing a flawed, beatable version of Alabama could serve as the springboard.

Karl

Orange Bowl: Virginia vs Florida

Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs Baylor

Rose Bowl: Oregon vs Penn State

Cotton Bowl: Memphis vs Utah

The Hoos are going to the Orange Bowl. Don’t let your typical UVA fan angst tell you otherwise.

Penn State is getting some run as the possible opponent. But don’t forget that the Rose Bowl gets a B1G vs PAC 12 matchup. Is the Rose Bowl taking a 3 loss Wisconsin or a 2 loss Penn State? Exactly.

Based on the latest set of CFP rankings, that would slot Florida into the Orange Bowl. I feel that the Hoos should have a respectable showing against the Gators. 

The rest of the matchups fall into place while projecting Memphis to defeat Cincinnati for the second week in a row to earn the Group of 5 berth into the Cotton Bowl.

ACC Bowl Games

Camping World Bowl (Orlando, December 28)

Karl

Notre Dame vs Texas

The Camping World Bowl certainly said the correct prayers to get Texas to make itself a viable option as the Big 12’s rep here.

Kendall

Notre Dame vs Texas

Ugh, mismatch.

Music City Bowl (Nashville, December 30)

Kendall

Louisville vs Tennessee

Fill that stadium with regional draws, Nash Vegas.

Karl

Louisville vs Tennessee

Louisville’s no-show vs Kentucky to close out the season takes some of the polish off of this matchup. But we’ve been predicting it for so long, and it makes so much sense, that it would be a real disappointment if it didn’t come to fruition. 

Belk Bowl (Charlotte, December 31)

Karl

Virginia Tech vs Kentucky

The Hoos victory over Va Tech is a gift for the Belk Bowl. Wake is a great story and all, but they won’t pack seats like the Hokies. The bowl was reportedly hoping for Va Tech or UNC this cycle. 

On the SEC side, the Belk Bowl is able to nudge out the Liberty and Texas Bowls to get the best team left in the SEC pool in Kentucky.

Kendall

Virginia Tech vs Mississippi State

I loved the Belk Bowl last year, and I feel bad tainting them with Tech’s presence this season. Here’s hoping the Hokies suffer the Sun Bowl curse, instead!

Sun Bowl (El Paso, December 31)

Kendall

Wake Forest vs California

Wake’s nice offense against Cal’s nice defense. Pretty good Sunbowl matchup.

Karl

Wake Forest vs California

The way things played out, the Wake-Sun Bowl pairing is just about perfect. You feel for the Deacs but they have the smallest fan base in the league and this is the least attractive destination in the top tier ACC bowls. The Sun Bowl also gets an 8 win team with an exciting offense to showcase from the ACC.

I agree with Kendall on Cal too. I’ve been picking them in the Sun Bowl the last few weeks. Nothing that’s happened on the PAC 12 side lately has changed my mind.

Pinstripe Pittstripe Bowl (The Bronx, December 27)

Karl

Pittsburgh vs Illinois

You can go ahead and print the Pittstripe Bowl t-shirts with this matchup on it.

Kendall

Pittsburgh vs Illinois

PITTSTRIPE BOWL! A stroke of pure genius, Maize.

Military Bowl (Annapolis, December 27)

Kendall

North Carolina vs SMU

I want offensive fireworks in Annapolis this bowl season.

Karl

North Carolina vs Navy

It comes down to the Heels, BC, or one of the Florida schools for the Military Bowl. A UNC team that wasn’t expected to be bowling this year is the safest pick for the bowl.

I’ve gone soft on Navy and the Military Bowl this year finally. But a matchup against UNC makes a lot of sense on a regional basis when you’re trying to sell tickets. This matchup just fits.

Now, here’s to the Midshipmen grinding the Heels into dust.

Independence Bowl (Shreveport, December 26)

Karl

Miami vs Southern Miss

There have been worse bowl games than this. I’d give it a watch to see how Miami feels about getting punched in the mouth by a Southern Miss team out to upset a Power 5 squad. And the Golden Eagles will come out swinging.

Kendall

Miami vs Western Kentucky

WKU is a dangerous opponent who will likely pop the poorly-coached Canes in this bowl game.

Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit, December 26)

Kendall

Florida State vs Michigan State

I wouldn’t want to visit Detroit in the SUMMER, much less in late December. Isn’t the whole city run by feral dogs at this point? Nuke the entire site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Karl

Florida State vs Michigan State

After that from Kendall, I'm afraid to pick any other matchup for this bowl.

Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, December 23)

Karl

Boston College vs UCF

The ACC allows teams to pass on bowls prior to Christmas due to exams. So if you’re Boston College, a serious academic institution, you can take the pre Christmas trip to sunny Tampa, Florida. Or you can spend the new year in Birmingham, Alabama for a Jan 2 bowl game.

Hell of a dilemma for BC. After canning Steve Addazio, their AD throws the players a bone and gives them the trip to Tampa.

The American hand picks UCF to help ticket sales while taking a shot at a Power 5 team they figure that the Knights will wipe the floor with.

Kendall

Boston College vs Louisiana Tech

BC slides out of the Tier 2 ACC bowls on the back of a season that was bad enough to get its coach fired… yet good enough to make a bowl appearance! All hail interim coach Rich Gunnell!

 

 

 

 

This article contains the tags:

Football, 2019, Bowl Games