Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 13 Under Review: FBS Bowl Projections

With week 13 in the books, the landscape has become even murkier than even I thought possible. Even the national title game is not remotely locked down, with the exception of Florida State, and that's only if Jameis Winston can stay out of lock up. Let's look at a conference by conference breakdown on where everyone is projected to go bowling as of this moment...

Bowl Lineup

BCS Title Game
Florida State vs. Alabama
Projections still showing this matchup, but only if Alabama beats Auburn, and Jameis Winston avoids arrest and suspension

Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State
Not the destination I care to see for NIU, but they will win the MAC. Arkansas State has gotten hot to stay in this slot.

BBVA Compass
SMU or Houston vs. Ole Miss
SMU and Houston play this week to find a winner of this slot. If SMU loses, they will have to win their finale to become eligible for the spot. Ole Miss is the final team in from the SEC.

Orange Bowl
Clemson vs. Michigan State
Clemson is not my favorite pick from the ACC, but they've stayed ahead of Duke in the rankings, despite not leading their division. The Spartans are my pick here, even if they fall to Ohio State in the Big 10 title game, which for me, isn't necessarily a lock.

Cotton Bowl
South Carolina vs. Baylor or Texas
The Gamecocks will get here with a Missouri win in their finale. Baylor finishes with Texas, and the winner gets to the Cotton Bowl.

Sugar Bowl
Auburn vs. UCF
This seems like a clear pick, whether or not they beat Alabama. UCF has basically locked up the AAC, and will get to their first BCS appearance.

Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Fresno State
The Cowboys will get in as they have already beaten Texas and Baylor, but must not slip up against Oklahoma. Fresno State put up a statement against New Mexico, and if they can win out, will finish ahead of Northern Illinois for this spot.

Rose Bowl
Ohio State vs. Stanford or Arizona State
I am picking two Big 10 teams in BCS games, with the Buckeyes being favored for the Rose Bowl spot over Michigan State. Stanford and Arizona State meet in the PAC-12 title tilt, and it'll be a better game than when last they met.

Capital One
Wisconsin vs. Missouri
Mizzou can still get into the BCS bowls, but Auburn is edging them out in the overall rankings. Wisconsin is having a surprisingly successful season, and is a perfect fit to fill in here.

Nebraska vs. LSU
A classic matchup between two teams that have had disappointing seasons. This would be a perfect match.

Minnesota vs. Texas A&M
The Gophers have been one of the most surprising teams in 2013. Texas A&M, and reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel  have taken steps back. This could be a fun game of contrasting styles.

Heart of Dallas
North Texas vs. Michigan
This would be a huge lift up for the Eagles, and a huge scoop down for the Wolverines, but it lines up to work out this way. North Texas can bring everyone from campus! Imagine if UNT actually won this game?

Duke vs. Georgia
Duke has been a huge surprise, and is almost headed to the ACC title game. Georgia has been a huge letdown, but this is my favorite non-BCS bowl. It's always a show and a good time to watch this bowl. This would be an interesting matchup for many reasons, especially with Aaron Murray done with a torn ligament in his knee.

East Carolina vs. Vanderbilt
East Carolina already has two wins over BCS teams in 2013, and they could handle Vanderbilt. The Commodores would stay in state, and would be happy to be here. Entertaining match with a strong offensive showing from ECU, and a surprising defensive punch from Vandy.

Virginia Tech vs. UCLA
The Hokies have been a little flat at times in 2013. The Bruins have been largely inconsistent after a 5-0 start. The Bruins would have the edge, but again, this would be a battle of contrasting styles. UCLA won their last trip to El Paso in 2005 over Northwestern.

Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo
The SEC could have a 10th team in get into a bowl only if Mississippi State beats Ole Miss. If they don't, the other team in this bowl is a free agent from another conference, possibly from the Sun Belt or Conference USA.

Texas Tech vs. Oregon
The Red Raiders faded fast down the stretch, and they head to San Diego. Could be worse places to go for the Holidays. Oregon's failure at Arizona belts them from the BCS, and they are headed to a spot that they don't want to be in.

Other Bowls

Alamo: Arizona State vs. Texas
Music City: Boston College vs. Ole Miss
Armed Forces: Navy vs. San Diego State
Buffalo Wild Wings: Oklahoma vs. Iowa
Russell Athletic: Louisville vs. Georgia Tech
Belk: Cincinnati vs. Miami
Pinstripe: Notre Dame vs. Houston
Kraft Fight Hunger: BYU vs. USC
Texas: Kansas State vs. Oregon State*
Military: North Carolina vs. Tulane
Poinsettia: Boise State vs. Washington State*
Little Caesar's: Bowling Green vs. Western Kentucky*
Hawaii: UNLV vs. Rice
Beef O'Brady's: Rutgers vs. Middle Tennessee
New Orleans: UL-Lafayette vs. UT-San Antonio
Famous Idaho Potato: Colorado State vs. Ball State
Las Vegas: Utah State vs. Washington
New Mexico: San Jose State or Wyoming vs. Arizona

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