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Updated Bowl Projections & Predictions

There is only one week left in the regular season for most college football teams, and instead of the bowl picture becoming more clear, it’s become a little more confusing.  Here are this week’s picks from four leading bowl experts, some insight on the picks and the latest BCS standings, and our crazy bowl prediction of the week.  
Alabama vs. Florida StateMark Schlabach
Alabama vs. Florida State – Brad Edwards
Alabama vs. Florida State – Jerry Palm
Alabama vs. Florida State Orlando Sentinel
Discover Orange Bowl
Clemson vs. Ohio State– Mark Schlabach
Clemson vs. Wisconsin – Brad Edwards
Clemson vs. Wisconsin – Jerry Palm
Clemson vs. Baylor – Orlando Sentinel
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Auburn vs. UCF – Mark Schlabach
Auburn vs. UCF – Brad Edwards
Auburn vs. UCF – Jerry Palm
Auburn vs. UCF – Orlando Sentinel
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Fresno State – Mark Schlabach
Oklahoma State vs. Fresno State – Brad Edwards
Oklahoma State vs. Fresno State – Jerry Palm
Oklahoma State vs. Fresno State – Orlando Sentinel
Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
Stanford vs. Michigan State – Mark Schlabach
Ohio State vs. Stanford – Brad Edwards
Ohio State vs. Stanford – Jerry Palm
Stanford vs. Ohio State – Orlando Sentinel Bowl
Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State – Mark Schlabach
Northern Illinois vs. Western Kentucky – Brad Edwards
Northern Illinois vs. Western Kentucky – Jerry Palm
Northern Illinois vs. Arkansas State – Orlando Sentinel
BBVA Compass Bowl
Rutgers vs. Mississippi State – Mark Schlabach
Troy vs. East Carolina – Brad Edwards
Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt – Jerry Palm
Toledo vs. Vanderbilt – Orlando Sentinel
AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic
Baylor vs. LSU – Mark Schlabach
Baylor vs. LSU – Brad Edwards
Baylor vs. LSU – Jerry Palm
Texas vs. LSU – Orlando Sentinel
Outback Bowl            
Nebraska vs. South Carolina – Mark Schlabach
Nebraska vs. Missouri – Brad Edwards
Nebraska vs. South Carolina – Jerry Palm
Wisconsin vs. Texas A&M – Orlando Sentinel
Capital One Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Missouri – Mark Schlabach
Michigan State vs. South Carolina – Brad Edwards
Michigan State vs. Texas A&M – Jerry Palm
Michigan State vs. Missouri – Orlando Sentinel
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Buffalo vs. North Texas – Mark Schlabach
Washington vs. North Texas – Brad Edwards
Maryland vs. Rice – Jerry Palm
Iowa vs. Rice– Orlando Sentinel
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
Michigan vs. Georgia – Mark Schlabach
Minnesota vs. Georgia – Brad Edwards
Michigan vs. Ole Miss– Jerry Palm
Michigan vs. Ole Miss – Orlando Sentinel
Chick-fil-A Bowl
Duke vs. Texas A&M – Mark Schlabach
Miami (FL) vs. Texas A&M – Brad Edwards
Duke vs. Missouri – Jerry Palm
Duke vs. South Carolina – Orlando Sentinel
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
East Carolina vs. Vanderbilt – Mark Schlabach
Houston vs. Vanderbilt – Brad Edwards
Marshall vs. Pittsburgh – Jerry Palm
East Carolina vs. Houston – Orlando Sentinel
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. USC – Mark Schlabach
Duke vs. Arizona State – Brad Edwards
Virginia Tech vs. UCLA – Jerry Palm
Virginia Tech vs. USC – Orlando Sentinel
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Boston College vs. Ohio – Mark Schlabach
Boston College vs. Arkansas State – Brad Edwards
Georgia Tech vs. Oregon State – Jerry Palm
North Carolina vs. Oregon State – Orlando Sentinel
National University Holiday Bowl
Texas Tech vs. ASU – Mark Schlabach
Kansas State vs. Oregon – Brad Edwards
Texas Tech vs. Arizona State – Jerry Palm
Kansas State vs. Oregon – Orlando Sentinel
Valero Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Oregon – Mark Schlabach
Oklahoma vs. USC – Brad Edwards
Oklahoma vs. Oregon – Jerry Palm
Oklahoma vs. Arizona State – Orlando Sentinel
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss – Mark Schlabach
Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss – Brad Edwards
Boston College vs. Georgia – Jerry Palm
Boston College vs. Georgia – Orlando Sentinel
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Navy vs. Boise State – Mark Schlabach
Navy vs. Colorado State – Brad Edwards
Navy vs. San Diego State – Jerry Palm
Navy vs. Colorado State – Orlando Sentinel
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Texas vs. Iowa – Mark Schlabach
Texas vs. Iowa – Brad Edwards
Texas vs. Iowa – Jerry Palm
Texas Tech vs. Nebraska – Orlando Sentinel
Russell Athletic Bowl
Miami (FL) vs. Louisville – Mark Schlabach
Virginia Tech vs. Louisville – Brad Edwards
Miami vs. Louisville – Jerry Palm
Miami vs. Louisville – Orlando Sentinel
Belk Bowl
North Carolina vs. Cincinnati – Mark Schlabach
North Carolina vs. Cincinnati – Brad Edwards
North Carolina vs. Houston – Jerry Palm
Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati –Orlando Sentinel
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Houston vs. Notre Dame– Mark Schlabach
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame – Brad Edwards
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame – Jerry Palm
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame – Orlando Sentinel
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
BYU vs. Washington – Mark Schlabach
BYU vs. Arizona – Brad Edwards
BYU vs. Washington– Jerry Palm
BYU vs. Washington– Orlando Sentinel
Texas Bowl
Minnesota vs. Kansas State – Mark Schlabach
Michigan vs. Texas Tech – Brad Edwards
Minnesota vs. Kansas State – Jerry Palm
Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh – Orlando Sentinel
Military Bowl presented by Northrop
Marshall vs. Pittsburgh – Mark Schlabach
Marshall vs. Maryland – Brad Edwards
Syracuse vs. North Texas – Jerry Palm
Maryland vs. Middle Tennessee – Orlando Sentinel
S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Washington State vs. San Diego State – Mark Schlabach
Utah State vs. Bowling Green – Brad Edwards
Utah State vs. Buffalo – Jerry Palm
North Texas vs. San Diego State – Orlando Sentinel
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Ball State vs. Maryland – Mark Schlabach
Ball State vs. Pittsburgh – Brad Edwards
Ball State vs. Washington State – Jerry Palm
Ball State vs. Western Kentucky – Orlando Sentinel
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
UNLV vs. Rice – Mark Schlabach
UNLV vs. Middle Tennessee – Brad Edwards
UNLV vs. Middle Tennessee – Jerry Palm
Marshall vs. Utah State – Orlando Sentinel
Beef O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl
Toledo vs. Middle Tennessee – Mark Schlabach
Toledo vs. Rice – Brad Edwards
Toledo vs. East Carolina – Jerry Palm
Buffalo vs. UTSA – Orlando Sentinel
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette– Mark Schlabach
Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette – Brad Edwards
Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette  – Jerry Palm
Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette  – Orlando Sentinel
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Bowling Green vs. Oregon State – Mark Schlabach
Buffalo vs. Washington State – Brad Edwards
Bowling Green vs. Arkansas State – Jerry Palm
Bowling Green vs. Washington State – Orlando Sentinel
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Utah State vs. UCLA – Mark Schlabach
Boise State vs. UCLA – Brad Edwards
Boise State vs. USC – Jerry Palm
Boise State vs. UCLA – Orlando Sentinel
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
San Jose State vs. Oregon State– Mark Schlabach
San Jose State vs. Arizona – Brad Edwards
Colorado State vs. Arizona – Jerry Palm
UNLV vs. Arizona – Orlando Sentinel
Only one BCS Bowl bid for the Pac-12? – According to all four of the experts, the Big Ten, the SEC, and the ACC would receive two BCS bowl bids, while the Pac-12 would receive one.  This is in spite of the Pac-12’s stellar non-conference record that included wins against Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin* and Boise State, and a close loss at Auburn. It is true that Ohio State and Northwestern won games at Cal, but this season everybody has.  
Our Take – Even after Saturday’s serving of humble pie, don’t count the Ducks out of the BCS picture just yet.  If the Ducks are able to defeat Oregon State in the civil war, they’ll be sitting at 10-2, and because of teams in front of them playing each other, likely to be in the Top 10 of the final BCS standings.  This year, the Orange Bowl will be going head-to-head against the Cotton Bowl Classic on Friday, January 3, and will need a marquee game to draw viewers.  
Because the Cotton Bowl Classic features teams from the Big XII and the SEC, we think the possibility exists for the Ducks, a huge brand name with a very strong West Coast following, to be selected as a way to steal Western viewers from the Cotton Bowl Classic.   We think this actually becomes likely if South Carolina is able to defeat Clemson, and if Michigan State defeats Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Notre Dame’s loss to Pitt leaves a mark –  While it may seem that Notre Dame is struggling and having an off-year, remember that the Irish are 8-3, including a 3-1 mark against teams ranked in the BCS Standings.  This weekend, they travel to Stanford, the winner of the Pac-12 North, and In the next two weekends, several games feature match-ups between teams ranked in front of the Irish. If they are able to pull off the upset against Stanford, they’ll likely move into the BCS Top-20, and in that scenario, if they had held on at Pitt, the Irish would be a virtual lock for an at-large BCS bid.  I’m not calling for an Irish upset, I”ll read Mike’s report Friday, just pointing out what could-have-been.
Pour Some Sugar on the Championship Game Loser – All of the experts are picking Auburn to play in the Sugar Bowl against UCF, meaning all expect Alabama to win the Iron Bowl this weekend and the SEC Championship Game, over either South Carolina or Missouri.  The only one of those three teams that can get there on a high is South Carolina, which could beat No.6 Clemson this Saturday, and sit out the SEC Championship Game if Mizzou defeats Texas A&M. In that scenario, The Sugar Bowl (or Orange Bowl — see next note) would then be able to select from Auburn or Mizzou who had just lost to the Crimson Tide, or a Carolina team coming off of a huge non-conference win, and that has the head-to-head over Mizzou.   But if A&M beats Mizzou, then Carolina’s road to a BCS Bowl would be against Alabama in the BCS Championship, and the question becomes which team coming down off a rush gets a trip to New Orleans to play UCF?
The Columbia / Miami Connection – One other thing to consider is that the Sugar Bowl recently signed a long-term deal with both the Big XII and the SEC.  It would not surprise me to see an 11-1 Baylor team in the Sugar Bowl, as a member of the SEC happily takes a bid for to play in the Orange Bowl.  The SEC would be guaranteed viewership that night, — imagine South Carolina or Auburn vs. Oregon in the Orange Bowl, going head-to-head against the Cotton Bowl Classic featuring a SEC vs.  Big XII game.  Which means that this Saturday’s game between Clemson and South Carolina in Columbia could be considered the play-in game to an Orange Bowl invitation.   
Our Crazy Pick of the Week:  Iowa vs. LSU in a Florida Bowl ( Outback or Gator)
This would be a replay of a game known simply as “The Catch” when Iowa defeated LSU, the defending BCS National Champions, in the 2005 Capital One Bowl.  On the last play of the game, Iowa tight end Warren Holloway caught the only touchdown pass of his career, a 56-yard Hail-Mary from Drew Tate.  
How Iowa gets to the Outback – Two things need to happen. First, the Iowa has to beat Nebraska this weekend.  That would position the Hawkeyes at 8-4, with a 5-3 conference mark, good for second place in the Legends Division and give Iowa head-to-head tiebreakers over Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska.  At this point, Iowa’s four losses have come to teams rated in the Top 15, with an overall record of 41-3.  The second thing that needs to happen, is that the Big Ten needs to get two bids to BCS games.  Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State all defeated Iowa, and each is guaranteed to finish at least one game in front of the Hawkeyes.  One of those teams is going to the Rose Bowl, one is going to the Capital One Bowl, and if the Big Ten gets only one BCS berth, one will be going to the Outback.  So for the Hawkeyes to get to Tampa, they’ll need BCS bids for two Big Ten teams.
How Herky gets to the Gator – If Iowa defeats Nebraska and the Big Ten gets only one BCS bid, so that two of the top three from the Big Ten play in Orlando and Tampa, we think that the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will take the Cornhuskers to face a former rival from the  Big XII.  That clears the way for Iowa to head to Jacksonville over Minnesota and Michigan.   But if Iowa loses in Lincoln, would they still go to Jacksonville?   We think so, because the Hawkeyes would have a 7-5, but still have the head-to-head wins over Michigan and Minnesota, earning the trip to Florida.  We think that if Iowa loses and the Big Ten gets two BCS bids, that would move a 9-3 Nebraska team into the Outback. In that scenario, a 7-5 Michigan gets the bid to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for the first time, rather than an Iowa team that was there two of the last three years.  Iowa gets the Gator by virtue of the head-to-head win over Minnesota.
How LSU ends up in the Outback – We expect LSU to finish with a 9-3 record, and earn a trip to the Outback Bowl to face Iowa or another representative from the Big Ten.  They would have the best record of available teams, and the Outback Bowl extends an invitation.  
How LSU ends up in the Gator – We still expect LSU to have a 9-3 record, but here’s how they go from the Outback to the Gator.  Texas A&M beats Missouri this weekend, sending South Carolina to the SEC Championship Game.  That means that Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas A&M fill two BCS slots, the Capital One Bowl, Cotton Bowl and Outback Bowl slots.  The Chick-fil-A Bowl takes the Georgia Bulldogs (the other Jacksonville candidate if they beat Georgia Tech this week), leaving a 9-3 LSU available for a trip to Jacksonville on New Year’s Day. 
Will it happen?  We think the LSU vs. Iowa Gator Bowl is more likely, and we are surprised none of the experts list either team as a possibility.  
Past Picks

  • November 17 – UCLA vs Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl
  • November 10 – Nebraska in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
  • November 3 – Miami (FL) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl
  • October 27 – South Carolina in the Cotton Bowl Classic
  • October 20 – Michigan State in the Rose Bowl
Like going on the road to see other teams stadiums and traditions?  Checkout “My Gameday Experience at,”
Visiting the Grove for Ole Miss hosting Troy
Texas A&M hosting Mississippi State Baylor hosting Oklahoma

Arkansas hosting Auburn

North Texas hosting Rice

Air Force hosting Notre Dame

East Carolina hosting Southern Miss

Virginia Tech hosting Pitt

South Carolina hosting Kentucky

Clemson hosting Wake Forest

Coming soon:  Missouri, Louisville, Michigan, Arizona State, Ohio State, Wisconsin

Want us to come to your school or visit your tailgate?  Just let us know when and where!

A word about our sponsor,  On Black Friday, they’ll be unveiling their bowl game packages, including Front Row Packages, the $999 Bowl Package for Four (that you can make for three, or two or one). and offerings at other games.  Check them out, and experience, “The Best Bowl Trip Ever!”




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