Bowl Projections 2016-17

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The University of Michigan Marching Band enjoys warm weather in the Sunshine State before the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.

Every Monday for the remainder of the college football season, we’ll publish bowl projections from around the web.  Today, we start out with three very prominent sports writers we hold in high regard, Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy from ESPN and Jerry Palm from CBS Sports, and next week, we’ll add Brant Parsons from the Orlando Sentinel.  After listing their projections, we offer analysis about the bowl picture, which we think you will like, and hopefully, you haven’t seen it before.  Starting next week, we’ll make a crazy bowl projection ourselves.   But there will be more about that next week.  Follow our blog, like us on Facebook or Twitter and on to the projections!


Gildan New Mexico Bowl
University Stadium, Albuquerque – Dec. 17, 2 p.m. (ESPN) 

Schlabach: Nevada vs. Old Dominion
McMurphy: Air Force vs. Ole Dominion
Palm: Boise State vs. Middle Tennessee

Las Vegas Bowl
Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas – Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Schlabach: San Diego State vs. Stanford
McMurphy: San Diego State vs. Stanford
Palm: San Diego State vs. Washington State

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama – Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: South Alabama vs. Akron
McMurphy: Appalachian State vs. Toledo
Palm: Akron vs. Georgia Southern

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando – Dec. 17, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)

Schlabach: UCF vs. Appalachian State
McMurphy: UCF vs. South Alabama
Palm: Army vs. Troy

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans – Dec. 17, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Georgia Southern vs. Southern Miss
McMurphy: Georgia Southern vs. Southern Miss
Palm: Louisiana – Lafayette vs. Southern Miss

Miami Beach Bowl
Marlins Park, Miami  – Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Houston vs. Toledo
McMurphy: Houston vs. Central Michigan
Palm: Temple vs. Central Michigan

Boca Raton Bowl
FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida – Dec. 20, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Middle Tennessee vs. Memphis
McMurphy: Middle Tennessee vs. Memphis
Palm: Utah State vs. Cincinnati

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego – Dec. 21, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: BYU vs. Air Force
McMurphy: BYU vs. Wyoming
Palm: BYU vs. Air Force

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho – Dec. 22, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Colorado State vs. Ohio
McMurphy: Colorado State vs. Ohio
Palm: Toledo vs. Nevada

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, Bahamas – Dec. 23, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Louisiana Tech vs. Tulsa
McMurphy: North Texas vs. Connecticut
Palm: Louisiana Tech vs. Ohio

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas – Dec. 23, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Texas vs. Navy
McMurphy: Texas vs. Navy
Palm: West Virginia vs. Navy

Dollar General Bowl
Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama – Dec. 23, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Troy vs. Western Michigan
McMurphy: Troy vs. Western Michigan
Palm: Appalachian State vs. Western Michigan

Hawaii Bowl
Aloha Stadium, Honolulu – Dec. 24, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Western Kentucky vs. Hawai’i
McMurphy: Western Kentucky vs. Hawai’i
Palm: Old Dominion vs. Hawai’i

St. Petersburg Bowl
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida – Dec. 26, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Army vs. South Florida
McMurphy: Georgia Tech vs. South Florida
Palm: South Florida vs. Ball State

Quick Lane Bowl
Ford Field, Detroit – Dec. 26, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Georgia Tech vs. Indiana
McMurphy: Duke vs. Michigan State
Palm: Boston College vs. Maryland

Camping World Independence Bowl
Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana – Dec. 26, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Schlabach: Wake Forest vs. Michigan State
McMurphy: Wake Forest vs. South Carolina
Palm: Arkansas State vs. NC State

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas  – Dec. 27, noon (ESPN)

Schlabach: Minnesota vs. North Texas
McMurphy: Northwestern vs. Louisiana Tech
Palm: Iowa vs. Western Kentucky

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland – Dec. 27, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: NC State vs. Temple
McMurphy: Miami vs. Temple
Palm: Georgia Tech vs. Memphis

Holiday Bowl
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego – Dec. 27, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Penn State vs. Washington State
McMurphy: Indiana vs. Arizona State
Palm: Penn State vs. Utah

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl
Chase Field, Phoenix – Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Texas Tech vs. UCLA
McMurphy: Kansas State vs. Colorado
Palm: : Kansas State vs. Colorado State

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Yankee Stadium, New York – Dec. 28, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
McMurphy: NC State vs. Minnesota
Palm: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota

Russell Athletic Bowl
Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida – Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Florida State vs. TCU
McMurphy: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
Palm: Miami (FL) vs. TCU

Foster Farms Bowl
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California – Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m. (Fox)

Schlabach: Northwestern vs. Arizona State
McMurphy: Penn State vs. USC
Palm: Indiana vs. USC

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl

NRG Stadium, Houston -Dec. 28, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Kansas State vs. Georgia
McMurphy: Oklahoma State vs. Auburn
Palm: Oklahoma State vs. Missouri

Birmingham Bowl
Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama – Dec. 29, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Central Michigan vs. Tulane
McMurphy: Tulsa vs. Kentucky
Palm: Tulsa vs. Northwestern

Belk Bowl
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina – Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Auburn vs. North Carolina
McMurphy: Florida State vs. Arkansas
Palm: LSU vs. Wake Forest

Valero Alamo Bowl
Alamodome, San Antonio – Dec. 29, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: West Virginia vs. USC
McMurphy: Oklahoma vs. Utah
Palm: Baylor vs. UCLA

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee – Dec. 30, noon (ESPN)

Schlabach: Oklahoma State vs. Kentucky
McMurphy: TCU vs. Missouri
Palm: Texas Tech vs. Auburn

Hyundai Sun Bowl
Sun Bowl Stadium, El Paso, Texas – Dec. 30, 2 p.m. (CBS)

Schlabach: Pittsburgh vs. Colorado
McMurphy: UCLA vs. North Carolina
Palm: North Carolina vs. Arizona State

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee – Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Arkansas vs. Iowa
McMurphy: Georgia vs. Maryland
Palm: Michigan State vs. Florida

Capital One Orange Bowl
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida- Dec. 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Louisville vs. Tennessee
McMurphy: Louisville vs. Wisconsin
Palm: Louisville vs. Wisconsin

NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona – Dec. 30, TBA

Schlabach: Idaho vs. Wyoming
McMurphy: Idaho vs. Nevada
Palm: Texas – San Antonio vs. South Alabama

Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida – Dec. 31, 11 a.m. (ABC)

Schlabach: Wisconsin vs. Ole Miss
McMurphy: Iowa vs. LSU
Palm: Virginia Tech vs. Ole Miss

TaxSlayer Bowl
EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida – Dec. 31, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Miami vs. Florida
McMurphy: Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss
Palm: Florida State vs. Arkansas

Outback Bowl
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida – Jan. 2, 1 p.m. (ABC)

Schlabach: Nebraska vs. LSU
McMurphy: Nebraska vs. Florida
Palm: Nebraska vs. Georgia

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas – Jan. 2, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Boise State vs. Baylor
McMurphy: Boise State vs. Tennessee
Palm: Houston vs. Tennessee

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California – Jan. 2, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Ohio State vs. Utah
McMurphy: Michigan vs. Washington State
Palm: Michigan vs. Stanford

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans – Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
McMurphy: Texas A&M vs. Baylor
Palm: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Georgia Dome, Atlanta – Saturday, Dec. 31, TBA (ESPN)

Schlabach: Alabama vs. Washington
McMurphy: Alabama vs. Washington
Palm: Alabama vs. Washington

Fiesta Bowl
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona – Saturday, Dec. 31, TBA (ESPN)

Schlabach: Clemson vs. Michigan
McMurphy: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Palm: Clemson vs. Ohio State

 National Championship
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida – Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, TBA (ESPN)

Schlabach: Alabama vs. Michigan
McMurphy: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Palm: TBA

We aren’t even halfway through a season that has already held a lot of surprises, miracle finishes and much more.  I’ve been surprised by how little movement there has been at the very top of the rankings, as Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State have appeared at the top of most polls since the beginning of the season, with Washington the only newcomer.  The Buckeyes and the Tide will be tested this weekend, with both facing Top-10 teams on the road.  Will there be a change next weekend?

Already bowl-eligible and undefeated – Clemson, Michigan, Western Michigan, Washington, Texas A&M and Alabama.

Still undefeated but not bowl-eligible yet – Ohio State, Nebraska, Boise State,  Baylor and West Virginia.

Almost out of the picture – 0-6 – Miami (OH),  0-5 or 1-5 – Iowa State, Florida Atlantic, Rice, UTEP, UMASS, Bowling Green and Northern Illinois.  The most surprising names to me on this list are Northern Illinois and Bowling Green — typically two Mid-American Conference stalwarts.

Can they make to a bowl?  The following teams entered this season with high expectations and for a variety of reasons, haven’t lived up those expectations.  With a rough start already on the books, and tough games ahead, its possible these teams could be at home this bowl season.  We’ll have more about these teams later this week.

Notre Dame (2-4)  – When it rains, it pours.  The Fighting Irish have lost three games late that they were positioned to win, and could have a 5-1 mark at this point.   They still face Stanford, Miami (FL), Navy and Virginia Tech, and will probably be the underdog in each game.  They’ll need to play to their potential to earn a bowl trip.

Oregon (2-4)  – Last Saturday Washington defeated Oregon by 49 points, putting up 70 on the Ducks, and ending a 12-game series losing streak. The only point that could be lower would be finding a way to lose to Oregon State the last week of the season.  But the Ducks could be favored in three of their games, and the team that narrowly lost to solid Nebraska and Colorado teams  is still there.

Next week we may be writing about:  Cal, Texas, Michigan State, Northwestern,  Arizona and the loser of the Mississippi State at BYU game.

As always, please comment and share your thoughts and opinions!

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