Bowl Projections from around the Web

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Will Alabama fans have a reason make a return trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game?

Every Monday, we publish bowl projections from around the web, followed by analysis and commentary.   First, here are expert projections from around the web.


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

Schlabach: Air Force vs. Middle Tennessee
McMurphy: Air Force vs. Ole Dominion
Palm: New Mexico vs. Middle Tennessee
Parsons: UNLV 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. UCLA
Parsons: Boise State vs. Arizona State

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

Schlabach: Arkansas State vs. Akron
McMurphy: Appalachian State vs. Toledo
Palm: Georgia Southern vs. Akron
Parsons: Troy vs. Akron

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

Schlabach: UCF vs. Appalachian State
McMurphy: UCF vs. Arkansas State
Palm: Ball State vs. Troy
Parsons: Connecticut vs. Arkansas State

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
Parsons: Georgia Southern vs. Southern Miss

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

Schlabach: Houston vs. Central Michigan
McMurphy: Houston vs. Central Michigan
Palm: Temple vs. Central Michigan
Parsons: Memphis vs. Eastern Michigan

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

Schlabach: FIU vs. Memphis
McMurphy: Middle Tennessee vs. Cincinnati
Palm: Army vs. Cincinnati
Parsons: Tulsa vs. Old Dominion

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

Schlabach: BYU vs. Wyoming
McMurphy: BYU vs. Wyoming
Palm: BYU vs. Air Force
Parsons: BYU vs. San Diego State

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

Schlabach: Colorado State vs. Toledo
McMurphy: Colorado State vs. Eastern Michigan
Palm: Toledo vs. Colorado State
Parsons: Ohio vs. Utah State

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

Schlabach: Old Dominion vs. Tulsa
McMurphy: North Texas vs. Tulsa
Palm: Louisiana Tech vs. Ohio
Parsons: Temple vs. Toledo

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

Schlabach: Texas Tech vs. Navy
McMurphy: Cal vs. Navy
Palm: Maryland vs. Navy
Parsons:Kansas State 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
Parsons: Appalachian State vs. Central 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. Utah State
Parsons: Louisiana Tech vs. Air Force

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

Schlabach: Georgia Tech vs. South Florida
McMurphy: Syracuse vs. South Florida
Palm: South Alabama vs. South Florida
Parsons: Boston College vs. South Florida

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

Schlabach: Syracuse vs. Indiana
McMurphy: Wake Forest vs. Michigan State
Palm: Boston College vs. Northwestern
Parsons: N.C. State vs. Michigan State

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

Schlabach: N.C. State vs. Cal
McMurphy: Georgia Tech vs. Connecticut
Palm: Northern Illinois vs. N.C. State
Parsons: Wake Forest vs. UT-San Antonio

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

Schlabach: Maryland vs. Louisiana Tech
McMurphy: Army vs. Louisiana Tech
Palm: Michigan State vs. Western Kentucky
Parsons: Northwestern vs. Western Kentucky

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

Schlabach: Wake Forest vs. Temple
McMurphy: Miami vs. Memphis
Palm: Georgia Tech vs. Memphis
Parsons: Houston vs. Notre Dame

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

Schlabach: Penn State vs. Washington State
McMurphy: Penn State vs. Colorado
Palm: Penn State vs. Colorado
Parsons: Iowa vs. UCLA

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

Schlabach: Kansas State vs. UCLA
McMurphy: Texas vs. UCLA
Palm: : Kansas State vs. USC
Parsons: Texas vs. USC

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

Schlabach: Virginia Tech vs. Northwestern
McMurphy: N.C. State vs. Northwestern
Palm: Pittsburgh vs. Iowa
Parsons: Virginia Tech vs. Minnesota

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

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

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

Schlabach: Minnesota vs. Colorado
McMurphy: Minnesota vs. USC
Palm: Indiana vs. Washington State
Parsons: Indiana vs. Stanford

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl
NRG Stadium, Houston -Dec. 28, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Schlabach: TCU vs. Auburn
McMurphy: Oklahoma State vs. Auburn
Palm: TCU vs. Boise State
Parsons: Oklahoma State vs. Tennessee

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

Schlabach: Army vs. Tulane
McMurphy: Temple vs. Kentucky
Palm: Tulsa vs. Missouri
Parsons: Cincinnati vs. South Alabama

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

Schlabach: LSU vs. North Carolina
McMurphy: Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech
Palm: Miami (FL) vs. South Carolina
Parsons: Georgia Tech vs. Auburn

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

Schlabach: West Virginia vs. USC
McMurphy: West Virginia vs. Utah
Palm: Baylor vs. Utah
Parsons: Oklahoma vs. Washington State

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

Schlabach: Texas vs. Kentucky
McMurphy: TCU vs. Auburn
Palm: Oklahoma State vs. Auburn
Parsons: West Virginia vs. Army

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

Schlabach: Pittsburgh vs. Arizona State
McMurphy: North Carolina vs. Arizona State
Palm: Wake Forest vs. Arizona State
Parsons: Pittsburgh vs. Colorado

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

Schlabach: Georgia vs. Iowa
McMurphy: Ole Miss vs. Maryland
Palm: Minnesota vs. Florida
Parsons: Penn State vs. LSU

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

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

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

Schlabach: Idaho vs. New Mexico 
McMurphy: Idaho vs. New Mexico
Palm: Texas – San Antonio vs. Arkansas State
Parsons: Marshall vs. New Mexico

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

Schlabach: Nebraska vs. Florida
McMurphy: Iowa vs. Tennessee
Palm: Virginia Tech vs. Ole Miss
Parsons: North Carolina vs. Arkansas

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

Schlabach: Miami (FL) vs. Ole Miss
McMurphy: Pittsburgh vs. LSU
Palm: North Carolina vs. Arkansas
Parsons: Florida State vs. Georgia

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

Schlabach: Wisconsin vs. Arkansas
McMurphy: Indiana vs. Florida
Palm: Nebraska vs. Georgia
Parsons: Nebraska vs. Ole Miss

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

Schlabach: Boise State vs. Baylor
McMurphy: Boise State vs. Wisconsin
Palm: Houston vs. Tennessee
Parsons: Western Michigan vs. Texas A&M

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

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

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
Parsons: Florida vs. Baylor


COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

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

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

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

Schlabach: Washington vs. Ohio State
McMurphy: Washington vs. Ohio State
Palm: Clemson vs. Ohio State
Parsons: Clemson vs. Ohio State

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

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


Where are the Fighting Irish?  – Only one of the four experts predicts that Notre Dame will find its way into the post-season.   It is not impossible, but the Fighting Irish would need to finish 4-1 to become bowl eligible.  Those last five games include three games against nationally ranked teams, Miami, Navy and Virginia Tech, and dates with USC and Army.  Do you think the Irish make the post season?

The Florida Bowls – There is no agreement on which SEC teams will play in the three Florida bowl games featuring SEC teams.  The four experts list six different teams for the four games and there is no agreement on any of the games.   Each of the the games, Outback Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl and Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, find one expert predicting Ole Miss and Arkansas to appear in the game.

Louisville is selected to appear in the Orange Bowl by all four experts.  No so fast my friends — Louisville is ranked No. 7 in the latest polls, right behind Texas A&M which faces Alabama Saturday.  Two other teams ranked ahead of Louisville, Michigan and Ohio State will play later in the season.  If the Cards are able to hold serve, they’ll be sitting at No. 5, when they face Houston. Win that game, and who knows what could happen — the teams likely to be ranked in front of them would all still have to survive conference championship games.  

Speaking of Houston, any hope for the Cougars have on making it to the Cotton Bowl, is dependent on defeating Louisville. The Cougars are ranked No. 11 currently, but several of the teams that are higher ranked will still play each other, the Cougars will have the chance to move up, and if they win out, they would have an excellent chance of getting an at-large bid to the Cotton Bowl.  I think that may be more likely than getting an automatic bid — remember the Group of Five bid goes to the highest ranked conference champion, not the highest-ranked team.  If the season ended today, Navy not Houston, would play in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game.  

Group of Five,  with Houston having a tough road for the automatic bid, here’s a quick review of teams that are in the hunt. Remember the automatic bid which goes to the highest-ranked conference champion.

  • Boise State – The Broncos are undefeated, have wins over two Pac-12 teams, and if they get past BYU this Thursday, they’ll become the front-runner
  • Western Michigan – Has defeated two Big Ten teams and blown out everyone else on its schedule.  It will face surprising Eastern Michigan this weekend, and closes with a game against Toledo.
  • Toledo – The Rockets are good, only a last-second field goal at BYU has kept them from being undefeated.  A win over Western Michigan could lift them into the MAC Championship Game.
  • Navy – The Midshipman defeated Houston, and are coming into a stretch where they’ll face Memphis, South Florida and Notre Dame.  If they can make it through those three games, they’ll be almost a virtual lock to make it to the American Athletic Conference Championship. 
  • Memphis – With a win over Navy, the Tigers can take control of the division race.  They face Houston the weekend after the Cougars play Louisville
  • South Florida – Is leading and appears to be the strongest team in its division.  The Bulls won at Syracuse, and with a showdown coming against a potentially-ranked Navy team, will have the chance to add to their resume.  
  • Troy – If you had a chance to watch Troy under Coach Brown last season, you may have noticed how fundamentally sound the Trojans were.  It has only continued.  Remember this season’s six-point loss to Clemson in week two?  It wasn’t a fluke, the Trojans are otherwise undefeated, and lead the Sun Belt.  Depending on how things work out with the teams listed above, it could be a great New Year in Troy.

It’s going to be an Alabama vs. Ohio State Championship Game, according to everyone that makes a pick.  

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