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Bowl Projections from Around the Web – October 31, 2016

Every Monday, we publish bowl projections from around the web, followed by analysis and commentary.   This week, we’ve provided picks from three experts, along with our first Crazy Bowl Prediction.  If you haven’t followed our column, our Crazy Bowl Prediction requires that one team cannot have been selected to appear in that game by any of the experts.  We explain how and why it can and may happen, and we will not waver on that team the rest of the season.  More at the end, but let’s start with expert projections.

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

Parsons: Boise State vs. Middle Tennessee
Palm: New Mexico vs. Middle Tennessee
Kirk:  New Mexico vs. Middle Tennessee

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

Parsons: San Diego State vs. Arizona State
Palm: Boise State vs. Arizona State
Kirk: Boise State vs. UCLA

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

Parsons: Central Michigan vs. Troy
Palm: South Alabama vs. Akron
Kirk: Appalachian State vs. Central Michigan

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

Parsons: UCF vs. Arkansas State
Palm: UCF vs. Troy
Kirk: UCF vs. Georgia Southern

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

Parsons: Georgia Southern vs. Southern Miss
Palm: Louisiana – Lafayette vs. Southern Miss
Kirk: Louisiana – Lafayette vs. Louisiana Tech

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

Parsons: Temple vs. Akron
Palm: Temple vs. Central Michigan
Kirk: Southern Methodist vs. Akron

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

Parsons: Memphis vs. Old Dominion
Palm: Memphis vs. Northern Illinois
Kirk: Southern Miss vs. Memphis

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

Parsons: BYU vs. Wyoming
Palm: BYU vs. Wyoming
Kirk: BYU vs. San Diego State

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

Parsons: Eastern Michigan vs. Air Force
Palm: Toledo vs. Colorado State
Kirk: Ohio vs. Wyoming

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

Parsons: South Alabama vs. Toledo
Palm: Louisiana Tech vs. Ohio
Kirk: Tulsa vs. Eastern Michigan

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

Parsons: Texas vs. Navy
Palm: Kansas State vs. Navy
Kirk: TCU vs. Navy

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

Parsons: Appalachian State vs. Ohio
Palm: Appalachian State vs. Western Michigan
Kirk: South Alabama vs. Toledo

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

Parsons: Louisiana Tech vs. Hawai’i
Palm: Old Dominion vs. Air Force
Kirk: Idaho  vs. Hawai’i

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

Parsons: Tulsa vs. Boston College
Palm: Ball State vs. Maryland
Kirk: Wake Forest vs. Cincinnati

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

Parsons: Army vs. Northwestern
Palm: Ball State vs. Maryland
Kirk: Boston College vs. Northwestern

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

Parsons: Wake Forest vs. Tennessee
Palm: Kentucky vs. N.C. State
Kirk: Kansas State vs. Temple

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

Parsons: Maryland  vs. Western Kentucky
Palm: Texas vs. Western Kentucky
Kirk: Army vs. Western Kentucky

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

Parsons: Miami vs. USF
Palm: Georgia Tech vs. Houston
Kirk: Georgia Tech vs. Houston

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

Parsons: Iowa vs. Colorado
Palm: Minnesota vs. Stanford
Kirk: Minnesota vs. Colorado

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

Parsons: TCU vs. USC
Palm: : Texas Tech vs. Cincinnati
Kirk: Texas Tech vs. Stanford

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

Parsons: Notre Dame vs. Minnesota
Palm: Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern
Kirk: North Carolina vs. Maryland

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

Parsons: North Carolina vs. West Virginia
Palm: Florida State vs. West Virginia
Kirk: Florida State vs. West Virginia

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

Parsons: Indiana vs. Stanford
Palm: Indiana vs. Washington State
Kirk: Iowa vs. USC

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

Parsons: Kansas State vs. Texas A&M
Palm: Oklahoma State vs. South Carolina
Kirk: Baylor vs. Arkansas

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

Parsons: Houston vs. South Carolina
Palm: Tulsa vs. Ole Miss
Kirk: USF vs. Ole Miss

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

Parsons: Georgia Tech vs. Arkansas
Palm: Miami (FL) vs. Georgia
Kirk: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn

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

Parsons: Baylor vs. Washington  State
Palm: Baylor vs. Colorado
Kirk: Oklahoma State vs. Washington State

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

Parsons: Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss
Palm: TCU vs. LSU
Kirk: Texas vs. Georgia

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

Parsons: Pittsburgh vs. UCLA
Palm: Wake Forest vs. USC
Kirk: Pittsburgh vs. Arizona State

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

Parsons: Kentucky vs. Penn State
Palm: Arkansas vs. Iowa
Kirk: South Carolina vs. Indiana

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

Parsons: Louisville vs. Wisconsin
Palm: Louisville vs. Wisconsin
Kirk: Louisville vs. Wisconsin

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

Parsons: UTEP vs. New Mexico
Palm: Utah  State vs. Georgia Southern
Kirk: Air Force vs. Troy

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

Parsons: Virginia Tech  vs. Auburn
Palm: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Kirk: Nebraska vs. Tennessee

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

Parsons: Florida State vs. Georgia
Palm: North Carolina vs. Tennessee
Kirk: Miami (FL) vs. Kentucky

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

Parsons: Nebraska vs. LSU
Palm: Penn State vs. Florida
Kirk: Penn State vs. Florida

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

Parsons: Western Michigan  vs. Oklahoma State
Palm: San Diego State vs. Nebraska
Kirk:  Western Michigan vs. LSU

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

Parsons: Ohio State vs. Utah
Palm: Michigan vs. Utah
Kirk: Ohio State vs. Utah

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

Parsons: Florida vs. Oklahoma
Palm: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
Kirk: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma


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

Parsons: Alabama vs. Washington
Palm: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Kirk: Alabama vs. Washington

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

Parsons: Clemson vs. Michigan
Palm: Clemson vs. Washington
Kirk: Clemson vs. Michigan

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

Parsons: Alabama vs. Michigan
Palm: TBA
Kirk: Alabama vs. Michigan

First, let’s take review the expert picks – 

There are only 12 out of 80 teams that are picked by all the experts and there is only one unanimous game — Louisville vs. Wisconsin in the Capital One Orange Bowl.  But guess what —  It’s not going to happen.  Wisconsin currently has two losses, but will be favored in the remainder of their games.  If the Badgers win out and Nebraska loses again, the Badgers will play in the Big Ten Championship, likely facing the Michigan  vs. Ohio State winner.  If Wisconsin wins that game, they’ll be in the College Football Playoff or the Rose Bowl.  If not, they’ll have three losses, and it’s  likely there will be four Big Ten teams with two or fewer losses.   At that point, they will not be the highest-ranked team available.  Plus there are a number of scenarios where Louisville could either climb into the Playoff, or lose, with tough games against Houston and Kentucky to close the season.

Our Crazy Bowl Projection – Penn State to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl

Please remember that the criteria is that this team cannot be selected by any of the experts, and that we explain how it will happen and why it is actually not crazy.  We’d love to share our past record and picks with  you!  Without further ado, here is our Crazy Bowl Projection

How does a team that started 2-2 including a loss to Michigan by 39 points end up representing the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl?  It’s a combination of a huge upset win against Ohio State, favorable schedule sequencing, home-field advantage, and some things the Nittany Lions cannot control.  First, how does this happen?  Penn State must win its last four games and finish with a 10-2 record.  That means defeating Iowa and Michigan State at home, surviving  a very dangerous road trip to Indiana, and continuing to dominate Rutgers.  That is all difficult but possible.  Then Penn State needs Michigan to hand Ohio State its second loss and appear in the Big Ten Championship game.  That would give the Buckeyes two losses in conference, and placing them behind Penn State in both conference record (remember Pitt beat Penn State) and having lost the head-to-head.  It will help the Lion’s cause if Nebraksa falls to Ohio State, but otherwise wins out, leaving the Huskers at 10-2, along  with Wisconsin, who falls to 10-3 after a Championship Game loss.  Because if the Badgers win, they’ll either be in the Playoff or Pasadena.  Here’s the final key point — The Rose Bowl gets to  pick the Big Ten team that appears, the Orange Bowl uses the Playoff Selection Committee ranking.   So based on current polls, a 10-2 Ohio State team would be ranked ahead of a 10-2 Penn State team, and if Ohio State were to get the Rose Bowl bid, it may be unlikely the Big Ten gets the big to the Orange Bowl.  By selecting a lower-ranked but worthy (head-to-head win and conference record) the Big  Ten places  teams in  both  the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl.  So while it seems crazy on the surface, there is actually a Road to Pasadena for the Nittany Lions.

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