Bowl Projections from Around the Web – November 7, 2016

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


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

Miller: Wyoming vs. Western Kentucky
Kirk: New Mexico vs. UTSA
Palm: New Mexico vs. Middle Tennessee

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

Miller: Hawaii vs. Arizona State 
Kirk: Boise State vs. Stanford
Palm: Boise State vs. Arizona State

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

Miller: Appalachian State vs. Akron
Kirk: Appalachian State vs. Eastern Michigan
Palm: South Alabama vs. Akron

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

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

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

Miller: Georgia Southern vs. Louisiana Tech
Kirk: Troy vs. Louisiana Tech
Palm: Georgia Southern vs. Southern Misss

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

Miller: Memphis vs. Central Michigan
Kirk: Charlotte vs. Central Michigan
Palm: Temple vs. Ball State

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

Miller: Tulsa vs. Old Dominion
Kirk: Middle Tennessee vs. Memphis
Palm: Memphis vs. UTEP

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

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

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

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

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

Miller: USF vs. Toledo
Kirk: Akron vs. Tulsa
Palm: Louisiana Tech vs. Ohio

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

Miller: Kansas State vs. Navy
Kirk: Kansas State vs. Navy
Palm: Kansas State vs. Navy

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

Miller: Troy vs. Ohio
Kirk: Arkansas State vs. Toledo
Palm: Appalachian State vs. Western Michigan

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

Miller: Middle Tennessee vs. New Mexico
Kirk: Southern Miss vs. Hawai’i
Palm: Old Dominion vs. Air Force 

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

Miller: Army vs. SMU 
Kirk: Temple vs. Old Dominion
Palm: Central Michigan vs. South Florida

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

Miller: Georgia Tech vs. Indiana
Kirk: Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern
Palm: Boston College vs. Maryland

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

Miller: Wake Forest vs. Boise State 
Kirk: Syracuse vs. Ole Miss
Palm: Kentucky vs. N.C. State

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

Miller: Syracuse vs. Southern Miss
Kirk: Utah State vs. Western  Kentucky
Palm: Northern Illinois vs. Western Kentucky

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

Miller: Pittsburgh vs. Temple
Kirk: Georgia Tech vs. Houston
Palm: Georgia Tech vs. Houston

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

Miller: Northwestern vs. Washington State
Kirk: Minnesota vs. Colorado
Palm: Minnesota vs. Stanford

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

Miller: TCU vs. Cal
Kirk: TCU vs. Army
Palm: : Texas vs. Utah State

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

Miller: N.C. State vs. Maryland
Kirk: Pitt vs. Maryland
Palm: Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern

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

Miller: Miami (FL) vs. West Virginia
Kirk: North Carolina vs. West Virginia
Palm: Florida State vs. Oklahoma State

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

Miller: Minnesota vs. Colorado
Kirk: Iowa vs. USC
Palm: Indiana vs. Washington State

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

Miller: Baylor vs. Ole Miss
McMurphy: Baylor vs. Texas A&M 
Palm: TCU vs. South Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

Miller: Oklahoma State vs. USC
Kirk: Oklahoma State vs. Washington State
Palm: West Virginia vs. Colorado

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

Miller: Texas vs. Kentucky
Kirk: Texas vs. Kentucky 
Palm: Baylor vs. LSU

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

Miller: North Carolina vs. Stanford 
Kirk: Wake Forest vs. Arizona State
Palm: Wake Forest vs. USC

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

Miller: Georgia vs. Iowa
Kirk: Indiana vs. South Carolina
Palm: Iowa vs. Arkansas

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

Miller: Louisville vs. Wisconsin
Kirk: Louisville vs. Penn State
Palm: Louisville vs. Wisconsin

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

Miller: Idaho vs. Colorado State
Kirk: Idaho vs. Air Force
Palm: Texas – San Antonio vs. Arkansas State

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

Miller: Nebraska vs. Tennessee 
Kirk: Florida State vs. Tennessee
Palm: Virginia Tech vs. Auburn

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

Miller: Florida State vs. LSU
Kirk: Miami vs. Florida
Palm: North Carolina vs. Tennessee

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

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

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

Miller: Western Michigan vs. Auburn
Kirk: Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin
Palm: San Diego State vs. Penn State

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

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

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

Miller: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
Kirk: Auburn vs. Oklahoma
Palm: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma


COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

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

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

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

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

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

Miller: Alabama vs. Clemson
Kirk: Alabama vs. Michigan
Palm: TBA


There is less agreement among the experts this week than last.  As the season goes on, things typically become less uncertain.  Not here, and with weekly upsets, there will be more changes next week.  This weekend, which games will have the biggest impact on the bowl season?  The answer may surprise you, because it probably isn’t the games you’re thinking of.

LSU at Arkansas – Both of these teams have three losses, all to Top 10 teams. Both dropped games to Auburn and Alabama, and Arkansas also lost to Texas A&M, while LSU fell to Wisconsin.  If Arkansas wins, the Hogs will have a clear path to a 9-3 finish, while the Tigers could climb to 6-3, with a chance to still make a statement, they have two remaining games, both against ranked opponents.

Penn State at Indiana – The Nittany Lions (Which we picked for the Rose Bowl last week when they were ranked No. 23) will be favored in their last three contests, but this is the one they need to be most wary of.  The Hoosiers have everything to gain and and they need a win.  A win gets the Hoosiers bowl eligibility, and should put them in a better tier the of Big Ten bowl selection process, while a loss would likely mean they’d need to win the Old Oaken Bucket to get to any bowl.  Meanwhile, the Lions are in line to get to a New Year’s Day Six bowl game if they can win out.  The Hoosiers will challenge them, and if they are not up for it, they’ll be eliminated from that discussion.

Auburn at Georgia – Ready for an amazing stat — the SEC West has lost just one game to the SEC East yet this season.  I’m sure the entire East Division would love to see an Auburn team that has emerged as a West Division contender and potential playoff darkhorse, be the first to go down.  If that happens, the Tigers bowl options take a fall. Meanwhile, a loss by Georgia would put them at five losses, likely taking them out of a Florida bowl game.

West Virginia at Texas – West Virginia lost for the first time last week, but they still have a chance to win the conference, and a longer chance to get to the College Football Playoff.  They need to win out, but the Mountaineers have two home games remaining against ranked opponents, and this road-trip may be the toughest hill to climb.  The young Longhorns are looking strong, they could still finish 8-4.  If that happens, they will have won six of seven to close out the season, and made themselves a very desirable post-season candidate.  A loss puts their ceiling at 7-5, and closes off a few bowl options that are still open.  No matter how the Longhorns finish this season, watch out for them next year.

Minnesota at Nebraska – Did you know that Minnesota is 7-2, just like nationally ranked Wisconsin, Penn State and Nebraska?  The Golden Gophers haven’t been a quiet 7-2 team, they have been a silent one.  They’ll have a chance to make some noise this weekend in Lincoln, when they face a ranked opponent for the first time this season.  This game features the two teams are tied with Wisconsin for the lead in the Big Ten West.  Besides being essentially eliminated from the division race, the loser will also drop a tier in bowl selections. If the Gophers win, the Battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe will likely also be the Battle for the West.  If the Husker’s win, they chances of playing in a New Year’s Six remain alive.

USC at Washington – Washington is likely to be in line with a spot for the College Football Playoff, but it seems that all they face is skepticism.  Saturday, they’ll be facing a star-laden USC team that has won five straight games by an average of 21 points.  A win in Seattle a week after a tough road win at Utah would put to rest many doubts people have against the Huskies.


Crazy Bowl Prediction – What makes it crazy?  First, none of the expert forecasters can pick the team we write up for the game we select, which is actually a hard place to start.  Then it must seem slightly illogical, but we’ll explain how it happens.  Then we stick with it the remainder of the season, we don’t change every week.

We didn’t intend to stay in the Big Ten but we almost have to.  If you wondered how we were getting Penn State in the Rose Bowl, it’s because we have Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.  The Lions own the head-to-head, and because the Rose Bowl makes its own selection, while the Orange Bowl relies on rankings from the CFP Committee, the Lions get the nod to Pasadena.  And the Buckeyes go to Miami to likely face Louisville, led by the likely Heisman Trophy winner.  What a game!

  • October 31 – Penn State to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl
  • November 7 – Ohio State to be selected to appear in the Orange Bowl

Mayhem to think about

  • What if North Carolina or Virginia Tech beat Clemson in ACC Championship Game?
  • What if Auburn wins the Iron Bowl?

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