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Projecting Every Bowl Game Post-Week 2

T.J. McaloonContributorSeptember 9, 2013

Projecting Every Bowl Game Post-Week 2

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    While the college football season is only two weeks old, the bowl game picture is starting to come a little bit into focus. 

    There are teams that are starting to break away from the pack as BCS title contenders. And then there are some teams that are failing to live up to their preseason hype. However, after two weeks, we can start to take some guesses as to which teams will play in a postseason bowl game.

    There are two-and-a-half months until the final week of the season, so things could look very differently when the final bowl schedule comes out.

    However, here are predictions for all 35 bowl games. 

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 21

    Time: 2 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Arizona vs. San Jose State

     

    This bowl game features the fourth or fifth team in the Mountain West Conference versus the seventh team in the Pac-12. As it is right now, Nevada is in a tie for second through seventh in the MWC, while Arizona in a tie of its own before conference play begins.

    However, by the time the bowl season starts, Arizona should have found its way to the bottom of the bowl eligible teams in the conference. It has the talent, but it has a brutal schedule. It'll have to go on the road to Washington, Cal and Oregon while having to play Oregon and UCLA at home.

    These will be losses for the Wildcats which will send them to the New Mexico Bowl.

    San Jose State, on the other hand, should find its way through a rough MWC schedule to eight wins, but it will still be behind Boise State, Utah State and Fresno State. 

Famous Idaho Potato

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    Date: Dec. 21 

    Time: 5:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Northern Illinois vs. Boise State

     

    The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl features the MAC third-place team against a team from the MWC. With Northern Illinois having a good season, it should finish second to Ball State in the West Division of the MAC.

    Boise State would fall into this spot as the representative of the Mountain West Conference. It should finish second in its division, to Nevada, with nine victories. Needing a bowl game to play in, it should accept the bid to play at home against Northern Illinois.

Las Vegas Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 21

    Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Washington State vs. Fresno State

     

    The Las Vegas Bowl features the champion of the Mountain West Conference and the fifth-place team in the Pac-12. 

    Fresno State has the inside track of winning the MWC after starting its season 2-0. However, don't be surprised if the Bulldogs contend for a spot in a BCS bowl game. But, because they play in a mid-major conference without the chance at improving their BCS ranking, they will end up playing in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl.

    The Cougars have looked good after two games. They should finish third in the Pac-12 North Division and be the fifth-best team in the conference. 

    Date: Dec. 21

    Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Washington State vs. Fresno State

    The  Las Vegas Bowl features the champion of the Mountain West Conference and the fifth placed team in the Pac-12. 

    Fresno State has the inside track of winning the MWC after starting their season 2-0. However, don't be surprised if the Bulldogs contend for a spot in a BCS bowl game. But, because they play in a mid-major conference, without the chance at improving their BCS ranking, they will end up playing in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl.

    The Cougars have looked good after two games. They should finish third in the Pac-12 north division and be the fifth best team in the conference. 

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 22

    Time: 9 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Texas State vs. Louisiana Tech

     

    The New Orleans bowl takes the No. 1 team from the Sun Belt and a member of the Conference-USA. 

    With Texas State as the leaders of the Sun Belt Conference at this writing, after starting 2-0, it looks as if it is poised to win its first conference championship in only its second season. It does have some tough games coming up, but, with a solid roster it should finish atop of the conference.

    Louisiana Tech started out slow, losing 40-14, but rebounded nicely with a 27-14 win. It should string together enough wins to become bowl eligible and play in a bowl game close to its school.  

    The New Orleans bowl takes the No. 1 team from the Sun Belt and a member of the Conference-USA. 

    With Arkansas State needing just a win in its final game of the season, they should fill this spot as the champions of the Sun Belt. However, the Conference-USA will not have a team that will either be bowl-eligible or would be a big draw for this game.

    This is where Louisiana Tech would fill in. 

    They would be able to draw in a big crowd, and give us a great game with two teams with great records and offenses. 

Beef O'Brady's Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 23

    Time: 2:00 p.m. ET

    Projected matchup: Middle Tennessee vs. Maryland

     

    This bowl game should have the sixth team from the ACC going up against a member from the Conference USA. 

    The ACC will have a competitive group of teams fight for the top spots in each of its divisions. Maryland should finish its season with about seven-to-eight wins which will set it in the sixth spot in the conference. 

    Middle Tennessee will finish its season with eight wins and second of  the East Division of the Conference USA. Because of its strong showing it will get picked to play in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl. 

    This bowl game should have the sixth team from the Big East going up against a member from the Conference-USA. 

    Well, the Big East will be lucky to get five members to qualify for a bowl game, but will more than likely get four. So with no members eligible I'd expect to see the bowl committee to reach out to Middle Tennessee from the Sun Belt to fill in. 

    UCF, on the other hand, will play in its conference championship game and should be able to grab fans to come to this bowl game that's played in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 24

    Time: 8 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: New Mexico vs. Tulane

     

    These two teams may have to play their bowl game on Christmas Eve, but they get a free trip to Hawaii, so that's gotta even out the bad with the good, right? 

    Anyway, this bowl takes a team from the MWC or the WAC and puts them against a member of the C-USA. 

    With both of these teams being bowl-eligible and needing a place to go, they should end up in Honolulu. 

    hese two teams may have to play its bowl game on Christmas Eve, but they get a free trip to Hawaii, so that's gotta even out the bad with the good right? 

    Anyway, this bowl takes a team from the MWC or the WAC and puts them against a member of the C-USA. 

    With both of these teams being bowl-eligible and needing a place to go, they should end up in Honolulu. 

Little Caesars Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 26

    Time: 6 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Bowling Green vs. Indiana

     

    The Little Caesars Bowl has a team from the MAC going up against the eight-placed team in the Big Ten. Indiana will have to get some help by beating the bottom of the Big Ten and finding a way to get an upset against some of the better teams in the conference. It needs five wins in its next 10 games to become bowl eligible.  

    Bowling Green will be a good team in the MAC this season. It should finish just short of winning its division as Ball State has too much offense to slow down. 

    Date: Dec. 26

    Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Kent State vs. Western Kentucky

    The Little Caesars Bowl has a team from the MAC going up against the eight placed team in the Big Ten. Well, because of NCAA bowl-bans, the Big Ten has two teams that could qualify for bowl (Penn State and Ohio State) but won't.

    Because of that they'll need a fill-in, and should go calling for Western Kentucky out of the Sun Belt. 

    Kent State should be able to bring its fans from Ohio up to Michigan for a potentially easy bowl game victory over the 6-5 Hilltoppers. 

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 26

    Time: 9:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Army vs. Utah State

     

    If Army can win six games it will automatically be placed into this bowl game. With one win already under its belt, and five games in which it should win remaining on its schedule, it should have the minimum of six victories to qualify. 

    Utah State should finish its regular season as the champions of the MWC Mountain division. However, it should lose to Fresno State in the conference championship game because of the Bulldogs passing attack. The loss will send it to San Diego for its bowl game.

Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Group

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    Date: Dec. 27

    Time: 2:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Marshall vs. Syracuse

     

    The Military Bowl pits the runner-up of Conference USA against the eighth-place team from the ACC. With Marshall already sitting at the top of the east division at 2-0 behind a stout defense and explosive offense, it should be enough to carry the Thundering Herd to the conference title game. 

    Syracuse has started slow in 2013 after losing its starting quarterback to the NFL draft. However, the Orange should scrap together enough wins to qualify for this bowl game after playing in a weak ACC. 

    ate: Dec. 27

    Time: 3 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Ohio vs. Marshall

Texas Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 27

    Time: 6 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Kansas State vs. Wisconsin 

     

    The Texas Bowl is played in San Antonio with the No. 6 teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten playing each other, which Kansas State and Wisconsin should finish at in their respective conferences.

    However, Kansas State hasn't looked that impressive in its two games in 2013. The Wildcats will need to fix whatever problems they are facing if they want to become bowl eligible and finish sixth in the Big 12. For Wisconsin, it's started 2-0 and plays in a weak conference. The Badgers should finish with seven victories, which should be good enough for sixth place in the conference.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 27

    Time: 9:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: BYU vs. Utah

     

    The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl already has BYU as its bowl team if the Cougars can qualify for its own bowl game. 

    However, they'll need a team from the Pac-12 to play them. 

    Enter the Utah Utes, who should finish their regular season with a record of 8-4. Plus, Utah and BYU are already in-state rivals and will play each other during the regular season. Having these two teams play in the postseason would seem to make the most sense. 

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 28

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Cincinnati vs. Texas Tech

     

    In the new American Athletic Conference, I could see the Cincinnati Bearcats finishing as the No. 4 team, as they would take on the last bowl qualifier from the Big 12, Texas Tech.

    To make this happen, the Red Raiders must struggle when they enter conference play. With a young quarterback and a defense that has yet to be tested, I could see them struggling against the Big 12's offenses. 

    Cincinnati will have to find a way to regroup after they lost starting quarterback Munchie Legaux to a leg injury, with no timetable for when he will be back.

Belk Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 28

    Time: 3:20 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: UCF vs. Georgia Tech

     

    The Belk Bowl may be odd in name, but it should be good in competition, with the No. 3 team from the AAC  going up against the No. 5 team from the ACC.

    UCF should finish in third behind Houston and Louisville. However, it does have enough talent on offense to carry it past Cincinnati for a spot in the Belk Bowl. 

    Georgia Tech's running game will be enough to propel it to the fifth spot in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets have a light schedule in the coastal division and should end their season with seven wins. 

    Date: Dec. 27

    Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Cincinnati vs. Georgia Tech

    The Belk Bowl may be odd in name, but it should be good in competition with the No. 3 team from the Big East going up against the No. 5 team from the ACC.

    Cincinnati has conference punching bags South Florida and UCONN to finish its season. With these wins they'll clinch the third spot in the conference ahead of Syracuse who they beat earlier this year.

    Georgia Tech will need to lose in the ACC championship game to clinch a spot. They do not have enough talent to overtake Florida State in this game, so they will be playing its post season game here. 

Russell Athletic Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 28

    Time: 6:45 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Houston vs. Miami (FL)

     

    The Russell Athletic Bowl has the No. 2 team from the AAC going up against the No. 3 team from the ACC. 

    Houston is good, but it will not be able to overtake Louisville's passing attack when they play later in the season. The loss will put Houston into this bowl game as the second-place finisher in the conference. 

    Miami, on the other hand, will finish with the third-best record in the ACC. The Hurricanes finally get past their self-imposed bowl bans, which would have ended their season after the last regular-season game. However, as talented as this team is, it will not get past Florida State in the ACC title game.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 28

    Time: 10:15 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: TCU vs. Michigan State

     

    TCU should end its season in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl as the fourth-place team in the Big 12 conference. The Horned Frogs should finish in the middle of the pack of the conference behind a good defense and a sold balanced offensive attack.

    Michigan State can escape from this bowl game if it can win its division and the Big Ten championship game.

    However, the Big Ten Legends Division is very tight, and two losses could be the difference in a conference championship game or finishing in the middle. The Spartans are good but not good enough to get to Indianapolis for the conference title game.

    Date: Dec. 29

    Time: 10:15 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Texas Tech vs. Wisconsin

    Texas Tech will end its season in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl as the fourth placed team in the Big 12 conference. They should beat Baylor next week clinching its spot against the Big Ten's fourth placed team, Wisconsin.

    Wisconsin can escape from this bowl if they can win its second straight Big Ten championship game.

    However, the Badgers do not have as much talent as they had last year, which will send them to Arizona and not the Rose Bowl. 

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 29

    Time: 11:45 a.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Air Force vs. Navy

     

    If Navy can win six games to become postseason eligible, it will play in this bowl game. With one win already down, the Midshipmen's running attack should carry them to five more to be able to play in this postseason game. 

    Their opponents should be, if they can get to six wins, Air Force.

    With each team playing each other already in the regular season, it would be interesting to see them face off again in the bowl game.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 30

    Time: 3:15 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt

     

    This game should have an electric crowd, as Vanderbilt will be a pseudo home team with the school and game both being in Nashville, Tenn. For North Carolina State, however, it shouldn't be that long of a trip for Wolfpack fans who want to make the trek from Raleigh, N.C. to the game.

    With both teams being so close to the game and having played in last year's contest, I'd expect these two teams to play in this year's Music City Bowl

    Date: Dec. 31

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Duke vs. Vanderbilt

    This game should have an electric crowd as Vanderbilt will be a pseudo home team with the school and game both being in Nashville, Tennessee. For Duke, however, it shouldn't be that long of a trip for Blue Devil fans who want to make the trip from Durham, North Carolina to the game.

    With both teams being so close to the game, I expect these two teams to play in this year's Music City Bowl. 

Valero Alamo Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 30

    Time: 6:45 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Texas vs. Stanford

     

    The Alamo Bowl has the third-place team from the Big 12 going against the second-place team from the Pac-12. With Texas looking like the fourth-best team in its conference, even after a horrible showing against BYU, it should finish its season again in San Antonio.

    Stanford should have a great season and finish second in the Pac-12 North Division. However, because of losses to Oregon and UCLA in the regular season, it will keep the Cardinal from representing their conference in the Rose Bowl.

    Date: Dec. 30

    Time: 6:45 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Texas vs. Stanford

    The Alamo Bowl has the third place team from the Big 12 going against the second place team from the Pac-12. With Texas looking as the fourth best team in their conference, even after a horrible showing against BYU, they should finish their season again in San Antonio.

    Stanford should have a great season and finish second in the Pac-12 north division. However, because of a loss to Oregon and UCLA in the regular season it will keep them from representing their conference in the Rose Bowl.

Holiday Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 30

    Time: 10:15 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Washington vs. Iowa State

     

    Normally, this matchup is between the Pac-12's third team in the standings against the Big 12's fifth team in the standings. With the Pac-12 potentially getting two teams in the BCS bowl games, the standings will get bumped up.

    Plus, the Big 12 should be down this year, so Iowa State, even though it isn't the most talented team, should have enough wins to get it into the fifth spot in the conference.

    Washington is a good team and should give scares to Stanford, Oregon and UCLA, but the Huskies should finish with the fourth-best record in their conference. However, with two of those schools playing in BCS games, the Huskies will get the call to play in this bowl game. 

    Date: Dec. 27

    Time: 6:45 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Oregon State vs. Iowa State

    Normally, this matchup is between the Pac-12's third team in the standings against the Big 12's fifth team in its standings. With the Big 12 getting two teams in the BCS bowl games the standings will get bumped up.

    Plus, the Big 12 should send TCU to the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl, which would open the door for Iowa State to play in the Holiday Bowl.  

    Oregon State should finish with the fourth-best record in its conference; however, with two of those schools playing in BCS games, the Beavers will get the call to play in this bowl game. 

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 31

    Time: 12:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Auburn vs. Pittsburgh

     

    This matchup is supposed to pit the SEC's 10th bowl-eligible team against the ACC's seventh. However, the SEC should only get eight teams into the bowl season, while the ACC will need Pittsburgh to win down the stretch of its season to become bowl eligible. 

    Auburn will finish in the bottom of the teams eligible for a bowl game in the SEC, while Pittsburgh should finish its season with six wins.  

     

    X

    Date: Dec. 28

    Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Central Michigan vs. Virginia Tech

    This matchup is supposed to pit the SEC's 10th bowl-eligible team against the ACC's seventh. However, the SEC should only get eight teams into the bowl season, while the ACC will need Virginia Tech to win its final game against Virginia. 

    Central Michigan should get selected to fill in since they should get to six wins with its last game of the season coming against the 1-10 UMASS Minutemen. While Virginia Tech should beat Virginia to get to six wins and make this bowl game. 

Hyundai Sun Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 31

    Time: 2 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Virginia Tech vs. Arizona State

     

    The Sun Bowl features two fourth-place teams in the ACC and Pac-12. This year's game should feature the Virginia Tech Hokies going up against the Arizona State Sun Devils. 

    Both of these teams should have good seasons, as Arizona State has the potential to play upset to a number of ranked teams in the Pac-12, while Virginia Tech should rebound after a poor performance in its opening game against Alabama. 

     

Auto Zone Liberty Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 31

    Time: 4 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Tulsa vs. Central Michigan

     

    In this year's Liberty Bowl, the Conference USA champion, Tulsa, should take on the eighth- or ninth-place team from the SEC. But because of poor performance from the bottom half of teams in the SEC, and Auburn already heading to the Independence Bowl, Tulsa will be in need of a competitor. 

    This is where Central Michigan of the MAC comes in. It should have a great year and could finish its regular season with an 8-4 record. 

    Date: Dec. 31

    Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Tulsa vs. Bowling Green

    In this year's Liberty Bowl the Conference-USA champion, Tulsa, should take on the eighth or ninth team from the SEC or Big East. But, because of poor performance from the bottom half of teams in these conferences, Tulsa will be in need of a competitor. 

    This is where Bowling Green of the MAC comes in. The Eagles have had a great year and should finish its regular season 8-4 record. Plus, with the game being played in Tennessee, it shouldn't be hard for fans of Bowling Green to travel from Ohio to the game. 

Chick-fil-A Bowl

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    Date: Dec. 31

    Time: 8 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Clemson vs. Florida

     

    This year's Chick-fil-A Bowl could easily be a BCS bowl game because of the talent that is on these teams. Clemson should finish the season as the ACC's second-best team, while Florida will finish as the SEC's fifth-best team.

    Both Clemson and Florida should come into these games having just missed out in playing for their respective conference championships. However, Clemson should lose to Florida State, while Florida should drop key games to South Carolina, Georgia and LSU. 

     

TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

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    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Nebraska vs. Ole Miss

     

    In another SEC vs. Big Ten matchup, we should see Nebraska take on Ole Miss. The Rebels should finish the regular season at sixth or seventh in the SEC standings, while Nebraska should come out of the Big Ten Legends Division with a good enough record to put it at fourth in the conference. 

    If these two teams do happen to make it to the Gator Bowl, it should be a very high-scoring game.

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Minnesota vs. Mississippi State 

    In another SEC vs. Big Ten matchup we'll see Minnesota take on Mississippi State. Mississippi State will finish the regular season at sixth in the SEC standings, even with a 9-3 record. While Minnesota has the fortune of playing in the Big Ten where being 7-5 is good enough for the fourth best record.

    Mississippi State should be able to take care of an overmatched Minnesota in this bowl game. 

Heart of Dallas Bowl

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    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Illinois vs. Rice

     

    The Big Ten would send its seventh-best team to the Heart of Dallas Bowl to take on a team from the Conference USA. The most logical team to represent the conference would be the Rice Owls. Rice, which plays in Houston, Texas, will have to correct a defense that was gutted for 52 points by Texas A&M. However, the Owls do have a rushing attack that gained over 300 yards against the Aggies.

    If they can get six wins, they would be perfect to take on Illinois. 

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: UTSA vs. Baylor

    This normally is a matchup between a member of the Big Ten and Big 12. However, the Big Ten has been in a down year and all of its members will already playing in bowls.

    The Big 12 on the other hand will be able to send a member, as once Baylor and its explosive offense beats Texas Tech in its final game will have six wins. With Baylor being so close to Dallas, and the University of Texas San Antonio also qualifying for a bowl game and being not that far off, these two teams should meet up in the Cotton Bowl. 

Capital One Bowl

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    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Ohio State vs. Georgia

     

    The Capital One Bowl will feature the top two teams in the Big Ten and SEC. Ohio State should finish as losers in the Big Ten championship game, while Georgia should fail to make it back to the SEC title game for a second year. The Bulldogs still have a tough game against LSU, and they still have to go on the road to play Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

    One of those games will be the Bulldogs' downfall.

    The BCS at-large selectors could choose either one of these teams for at-large bids. But because of two conference losses during the regular season, and due to Ohio State's conference championship loss, it will keep the Buckeyes on the outside and send them to the Capital One Bowl.

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Michigan vs. LSU

    The Capital One Bowl will feature the top two teams in the Big Ten and SEC. Michigan will finish just outside of the Big Ten championship game, while LSU will be on the outside looking in to Georgia in a BCS bowl game. 

    The BCS at-large pickers should take Georgia over LSU due to how the teams played against common opponents. 

    Georgia handled Ole Miss and Auburn, while LSU struggled and Georgia beat Florida, while LSU lost to the Gators.

    With that being said, a LSU-Michigan matchup would be great to watch at home and in the stadium.

Outback Bowl

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    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Michigan vs. South Carolina 

     

    The Big Ten and SEC face off in their third New Year's Day bowl game, as the eventual No. 3 team from the Big Ten, Michigan, takes on one of top teams from the SEC, South Carolina. The Gamecocks should finish just short of winning the SEC, as they do not have the talent level to keep up with Alabama in the conference title game.

    Michigan should lose out to Northwestern, as the Wolverines have to travel to Penn State and Michigan State. These should be the Wolverines' lone losses in the conference and what ultimately keeps them from playing for the Big Ten title.

    And if you forget what happened in last year's meeting between these two teams, please click the video above and watch.

    Hopefully these two do meet up again so we can potentially see part two of the Jadeveon Clowney hit.

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Northwestern vs. South Carolina 

    The Big Ten and SEC face off in its third New Year's Day Bowl Game as the No. 3 team from the Big Ten, Northwestern, takes on one of top teams from the SEC, South Carolina.

    Unlike the game before this one, the Gator Bowl, the Big Ten has a chance to sneak away with a victory. 

    Northwestern may have lost three games in 2012, but in each game the Wildcats had a lead in the fourth quarter. They could as easily be an undefeated team playing for the Big Ten championship, instead of the Outback Bowl.

AT&T Cotton Bowl

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    Date: Jan. 3

    Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Baylor vs. Texas A&M

     

    The Cotton Bowl will be held at Cowboys Stadium, but even that 100,000-plus seat venue may not be able to contain the energy that these two teams will potentially bring into the game.

    Baylor looks like it is one of the better teams in the Big 12. However, the Bears defense could be the reason why they finish third in the conference.

    Although Texas A&M will have another great season in the SEC, this time Alabama should beat the Aggies and the Aggies should also suffer a loss on the road at LSU.

    If these two teams do make it to the Cotton Bowl, then they'll have two fanbases that want to prove that their offense is the best in Texas. Plus, it may be the final game in the college career of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

    Date: Jan. 4

    Time: 8 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Texas vs. Texas A&M

    The Cotton Bowl is in Cowboys Stadium and even that 100,000-plus seat stadium may not be able to contain the energy that these two teams will bring into the game. 

    The fan bases thought they were going to miss out on the annual meeting between these two rivals. However, with both teams playing so well, the Cotton Bowl has to select Texas A&M from the SEC to play the No. 2 team in the Big 12, Texas, in its bowl game. 

BBVA Compass Bowl

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    Date: Jan. 4

    Time: 1 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Tennessee vs. Rutgers

     

    Tennessee should get back to the postseason as it has a good squad that has started 2013 at 2-0. With the Vols only needing four more wins to become bowl eligible, they should find their way to six victories and a spot in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

    They should go on to face Rutgers, which should finish fifth in the AAC. Its passing attack should be enough to string together enough wins to qualify for this game.

    Date: Jan. 5

    Time: 12 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: San Jose State vs. LA-Monroe

    Just like a number of other bowl games this year, this one should have a member of the SEC going up against a member of the Big East or Conference-USA. But instead we'll see a member of the WAC going up against a member of the Sun Belt. 

    The game is played in Birmingham, Alabama, so the trip shouldn't be that far for LA-Monroe fans to make. 

    However, San Jose State will be chosen because they would have won nine games during the regular season.

GoDaddy.com Bowl

31 of 36

    Date: Jan. 5

    Time: 9 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Ball State vs. Arkansas State

     

    In the final bowl game before the BCS Championship Game, we should see the champion of the MAC, Ball State, go up against Arkansas State. 

    Ball State should be very good this season and could be this year's mid-major that knocks on the BCS door but comes up just short. The Cardinals have a very good passing game that has averaged 332.5 yards after two games. Their offense as a whole has averaged 45.5 points per game, which should make them a threat to finish perfect in conference play. 

    Date: Jan. 6

    Time: 9 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Toledo vs. LA-Lafayette

    In the final bowl game before the BCS championship game we'll get to see a member of the MAC, Toledo, take on a member of the Sun-Belt, LA-Lafayette. 

    LA-Lafayette almost took down the Florida Gators this season, while Toledo defeated Cincinnati and was ranked in the BCS for a week.

The Rose Bowl Presented by VIZIO

32 of 36

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 5 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Northwestern vs. UCLA

     

    The first of the BCS bowl games will feature the champion of the Big Ten, Northwestern, going up against the runner-up of the Pac-12, UCLA.

    Northwestern is a solid team that has returned a majority of its starters from a team that went 10-3 in 2012. The Wildcats have defeated two quality schools to open their season and have a defense that can shut down opponents. They should provide problems for Nebraska and Michigan State when they play them during the regular season while being able to contain Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller in the Big Ten championship game. 

    UCLA will have a great regular season where it wins the Pac-12 South Division. However, the Bruins defense should fall short against Oregon's explosive offense in the conference title game. The loss shouldn't keep them out of the Rose Bowl game as an at-large bid. 

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 4:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Nebraska vs. Stanford

    The first of the BCS bowl games will feature the champion of the Big Ten, Nebraska, going up against the champion of the Pac-12, Stanford.

    Stanford will win its regular season finale against UCLA setting up a rematch the following week for the Pac-12 championship. I don't expect the Bruins to be able to make up for the mistakes they'll make in its first meeting with the Cardinal. 

    While, Nebraska has too much talent to lose to a sub-par Wisconsin team in the Big Ten championship game.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

33 of 36

    Date: Jan. 1

    Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Oklahoma State vs. LSU

     

    Oklahoma State is the best team in the Big 12 and should win the conference.

    The Cowboys have a good quarterback in J.W. Walsh and a good defense that allowed only three points to Mississippi State. And Oklahoma State has the great skill players in running back Jeremy Smith and wide receiver Josh Stewart.

    The Cowboys should go up against the bridesmaids of the SEC to Alabama—LSU. 

    The Tigers have a good quarterback in Zack Mettenberger. However, he's just not good enough to get LSU over the Crimson Tide hump. That should be the Tigers' only loss on the season, which will put them on the outside of the SEC and BCS championship games.

    X

    Jeremy Smith

Allstate Sugar Bowl

34 of 36

    Date: Jan. 2

    Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma 

     

    This will be the first at-large BCS bowl game between two schools that did not win their conferences. 

    Oklahoma's defense should carry the Sooners past Baylor and Texas; however, their offense will be the downfall in their game against Oklahoma State. Because of its large fanbase, the BCS committee should take Oklahoma as an at-large selection. 

    Here, they should take on a Notre Dame squad that should finish the season with only one loss. The Fighting Irish have an easy schedule, with two tough games out of the 10 that remain. They should get past Oklahoma when they meet on September 28th, and they should get past Stanford to end the season.

    Date: Jan. 2

    Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Georgia vs. Oklahoma 

    This will be the first at-large BCS bowl game between two schools that did not win its conference. 

    Oklahoma's defense should carry the Sooners past its in-state rival Oklahoma State in the final game of the regular season. Because of its large fanbase the BCS committee should take Oklahoma as an at-large selection. 

    Georgia on the other hand will have to rely on its strength of wins against common opponents over fellow SEC teams: Florida, Texas A&M and LSU. 

    This is all dependent on if Georgia would lose to Alabama in the SEC championship game. 

Discover Orange Bowl

35 of 36

    Date: Jan. 3

    Time: TBD

    Projected Matchup: Louisville vs. Florida State 

     

    The Orange Bowl will feature the champions of the AAC, Louisville, going up against the champions of the ACC, Florida State. 

    FSU has an exciting quarterback in Jameis Winston, who should lead the Seminoles to an ACC championship. He looked amazing against Pittsburgh in Florida State's opening game, completing 25 of 27 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns. 

    If Florida State can get past Clemson, then the Seminoles will win the ACC Atlantic Division and then should beat Miami (FL) in the conference championship because of Winston.

    Louisville has the most talent in the AAC. If it does not lose more than one conference game, it will be representing the AAC in the Orange Bowl. 

    X

    Jameis Winston

Vizio BCS National Championship

36 of 36

    Date: Jan. 6

    Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

    Projected Matchup: Oregon vs. Alabama

     

    The BCS title game should be between two schools that will be a perfect 12-0 coming into the game.

    Oregon, with its explosive offense, should have no problem outscoring the competition in the Pac-12. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has that unique ability to beat teams with his arm or his legs. Meanwhile, running back De'Anthony Thomas has that game-breaking ability and is a threat to score any time he has the ball.

    Alabama has a tougher road back to the BCS title game. The Crimson Tide have to get past Texas A&M on the road, LSU at home and finish their season with a tough road game at Auburn. 

    If they can escape the regular season without a loss, then they will have a tough test in the SEC title game against South Carolina. Alabama is too talented on offense and defense and should get past the Gamecocks.

    Plus, Alabama has a steady hand at quarterback, as A.J. McCarron will play turnover-free football in the conference championship game, leading the Crimson Tide back to their third straight BCS title game.

     

     

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