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2009 NCAA Football Bowl Projections, Part 12: The Independents

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 21: Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish wait to walk out of the tunnel before lining up to enter the field for a game against the Univeristy of Connecticut Huskies at Notre Dame Stadium on November 21, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Lou DiPietroAnalyst IDecember 6, 2009

With the final part of the Bowl Projection Series, we spotlight the Independents.

And it’s very easy to do.

There are only three: Army (5-6), Navy (8-4), and Notre Dame (6-6). All of them could be bowl eligible, but only two at most are going anywhere.

That’s because the Fighting Irish have decided that they will not accept a bowl bid. In the wake of Charlie Weis’ firing, the Golden Domers decided that it would be better to stay home than take a makeshift staff to a bowl.

They’d probably lose money anyway, as their “best” prospects were the EagleBank or Little Caesars Pizza Bowls, neither of which has the kind of payout Notre Dame would want.  

On the flip side, Navy is eligible and knows where it's going. The Middies are tied to the Texas Bowl this year, where they will play the Big 12’s No. 8 selection—most likely Texas Tech.

As for Army, it’ll need to beat Navy to reach six wins and be eligible. If the Black Knights do get the win, they will be tied to the EagleBank Bowl and will play the No. 4 selection from the MAC—which should be either Bowling Green or Northern Illinois (probably the latter).

If they lose, Marshall will likely take their spot on a contingency agreement…and if I were the Thundering Herd, I’d get ready to travel.

The Midshipmen have won the Army-Navy game seven times in a row, and even though these aren’t the same old Black Knights, Navy will take pride in knowing it can ruin its rival's big rebound year.

And with that, all the bowls are accounted for, and all that is left to do is sit back, wait, and see how well these predictions mirror what actually happens.

I hope you enjoyed this series and I also hope you enjoy my favorite season of all: Bowl Season!

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