College Football Bowl Projections: 10 Teams Ripe for an Upset
As we approach the last week of the college football's 2010 regular season, people are already looking ahead to the Bowl games.
And why not?
Projections roll across America, fans start getting pumped and teams have that glimmer in their eyes, ready to impress the nation on college football's biggest stage.
In anticipation, based on my projected Bowl game matchups, here are the Top 10 teams ripe for an upset in a Bowl game.
Keep in mind these Bowl games haven't been decided yet, and I am merely projecting who will be in them.
10. Poinsettia Bowl: San Diego State Vs. Navy
Projected matchup: San Diego State (8-4, 5-3 MWC) vs. Navy (8-3)
Where: San Diego
When: Dec. 23, 8 p.m. EST
Navy, in most polls, is considered the better team than San Diego State.
However, Navy hasn't played a ranked team all season, and San Diego State has played TCU and Utah. The Aztecs lost by only five points to TCU and four points to Utah. They won their last game against UNLV, 48-14.
Freshman running back Ronnie Hillman and junior quarterback Ryan Lindley have been stars for this team.
Prediction: SDSU upsets Navy
9. Gator Bowl: Penn State Vs. Florida
Projected matchup: Penn State (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. Florida (7-5, 4-4 SEC)
When: Jan. 1, 1:30 p.m. EST
Florida was ranked highly going into this season. But then, they lost to Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Florida State at the end of the season.
They have earned a spot outside the Top 25.
Penn State hasn't beaten any ranked teams either, but they only lost by six points to Michigan State in the last game of the season, and they've been better overall than a lot of people thought they would be coming into the season.
I could see a surprise victory here for the Nittany Lions and crusty ol' vet Joe Paterno.
Prediction: Penn State upsets Florida
8. Outback Bowl: Iowa Vs. South Carolina
Projected matchup: Iowa (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. South Carolina (9-3, 5-3 SEC)
When: Jan. 1, 1 p.m. EST
South Carolina has undoubtedly been a strong team this season, with two of its three losses coming against Auburn and Arkansas.
But it feels like things just haven't gone Iowa's way. They aren't a top team, but they lost their last three games of the season by a total of 10 points. This includes a three-point loss to Ohio State. Plus, the Hawkeyes do have Ricky Stanzi.
I could see them upsetting in this one.
Prediction: Iowa upsets South Carolina
7. Meineke Car Care Bowl: NC State Vs. West Virginia
Projected matchup: North Carolina State (8-4, 5-3 ACC) vs. West Virginia (8-3, 4-2 Big East)
When: Dec. 31, 12 p.m. EST
West Virginia is the ranked team here.
But despite some painful losses, NC State did beat Florida State this year and won a tough one in rival North Carolina's home stadium.
It's gonna be tough to beat West Virginia, but it's possible.
Prediction: NC State upsets West Virginia
6. Chick-Fil-A Bowl: Mississippi State Vs. Florida State
Projected matchup: Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. Florida State (9-3, 6-2 ACC)
When: Dec. 31, 10:30 EST
Mississippi State is No. 22. Florida State is No. 21.
Hey, not a huge upset, but an upset nonetheless.
Mississippi State lost by three points to Auburn and in double OT against Arkansas. They have the team to upset Florida State.
Prediction: Mississippi State upsets Florida State
5. Capital One Bowl: Alabama Vs. Michigan State
Projected matchup: Alabama (9-3, 5-3 SEC) vs. Michigan State (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
When: Jan. 1, 1 p.m. EST
I know Michigan State has only lost once. I know they beat Wisconsin.
But there's something about this Alabama team I like. They did indeed beat Arkansas, and their close, one-point loss to Auburn was more a product of Cameron Newton than anything else in my opinion.
Alabama is still a very strong team, and I could see them getting revenge for their loss against Auburn at the Spartans' expense.
Prediction: Alabama upsets Michigan State
4. Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M Vs. LSU
Projected matchup: Texas A&M (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) vs. LSU (10-2, 6-2 SEC)
When: Jan. 7, 8 p.m. EST
LSU is indeed a top team, but a 31-23 loss against Arkansas may have them reeling a bit.
Texas A&M finished off the season with six straight wins, including against Oklahoma and Nebraska.
The Aggies are rolling now, and their momentum could push them over the top at the Cotton Bowl.
Prediction: Texas A&M upsets LSU
3. Sugar Bowl: Arkansas Vs. Ohio State
Projected matchup: Arkansas (10-2, 6-2 SEC) vs. Ohio State (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
Where: New Orleans
When: Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. EST
Arkansas only lost to Alabama and Auburn. Nothing to kick yourself about.
After the loss to Auburn, the Razorbacks went on to win six straight games to close out the season, including wins against South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU at the end of the year.
This team is very dangerous right now and might just have the momentum to shock a Buckeyes team that has been playing some relatively soft competition; the only ranked team being then-No. 20 Iowa.
Prediction: Arkansas upsets Ohio State
2. Rose Bowl: Wisconsin Vs. TCU
Projected matchup: Wisconsin (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten) vs. TCU (12-0, 8-0 MWC)
When: Jan. 1, 5 p.m. EST
TCU has had an unbelievable year, there's no doubt about that. But they haven't exactly played top-level competition either, with the exception of maybe Utah.
Wisconsin has one loss on the season to Michigan State, and the Badgers have beaten Ohio State.
I actually consider Wisconsin a stronger overall team than TCU, and this should be a great game.
Prediction: Wisconsin upsets TCU
1. BCS Championship Game: Oregon Vs. Auburn
Projected matchup: Oregon (11-0, 8-0 Pac-10) vs. Auburn (12-0, 8-0 SEC)
Where: Glendale, Ariz.
When: Jan. 10, 8:30 p.m. EST
A lot of people consider Oregon the better overall team than Auburn.
I could easily see this going to the Ducks. They simply have to outscore the Tigers. OK, that's certainly no easy task, especially when the Tigers have one Cameron Newton on their side.
But if the Ducks can find some way just to slow down Cam Newton a little bit, they have the offense to win the game.
Prediction: Oregon upsets Auburn