College Football Bowl Projections: 10 Teams Ripe for an Upset

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 1, 2010

College Football Bowl Projections: 10 Teams Ripe for an Upset

0 of 10

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers reacts after failing to convert a third down against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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

1 of 10

    SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 20:  Running back Ronnie Hillman #13 of the San Deigo State Aztecs carries the ball on a five yard touchdown run in the second quarter against the Utah Utes at Qualcomm Stadium on November 20, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    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

2 of 10

    STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the sideline during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27, 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22.
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: Penn State (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. Florida (7-5, 4-4 SEC)

    Where: Jacksonville

    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

3 of 10

    IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 20:  Quarterback Ricky Stanzi #12 of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes throws under pressure from Ohio State Buckeyes defenders during the first half of play at Kinnick Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Iowa City, Iowa. Ohio State won
    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: Iowa (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten) vs. South Carolina (9-3, 5-3 SEC)

    Where: Tampa

    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

4 of 10

    RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Russell Wilson #16 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack throws the game winning touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: North Carolina State (8-4, 5-3 ACC) vs. West Virginia (8-3, 4-2 Big East)

    Where: Charlotte

    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

5 of 10

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 13: Running back Vick Ballard #28  of the Mississippi State Bulldogs rushes upfield against the Alabama Crimson Tide November 13, 2010 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. Florida State (9-3, 6-2 ACC)

    Where: Atlanta

    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

6 of 10

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 and Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide react after Ingram's touchdown against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. C
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: Alabama (9-3, 5-3 SEC) vs. Michigan State (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)

    Where: Orlando

    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

7 of 10

    AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 25:  Running back Cyrus Gray #32 of Texas A&M holds off University of Texas defensive end Sam Acho #81 during the second half at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 25, 2010 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/
    Darren Carroll/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: Texas A&M (9-3, 6-2 Big 12) vs. LSU (10-2, 6-2 SEC)

    Where: Arlington

    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

8 of 10

    COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06:  Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    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

9 of 10

    IOWA CITY, IA - OCTOBER 23: Running back John Clay #32 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates with fans after Wisconsin's victory over the University of Iowa at Kinnick Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Iowa City, Iowa. Wisconsin won 31-30 over Iowa. (Photo by
    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Projected matchup: Wisconsin (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten) vs. TCU (12-0, 8-0 MWC)

    Where: Pasadena

    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

10 of 10

    EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 26:  LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates a touchdown run against the Arizona Wildcats on November 26, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    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