College Football Bowl Projections: 5 Likely Destinations for Notre Dame

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2010

College Football Bowl Projections: 5 Likely Destinations for Notre Dame

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    College football bowl projections are rolling out day after day.

    This time, we're taking a closer look at Notre Dame.

    The Fighting Irish have had another down year by Notre Dame's standards. But they are eligible for a bowl game.

    The options are open, and inside are five possible destinations for the Fighting Irish. If you have thoughts or comments, make sure to leave them below.

    Where do you think Notre Dame should go this bowl season?

Champs Sports Bowl

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    Now this is most likely a fallback option for Notre Dame.

    The Fighting Irish have a deal with the Champs Sports Bowl that once every four years, Notre Dame can take the place of a Big East team in the game.

    With the down year that the Big East is having, you better believe the people at the Champs Sports Bowl hope this happens.

    However, some believe that Notre Dame will hold onto that right until next year as a last-ditch option in case there's another down year with the program. If the Fighting Irish went, they would likely play NC State from the ACC.

    Prediction: NC State 35, Notre Dame 27

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

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    If Notre Dame does not go to the Champs Sports Bowl, there are options out there.

    The Fighting Irish can choose any bowl that doesn't have qualifiers for it. Right now, it looks like the Pac-10 is a likely choice where Notre Dame can pick its spot.

    With Oregon and Stanford being the two top dogs in the conference, both could be headed to BCS bowl games. That leaves the door open for the Fighting Irish.

    The Holiday Bowl is just one of these cases. It would be a matchup against a team like Missouri.

    Prediction: Missouri 31, Notre Dame 30

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl

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    Part of Notre Dame's final destination has a lot to do with what happens this weekend.

    If Oregon State and Washington both qualify to become bowl-eligible, then they will go into some of these matchups and limit Notre Dame's options. However, if neither qualify, the Fighting Irish will have a pretty wide selection to choose from.

    This could be a rematch of the game earlier in the year against Utah. I'm not sure the Fighting Irish really want to play the same team twice in a year.

    However, that doesn't mean they couldn't beat the Utes, who look like they were massively overrated this year.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 34, Utah 24

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

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    Now this could be an interesting matchup because it may feature a team that had a shot at a national championship.

    A lot of people are looking to Boise State to possibly appear in this game. A matchup between Boise State, who has had fans travel pretty well the past couple of years, and Notre Dame, whose fans have always traveled well.

    I personally would love to see this game, even if it's the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

    Prediction: Boise State 45, Notre Dame 24

Hyundai Sun Bowl

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    This is another intriguing possibility because it may mean a matchup against the Miami Hurricanes.

    The game would have meant more had it happened decades ago. But it would still be a pretty big get for the Hyundai Sun Bowl, since it really isn't a high-profile bowl game.

    It will bring a lot of money into the bowl game and get pretty good TV ratings.

    I think this might be the option that Notre Dame takes if it ends up being an open slot, especially against a big name opponent who is very beatable.

    Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Miami 28