Category Archives: bowl predictions

Bowl Predictions 2018: Week 3

They’re real and they’re spectacular.

Anyway, we are currently at 65 teams, so we’re probably going to get the number of bowl eligible teams we need. Huzzah! I should probably start going into more detail in addition to just posting the link, so let’s do this newspaper columnist style:

  • If Oklahoma winds up beating West Virginia twice, I think that will be enough to get them into the playoff over Michigan. If I had to guess, the committee will be looking for reasons to include a Michigan team that lost to Notre Dame rather than exclude them, unless, somewhat ironically, Notre Dame ceases to be undefeated.
  • That said, putting four SEC teams into the playoff-controlled bowls really stresses the system. I ran out of teams even before getting out the SEC Tier 2 bowl quagmire, so guessing which teams will get at-large to those bowls is a lot of work.
  • That said, I am here for a West Virginia-LSU Sugar Bowl when and if that actually happens.
  • I’m pretty excited Georgia Tech was able to get bowl eligible, but I’m less sure about where we’ll actually go. It looks pretty likely only Clemson will get into the CFP-bowls (NC State had a great shot until they lost to Wake Forest last weekend) from the ACC, so that probably means Tech will miss out, but it’s currently hard to say. In the next couple of weeks bowl rumors should start to float around, and I’ll have a better idea.
  • I feel a bit bad that the two best teams from the Mountain West this year, Utah State and Fresno State, will probably play each other on December 1st and then have a bowl game two weeks later.
  • That said, I am also here for HERM versus Utah State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
  • I like to think that teams with winning records will get picked before 6-6 teams, so I wound up putting Miami in the Quick Lane Bowl. It’s a shame that the Miami in Ohio isn’t going to a bowl this year, because otherwise we’d have a decent shot at a Miami-Miami game for only the fourth time ever.
  • Another thing I feel a bit bad about: “Congratulations on your under-the-radar great season, Cincy! Now watch as everyone just talks about Lane Kiffin the whole time because you’ll get to play them in the Gasparilla Bowl.”

And there we are for now. I’m traveling next Sunday into Monday, so I have no idea when next week’s predictions will be posted.

Bowl Predictions 2018: Week 2

Get ’em while they’re hot.

So this week I switched back to using S&P+ to predict the rest of the season. Suffice it to say, I would up with three too many teams this time, which is generally more plausible for how things should shake out. That said, I definitely felt like there were some situations where S&P+ was just too stuck on a team, but that’s something that should correct itself in the coming weeks. Overall, these are probably reasonably coherent projections, but we’ll see how things shake out.

Bowl Predictions 2017: Final

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to write a post before the bids starting coming out. The full field is now available.

I didn’t have a particularly strong opinion in the Alabama vs. Ohio State debate, and I predicted that Alabama would probably prevail. It does, unfortunately, lead to the non-zero chance that there could be a Georgia vs. Alabama national title game, which would pretty much be the most insufferable thing ever.

Some other notes from the field:

  • I was surprised Washington got in the New Year’s Six over TCU, but that’s way things go sometimes. This likely wrecked a lot of projections.
  • There was a lot of horse trading this afternoon. The Camellia Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, and Army’s opponent in the Armed Forces Bowl were the last to be announced, probably to work out getting a better opponent for Army than a low-tier C-USA or MAC team. These bowls are all owned by ESPN, which means that things can happen that are hard to predict.
  • Oregon vs. Boise State on the first day of bowl season in the Las Vegas Bowl should be a lot of fun.
  • I bet the Texas Bowl people want Texas-Texas A&M badly, but I suspect neither school wants to play that game. TAMU wound up going to the Belk Bowl instead.
  • Texas Tech-South Florida is probably going to set a Birmingham Bowl scoring record.
  • TCU-Stanford may be the grittiest Alamo Bowl ever.

That’s about it. Our annual preview series will start next week!

Bowl Predictions 2017: Week 6

Come and get ’em!

Okay, this is the second-to-last edition. We’ve even got our first confirmed pairing: UAB vs. Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl. (Welcome back, Blazers!) But we’ve also got more chaos than ever in the playoff picture. Let’s talk about that, bullet-point style.

  • Here’s the not-controversial part, maybe other than where they’re ranked: ACC champion, SEC champion, Oklahoma if they beat TCU in the Big 12 championship.
  • So that’s the three. Who’s the fourth? Well, if Wisconsin beats Ohio State in the Big Ten championship, then there’s no debate that undefeated Wisconsin will be in. But what if Ohio State beats Wisconsin? Does 2-loss Big Ten champ Ohio State get in over 1-loss Alabama? The arguments are otherwise very similar, but Ohio State has an edge over Alabama in terms of strength-of-schedule (reminder, Alabama’s best win is LSU) and a conference championship.
  • So this is why I’m projecting #1 Auburn vs. #4 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl and #2 Auburn vs. #3 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
  • Alabama, as the highest ranked team from the SEC/Big Ten/Notre Dame, would get an Orange Bowl bid, matched against Miami.
  • The other notable thing is that with the loss to Pitt, I had a hard time putting Notre Dame in the New Year’s Six over TCU. I’m not completely sure on this, but I think a three-loss Notre Dame will drop like a rock in the rankings.
  • Alabama would have to go to the Orange as per the rules, assuming Georgia falls below them if they lose to Auburn in the SEC championship. The Committee may send UGA out west instead of putting them in Atlanta for the 3rd time in just over a month, but I think if the Peach winds up with Central Florida they’ll want a strong local draw.

Other news and notes:

  • Currently there are 79 bowl eligible teams, and I’m projecting Florida State and New Mexico State to get eligible this weekend, for a total of 81. With the demise of the Poinsettia Bowl, that means there’s 78 bids available, so there’s three extra teams.
  • With the SEC getting 3 teams into the New Year’s Six, that leaves less than 7 SEC teams available for their top-tier berths. I have the Liberty Bowl getting the short end of the stick.
  • The Pac-12, meanwhile, has the opposite problem. They have only 5 berths after the NY6, and I’m projecting only the Pac-12 champion to get in. They 9 total eligible teams, though, so I’m figuring Utah and UCLA will be left out. A tweet indicated that Independence Bowl representatives were at the UCLA-Cal game Saturday, but that would require a swap to be arranged since the Independence has an arrangement with Conference-USA already. 
  • With Notre Dame not getting into the NY6, I have them pipping the first available ACC bowl slot, bumping everyone else down a spot. I wound up putting newly eligible Duke in the Birmingham Bowl.
  • Even if they’ve been there a lot recently, I think Oklahoma State is the most exciting option for the Alamo Bowl from the Big 12.
  • If the Big 12 gets both Oklahoma and TCU in the NY6, that really dashes the chances of Texas in the Texas Bowl against Texas A&M.
  • I didn’t want to send Stanford to San Diego for the second time this season (they played at San Diego State back in September), but I think the Holiday will like getting a Stanford team that’s finished strong down there. And the weather everywhere in California is nice, but San Diego it’s always just that much nicer.

That’s it for now. I expect some other minor bids to be announced during the week, and that I will have to hustle to get a new set of projections out this Saturday to stay ahead of the news. Until then!

Bowl Preictions 2017: Week 5

Get ’em while they’re fresh.

Reflecting the general lack of, well, anything in college football’s Week 12, there were a handful of changes, but not a lot at the top. I did shuffle around some CFP-controlled bowl spots, but nothing too major. I also brought the Texas-Texas A&M Texas Bowl back because I could.

There were scattered bits of news that I was able to find, the main thing being that Boise State will probably go to the Las Vegas Bowl if they win the Mountain West, which figures but last year they were allowed to go to Cactus Bowl to get a better matchup, so these sorts of things happen sometimes.

One other thing: I had 79 teams thanks to Florida State scheduling an extra game to get to 6-6, which I didn’t realize until I did all the predictions originally. I slotted them in, but I’d expect more accurate results next week. Until then!