Bowl Predictions 2023: Week 5

They’re up and they’re here!

Let’s get right into it:

  • There’s lots of garment rending and gnashing of teeth online at the moment regarding the playoff, but I think it’ll work itself out. Well, unless Oregon and Texas win. Which is what I’m betting will happen. At any rate, I will fully admit putting Oregon at #3 is just purely to get a traditional Rose Bowl. It sort of seems like that as long as Florida State stays undefeated, they’ll finish above any 1-loss team. We’ll see though!
  • Predicting this stuff isn’t what it used to be. I used to spend the post-Thanksgiving period doing Google News searches for local beat writer articles about possible bowl destinations. Now, these articles are just summations of the more prominent national writers’ bowl predictions. Gee, awesome. The whole point of this exercise for me is to use my own know-how to try to get somewhere near what might happen.
  • The exception of to the above is actually an article done the old fashioned way, and it’s very helpful because it tracks with what I was thinking and also changes my feel for how I think Georgia Tech’s bowl prospects look.
  • On that note, this article out of El Paso is also helpful – if the Sun Bowl chairman is saying out loud that he wants two “name” teams, he might well get it. (Then again, at least on the ACC side it’s up to the conference, not the bowl.)
  • On the 5-7 watch, we had to wait for the late returns from the West Coast and beyond, but with Cal whomping UCLA and Hawaii kicking a last-second field goal to conclude the regular season, we wound up 3 teams short. This means James Madison and Jacksonville State: step right up! And that means we need one 5-7 team, which looks like it’ll be Minnesota.
  • With JMU going bowling, that means the Sun Belt gets 12 of its 14 teams in, which is a pretty big accomplishment for a non-power conference. (Since, generally, each of those teams pretty much starts with 1 loss due to a paycheck game against a power team.) I did some juggling with the ESPN Events affiliated bowls to avoid Sun Belt vs. Sun Belt matchups, and I don’t think what I did was unreasonable.

That’s about it. On Sunday, I’ll be following the announcements as live as I possibly can. There’ll be one last update Saturday night after the conference title games conclude to account for any new news after this or upsets, and the final predictions will be uploaded. I may not be able to make a post. If I don’t, I will be updating the predictions on Sunday. When this happens, as long as I don’t know future results, I do update the table to account for things I get wrong in the hopes of getting bowls further down the chain correctly, so keep that in mind when assessing how correct I was.