Category Archives: bowl predictions

Bowl Predictions 2022: Week 4

The predictions are in the usual place.

The events of last weekend shookup the playoff picture a bit. Based on what I think the committee will do tomorrow, these are my best guesses for both the playoff and associated New Year’s Six bowls.

After that, I did use all of the independents, as well as JMU and one 5-7 team. Rice and UNLV I both have projected to finish 5-7, and they’re both tied atop the APR standings (as I understand them).

Overall, we’ve got 74 teams bowl eligible now, and depending on stuff breaks this weekend, we could get there. That said, I think it’s pretty likely every 6 win or better team will be needed, which is pretty good news if you’re a UConn fan.

That’s it for this week. The real action starts next week, when I start scouring for any possible news. Until then, it’s time for rivalry week.

Bowl Predictions 2022: Week 3

They’re up, hot and fresh over at the usual place. Let’s hit the high notes.

  • I wound up short 1 team, so I slotted JMU in per the NCAA criteria. I still need to confirm if this is actually possible. For now, we continue to tick up to the required number: we now have 64 bowl eligible teams, so we need 18 more.
  • The playoff picture looks different this week since I wound up doing this after the post-Week 11 rankings were released. I’m counting on LSU getting punished for losing to UGA in the SEC Championship Game, otherwise, we’ll probably have 4 SEC teams. Tennessee will continue to be a fringe playoff contender unless they lose, and Bama doesn’t look like it can fall out of the top 10.
  • Man, Texas-Oregon would be a rad Alamo Bowl. And, of course, we continue to project, and root for, the ultimate Sun Bowl rematch.
  • Finally, shout out to the University of Connecticut Huskies, for not only defeating Liberty, but getting to 6 wins in the process. Look, if we wind up with 82 other teams that are bowl eligible, the Huskies probably won’t get in, since they don’t have any official tie-ins and among other teams in that situation (BYU and Liberty), they’re probably at the bottom of the pecking order. It always seems to shake out that enough upsets happen to get us to enough teams, but if we’re at exactly 82 or less, UConn’s going to go bowling for the first time for the first time since 2015.


Bowl Predictions 2022: Week 1

I wanted to these with the release of the College Football Playoff rankings this year, so some changes I’d planned to make I had to scrap at the last minute. So, yeah, the matchups aren’t there yet, but they’ll be fixed by next week’s edition. For now, take a look at this.

I’m getting a little better at parsing my way though ESPN Events bowl games, but nonetheless this is way more of a crapshoot than it was before most of the current agreements took effect in 2020.

Just like last year, I am using SP+ to predict every team’s path to bowl eligibility (or not). This has left me short six teams, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get some upsets that will allow this number to shrink over the coming weeks. I’ll have more notes in future weeks, but for now, enjoy!

Bowl Predictions 2021: Week 4

First off, the latest predictions are here. I would consider this week a bit of a “living document”, as if I can scrape together any news before this weekend abut anyone going anywhere I will try to include. This is significantly harder than it used to be, though, as I discuss below.

It turns out a bunch of stuff happened this weekend, and one of those things, to my surprise, was that we got over the 82-team bar that we needed to have enough bowl eligible teams. In fact, there’s 83!

So with that settled, there are also three teams that have accepted invites. My process this year, as detailed previously, is different in the past. One of things I have tried to do ensure that I have captured the agreements the conferences have with bowls as closely as possible. A typical agreement these days, especially for Group of Five conferences, is that they will have 2-4 “permanent” bowl affiliations and some number of teams they’ll provide to ESPN Events (which, again, owns about half of the bowl games). This number is anywhere from 1 to 5.

After I allocated those slots, I was left with 6 teams that did not have a bowl game, with 5 slots to fill. In the real bowl games, there can be some shuffling within the ESPN Events group of bowls and this is nearly impossible to predict. For instance, currently BYU is slotted to the Independence Bowl. However, it’s entirely possible that to create a more attractive matchup, they could be moved to some other ESPN Events bowl. While UTSA isn’t exactly chopped liver, it’s likely that BYU and ESPN would want a matchup more appropriate for a team that has gone 5-0 against the Pac-12 this year. (In some ways, where they really should be is in Vegas this weekend to play, say, Oregon for the Pac-12 title, but still.)

Bowl Predictions 2021: Week 3

They’re in the usual place if you just want to see where I’m guessing teams will wind up.

As we get toward the end of the season, this gets a little easier, of course. But at some point, historically this week, I’d attempt to incorporate rumors or other hints about what bowl reps (generally known by their bombastically-colored blazers) were up to, i.e., “there were representatives from the Independence Bowl in the press box today…”

That doesn’t really happen anymore. Most bowl selections are now in the hands of the conferences and/or ESPN. Also, before the playoff era, teams would generally find out their postseason destinations after Thanksgiving. However, with the playoff and New Year’s Six bowls taking 12 teams from 6 conferences, how many teams a particular conference sends to these bowls greatly affects the downstream picture.

For example, in this set of predictions I have Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas A&M all in the playoff or New Year’s Six. So sure, the SEC currently has 11 bowl eligible teams, but in my scenario the conference still won’t fulfill its second tier bowl obligations.

Next up, we have the general outlook of the bowl picture. As it currently stands, there are 72 bowl eligible teams. There are 41 bowl games this season. (I obviously like bowl games a lot, but even I think that 41 might be too many.) My latest set of predictions – informed by SP+ – get me to 79 bowl eligible teams, which leaves me three short. The NCAA bowl eligibility rules then state that 5-7 teams are eligible, sorted by priority from highest APR down. So that’s how Rutgers, Middle Tennessee State, and Syracuse show up on my board. This is somewhat complicated by the fact I’m using old data because the NCAA has said that it will not publicly release the 2019-2020 data for APR.

So there we have it. The real test will come tomorrow night, when we see how the committee deals with Oregon’s loss.