Bowl Predictions

Submitted by Tauro on November 15th, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Well, here it is!  As promised, below are my bowl predictions.  In order to not be tainted, I have not reviewed any other projections available on the interwebs.  I also tried, as much as possible, to find information on the selection process and the in order in which certain games get to pick teams.  I can tell, it gets a bit tricky as we get further away from the BCS Championship, especially when certain conferences with tie-ins run out of teams.  If there is anything glaringly inaccurate or something I can add to make this more interesting/informative, please let me know!  I look forward to the debates.

For the at-large selections in the BCS, the order this year is Fiesta, Sugar and Orange.

I am presenting these in the order in which they will be played, beginning with the first matchup on December 15 and have included each team's current record.



Famous Idaho Potato Bowl– December 15- Boise, Idaho
Commenced: 1997
Previous Name: U Drove Humanitarian Bowl (2010)

Louisiana-Monroe (6-4) v.
Bowling Green (7-3)

Rationale: Louisiana-Monroe and Bowling Green benefit from a lack of eligible teams from the power conferences and get to play on the blue field.

New Mexico Bowl– December 15 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Commenced: 2006
Previous Name: None

Western Kentucky (6-4) v.
Arizona State (5-5)

Rationale: Western Kentucky is selected as an at-large team from the Sun Belt.  Arizona State is the 8thand last team selected from the PAC-12.

Poinsettia Bowl– December 20 – San Diego, California
Commenced: 2005
Previous Name: None (resurrected bowl from 1950’s)

Utah State (8-2) v.
BYU (6-4)

Rationale: BYU was contracted to this game.  An all-Utah bowl game is set up at Utah State from the WAC receives an at-large bid.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl– December 21 – St. Petersburg, Florida
Commenced: 2008
Previous Name:magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl (2008)

Ball State (7-3) v.
Houston (4-6)

Rationale: Ball State gets an at-large bid since the Big East does not have enough teams.  Houston is the C-USA representative.

Maaco Bowl Las Vegas– December 22 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Commenced: 1992
Previous Name: Las Vegas Bowl (2011)

Fresno State (8-3) v.
Washington (6-4)

Rationale: Fresno State gets the nod as the 1stteam out of the MWC.  Washington is the 6thteam from the PAC-12.

New Orleans Bowl– December 22 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Commenced: 2001
Previous Name: None (just changes in sponsor)

Arkansas State (7-3) v.
Ohio (8-2)

Rationale: Arkansas State gets chosen out of the Sun Belt and plays Ohio, the 6thteam from the MAC.

Hawaii Bowl– December 24 - Honolulu, Hawaii
Commenced: 2002
Previous Name:None

Nevada (6-4) v.
SMU (5-5)

Rationale: Nevada goes to Honolulu as the 5thteam out of the MWC.  SMU is the 4thteam out of C-USA.

Little Caesars Bowl– December 26 – Detroit, Michigan
Commenced: 1997
Previous Name: Motor City Bowl (2008)

Kent State (9-1) v.
San Jose State (8-2)

Rationale: Kent State gets the nod from the MAC, while an at-large pick goes to San Jose State, who take the B10 slot.

Belk Bowl– December 27 – Charlotte, North Carolina
Commenced: 2002
Previous Name: Meineke Car Care Bowl (2010)

Cincinnati (7-2) v.
Duke (6-4)

Rationale: Cincinnati will be the 3rdteam out of the Big East and will face Duke, the 5thteam from the ACC.  Georgia Tech could go here, but I think the Belk Bowl organizers will like having a state home team.

Holiday Bowl– December 27 – San Diego, California
Commenced: 1978
Previous Name: None

UCLA (8-2) v.
West Virginia (5-4)

Rationale: UCLA gets the nod as the 4thteam out of the PAC-12, while West Virginia gets ahead of TCU and is picked as the 6thteam out of the B12.

Military Bowl– December 27 – Washington, D.C.
Commenced: 2008
Previous Name: EagleBank Bowl (2009)

Toledo (8-2) v.
Air Force (5-5)

Rationale: I like Air Force to come east to replace Army in this game.  They could also go to the Armed Forces Bowl.  Toledo gets an at-large selection from the MAC to replace the missing ACC team.

Independence Bowl– December 28 – Shreveport, Louisiana
Commenced: 1976
Previous Name: None

Boise State (8-2) v.
Virginia (4-6)

Rationale: Boise State, based on the pedigree they’ve earned over the last few years, gets an at-large selection and will play Virginia, the 7thand final team selected out of the ACC.

Meineke Car Care Bowl– December 28 – Houston, Texas
Commenced: 2006
Previous Name: Texas Bowl (2010)

TCU (6-4) v.
Minnesota (6-4)

Rationale: TCU is the 7thteam out of the B12, but if things shake out right, West Virginia could fall here.  Heaven help Minnesota if that happens, who will be the 6thteam selected out of the B10.

Russell Athletic Bowl– December 28 – Orlando, Florida
Commenced: 1990
Previous Name: Champs Sports Bowl (2011)

Rutgers (8-1) v.
NC State (6-4)

Rationale: Rutgers will be the #2 team out of the Big East and play NC State, the #3 team out of the ACC.

Alamo Bowl– December 29 – San Antonio, Texas
Commenced: 1993
Previous Name: None

Oklahoma State (6-3) v.
Stanford (8-2)

Rationale:  Oklahoma State will be the 4thteam out of the B12, while Stanford will be the 3rdselection from the PAC-12.

Armed Forces Bowl– December 29 – Fort Worth, Texas
Commenced: 2003
Previous Name: Fort Worth Bowl (2005)

San Diego State (8-3) v.
Louisiana Tech (9-1)

Rationale:  Air Force could go here as well, but I have San Diego State getting selected from the MWC.  Louisiana Tech, who has had a great year out of the WAC, gets an at-large selection since C-USA does not have enough teams eligible.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl– December 29 – Phoenix, Arizona
Commenced: 1989
Previous Name: Insight Bowl (2011)

Texas Tech (7-3) v.
Michigan State (5-5)

Rationale: Texas Tech is #5 out of the B12, while Michigan State gets that 6thwin and is the 5thteam out of the B10.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl– December 29 – San Fran., Calif.
Commenced: 2002
Previous Name: Emerald Bowl (2009)

Arizona (6-4) v.
Navy (6-4)

Rationale: Navy is contacted to this bowl game, so their selection is easy.  Arizona will be the 7thteam out of the PAC-12.

Pinstripe Bowl– December 29 – New York, New York
Commenced: 2010
Previous Name: None

Iowa State (5-5) v.
Syracuse (5-5)

Rationale: Iowa State will be the 8thand final team from the B12.  Syracuse will win one more to become bow eligible and be the last team out of the Big East selected.

Chick-fil-A Bowl– December 31 – Atlanta, Georgia
Commenced: 1968
Previous Name: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (2005)

Clemson (9-1) v.
Mississippi State (7-3)

Rationale: Clemson will miss out on going to the ACC Championship, but should still be pleased with this game.  Mississippi State is the 7thselection from the SEC and falls here.

Liberty Bowl– December 31 – Memphis, Tennessee
Commenced: 1959
Previous Name: AXA Liberty Bowl (2003)

UCF (8-2) v.
Missouri (5-5)

Rationale: UCF will be the C-USA Champion and will face Missouri, who will just become eligible in their season in the SEC.

Music City Bowl– December 31 – Nashville, Tennessee
Commenced: 1998
Previous Name: None (just various sponsors)

Georgia Tech (5-5) v.
Vanderbilt (6-4)

Rationale: I have Georgia Tech going to Nashville as the 6thteam out of ACC.  Duke could also go here, but I have them elsewhere.  Vanderbilt will be the 8thteam out of the SEC.

Sun Bowl– December 31 – El Paso, Texas
Commenced: 1986
Previous Name: None (just various sponsors)

Miami (5-5) v.
USC (7-3)

Rationale:  Miami does not win the ACC Championship, but still gets selected to a good bowl game.  They face Matt Barkley in his final game for the Trojans.

Capital One Bowl– January 1 – Orlando, Florida
Commenced: 1947
Previous Name: Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl (2002)

Wisconsin (7-3) v.
Georgia (9-1)

Rationale: Wisconsin loses the B10 Championship, but still get chosen here.  They play the loser of the SEC Championship.

Gator Bowl– January 1 – Jacksonville, Florida
Commenced: 1946
Previous Name: None

Northwestern (7-3) v.
South Carolina (8-2)

Rationale: I project Northwestern to be selected next after Michigan and get a tough opponent in South Carolina.

Outback Bowl– January 1 – Tampa, Florida
Commenced: 1977
Previous Name: Hall of Fame Bowl (1994)

Michigan (7-3) v.
Texas A&M (8-2)

Rationale: Michigan wins out, but does not get into the B10 Championship since Nebraska does not.  Michigan has not been to the Outback bowl since 2002 and has a 3-1 record.  Texas A&M falls just beneath LSU and gets selected here.  A tough but exciting matchup for the Wolverines.

Heart of Dallas Bowl– January 1 – Dallas, Texas
Commenced: 2011
Previous Name: TicketCity Bowl (2012)

Purdue (4-6) v.
Tulsa (8-2)

Rationale: Purdue could slide into a bowl game with victories over Illinois and Indiana.  If they do, I have them here as the 7thand last B10 selected.  Tulsa gets selected as the #2 team from C-USA.

Cotton Bowl– January 4 – Arlington, Texas
Commenced: 1937
Previous Name: None (various sponsors)

Texas (8-2) v.
LSU (8-2)

Rationale: I have Texas as the number 3 team in the B12, and with two already going to a BCS game, they get the benefit.  However, their opponent will be LSU, which should be the third best team out of the SEC.

BBVA Compass Bowl– January 5 - Birmingham, Alabama
Commenced: 2006
Previous Name: Bowl (2010)

Tennessee (4-6) vs.
East Carolina (6-4)

Rationale: Tennessee has some work to do to qualify, but I think they get it done and slide into this bowl game.  East Carolina out of C-USA takes the place of the Big East team since that conference does not have enough teams eligible.

GoDaddy Bowl– January 6 – Mobile, Alabama
Commenced: 1999
Previous Name: GMAC Bowl (2010)

North. Illinois (9-1) v.
Middle Tenn. State (6-3)

Rationale:  Northern Illinois gets selected out of the MAC while I have Middle Tennessee State as the #2 team out of the Sun Belt.  Not overly exciting, but you can enter a contest to meet Larry the Cable Guy.

[Ed - fixed due to missing Toledo]


Orange Bowl– January 1 – Miami, Florida
Commenced: 1935
Previous Name: None (just sponsors)

Florida State (9-1) v.
Louisville (9-1)

Rationale: ACC Champion Florida State automatically qualifies plays against Big East Champion Louisville, which still has an automatic bid through 2013.

Rose Bowl– January 1 – Pasadena, California
Commenced: 1902, resumed 1916
Previous Name: Tournament East-West Football Game (1922)

Nebraska (8-2) v.
Oregon State (7-2)

Rationale: Nebraska gets in by virtue of winning the B10 Championship game over Wisconsin.  Oregon State is my pick here based on (1) Stanford likely losing to Oregon and UCLA/USC losing to Oregon in the P12 Championship game.  Oregon State played a daunting schedule, and though they lose to Oregon, they still remain ranked higher than the other three.

Sugar Bowl– January 2 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Commenced: 1935
Previous Name: None

Alabama (9-1) v.
Notre Dame (10-0)

Rationale: Alabama is automatically picked as the SEC Champion.  The Sugar Bowl gets to pick second and takes Notre Dame, who even if they lose to USC, will still be ranked high enough to qualify.

Fiesta Bowl– January 3 – Glendale, Arizona
Commenced: 1971
Previous Name: None

Oklahoma (7-2) v.
Florida (9-1)

Rationale: With Kansas State in the title, I think the Fiesta Bowl would prefer to maintain its B12 tie-in and take Oklahoma.  The Fiesta Bowl also gets first choice of eligible at-large teams, and would have taken Notre Dame, but as a rematch is not desired  Florida, being ranked higher than SEC Championship loser Georgia, gets picked instead.

BCS Championship– January 7 – Miami, Florida
Previous Name:

Kansas State (10-0) v.
Oregon (10-0)

Rationale: Current BCS rankings indicate this will be the matchup.



Toilet Bowl sponsored by Scrubbing Bubbles (not really)

Picture – two teams of such ineptitude that they are selected to play for the title of Worse Team in College Football.  The winner gets to go home with their heads held slightly higher.  The loser wins the not-so-coveted bronzed toilet bowl brush.

In this section, I will present the two worse teams from the current year.

2012 Toilet Bowl – Southern Missippi v. Colorado

Colorado is an easy pick.  From the their many appearances in Brian’s Schadenfreude articles, to their pitiful record (1-9) and ranks in total offense (ranked 114) and defense (ranked 118), the Buffaloes have earned home field advantage.

Unbeknownst to me, but coming into this season, Southern Miss had a run of 18 consecutive winning seasons.  I found this out in an October blog entry on SMQ.  The run is officially over as the Golden Eagles have failed to win a game this season having lost all ten of their games.

Honorable Mention:

Auburn – currently 2-8 and ranked 118thin total offense and 90thin total defense

Idaho – currently 1-9 and ranked 115thin total offense and 117thin total defense

Kentucky – two SEC teams?  It’s true.

Kansas – Charlie Weis.  I think that says it all.

Akron – 1-10 record at least gets a mention, but does anyone really care?

Final Analysis

I have Troy, Louissiana-Lafayette and Central Michigan as the odd teams out of the picture currently that are eligible or might achieve eligibility.  We shall see what happens over the final two weeks.  Several of the teams above cannot lose a game and I expect there will be significant changes before the bowl games are officially announced.  Until then, debate away!




November 15th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

From what I have read, so long as they are ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS standings, they can be selected.  It may (or likely) not happen, but there is the possibiIity especially if there is turmoil with the teams ranked above them.  I don't think a loss to Oregon hurts them that much.  I think the Rose would try to keep the tie-in.


November 15th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

Oregon state is already on the outside looking in at 16 and you think a lose to Oregon will get them into the top 14? 


Seems highly unlikely that a lose to Oregon and wins over 3-8 Cal and Nichols St will be enough to move them up 2 spots.  If Oregon is in the NC, Oregon State is not in the BCS.


November 15th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

I agree with this.  No way Oregon State get beat by Oregon and moves up.  If they win all the rest of their games, I would expect them to be about 18.  The Oregon game would be their last game of the year.  Getting beat in your last game and having three losses does not lead voters to put you in the top-15.   


November 15th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

They will be in either the Capital One Bowl, or have an outside shot at the Fiesta Bowl.


I have personally met the director of Florida Citrus Sports.  Told me one of the best games they ever had was Michigan vs Florida.  He would love to get them back.  Also Oregon State would be 7-3 and not qualify, leaving Michigan a chance to be in the top 14, and they would get scooped in a heart beat.


November 15th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

Call me crazy... but is Kansas State really that good?  I see where they're ranked and all, but is their resume and their team more impressive than notre dame?  /why am i questioning this and giving ND the benefit of the doubt?  the world may never know.

Blue since birth

November 15th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

If you just look at SOS and the fact they're both undefeated I guess it could be debatable. But if you look at how lucky ND has been and how they've squeaked by some mediocre and even downright bad teams?...

I think K St is clearly the better team. This year's ND is possibly the luckiest team I've ever seen.

Blue since birth

November 15th, 2012 at 7:35 PM ^

I won't even justify the Michigan 2011 comment with a response.

K ST beat Miami by 39 and ND beat them by 38. ND did put up a couple scores more on OK.

K St hasn't squeaked by 3 or 4 teams with losing records (the closest is a 6 pt win over a .500 Iowa St) or gotten several gifts from the refs to steal games against mediocre to decent teams.


November 15th, 2012 at 11:18 PM ^

Good thing the scoreboards final tally is by turnovers.  Oh wait.  So what you are saying, is that your best victory this year was the loss to ND?

I never said NDs offence was lights out, but the flip side is that neither is KSUs defense.

Moron, wow.  Never thought you guys would stoop to name calling.  Talk about turning this place into a Scout board.


November 15th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

Each time I read these bowl predictor articles I am astounded by the number of bowl games out there.  I mean, I know this is the case but it's still surprising to see the list in print.



November 15th, 2012 at 3:05 PM ^

If everything stays the same Oregon will jump KSU.  This will give the Rose bowl first pick, they will pick ND thusly.  The Pac12 will cannibalize itself, USC could have 5 or 6 losses by the end of this.

The Sugar Bowl gets 4th pick BTW.  Order of picks will be Rose, Fiesta, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange.


November 15th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

There is a rule permitting Oregon State to still be selected so long as they are in the top 18 in the BCS rankings and there is not a second team from another conference that is ranked in the top 14.

With the SEC taking up 6 spots, ND taking 1, B12 taking 2, ACC taking 2, P12 taking 2 and B10 taking 1.  Louisville and Texas could both get into the top 14, with Stanford and Clemson falling.  In that scenario, there is room for Oregon State to qualify. The makeup of the standings is unusual due to the SEC taking so many slots.

The outlier is UCLA, who can certainly move ahead of Oregon State with two more wins in conference and only lose to Oregon in the Championship.


November 15th, 2012 at 4:03 PM ^

Certainly, from the BCS site itself under At-Large Eligibility:

If fewer than 10 teams are eligible for selection, then the Bowls can select as an at-large team any Football Bowl Subdivision team that is bowl-eligible, has won at least nine regular-season games and is among the top 18 teams in the final BCS Standings subject to the two-team limit noted above and also subject to the following: (1) if any conference has two or more teams in the top 14, then two of those teams must be selected and (2) from the teams ranked 15-18, a bowl can select only a team from a conference that has fewer than two teams in the top 14.

If I read that correctly, I think they have a chance.  Not a great one, I admit, but I chose to be bold with my prediction.



November 15th, 2012 at 3:46 PM ^

If ND is eligible, they are the first team taken by a BCS Bowl. Bowls like $$$, and ND is a cash cow for bowls, as they will travel and sell all of their tickets.

Again, bowls like $$$, and lots of it.

Leaders And Best

November 15th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

Similar to MSU last year, I think Wisconsin will fall to the Outback Bowl if they lose the B1G Championship Game. Wisconsin & Michigan both haven't been in this game in a while, but Wisconsin will be at least a 4 or 5 loss team in this scenario. All things being equal, I think Michigan gets the nod.

I think the only way Michigan possibly falls to the Outback Bowl is if Nebraska loses the B1G Championship Game, but even then, Nebraska played in the Cap One Bowl last year which would make them less appealing to it.


November 16th, 2012 at 12:42 AM ^

There were bowl reps at the game against Ohio last night. I doubt the Cardinals get outright snubbed. They should play in the BBVA in Birmingham or whatever bowl is played in Dallas.