Bowl Projections: Post-Week 14 Edition

Bowl Projections: Post-Week 14 Edition

Things have changed juuuust a bit since the projections last week. Auburn scored two touchdowns in the final minute to knock off Alabama and barring two championship game upsets, it looks like the Tide’s quest for a third straight title died on the Plains. We also saw Fresno State go down, watched as Wisconsin blew a potential BCS bid against Penn State and have our first confirmed match up of the bowl season. On to the details.

(A reminder we are presuming the favorites win the remainder of their games for these projections. That is 100 percent definitely not going to happen, but it's the methodology we're going to use. Also, "Big Ten No. 3" doesn't necessarily mean the third team in the Big Ten standings, but simply the order in which bowls get to select. They can follow the standings, but they don't have to.)

BCS Title Game (January 6): Florida State vs. Ohio State

Florida State maintains their spot by pounding the Gators and now must hold serve as a four-touchdown favorite against Duke in the ACC title game. The real news is their opponent, as Alabama’s loss elevates Ohio State to Pasadena. (Urban Meyer is likely again a fan of the BCS.) There has been a lot of chatter this week about whether a one-loss SEC champ could jump the Buckeyes, but considering their lead in the computers and polls, Ohio State will be playing for the title as long as they can handle a very game Michigan State team in the Big Ten title game.

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Rose Bowl (January 1): Michigan State vs. Arizona State

If the Buckeyes go to the BCS title game, the Rose Bowl will likely take the only other Big Ten team eligible and send Sparty to Pasadena for the first time since 1988. Arizona State is favored to defeat Stanford in the PAC-12 title game so they land here. Should the Cardinal win in Tempe, they’ll head to the Rose for the second consecutive year.

Orange Bowl (January 3): Alabama vs. Clemson

The Orange Bowl gets to replace number one Florida State first and does so by taking two-time defending champ Alabama, whose regular season is over at 11-1. With the first at-large pick, they’ll likely hold true to their ACC contracts and take Clemson as the opponent. If the Orange decides honoring the ACC (who they just signed a long-term deal with) isn’t their first priority, you could easily see Alabama vs. Oregon or Baylor.


Sugar Bowl (January 2): Auburn vs. Central Florida

Auburn is a slight favorite in the SEC title game, so they’re projected to New Orleans. (Should Missouri win, the Tigers will head here automatically and Auburn would almost surely be left out of the BCS in favor of the Tide team they just beat.) The Sugar then has to choose between American Conference champ Central Florida and MAC champ Northern Illinois. They go with the closer team geographically and bring George O’Leary’s Knights in to face the Tigers.

Fiesta Bowl (January 1): Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois

Oklahoma State will win the Big 12 if they dispatch the Sooners at home in Bedlam, but should they fall, the winner of Texas/Baylor will head to the Fiesta Bowl as conference champ. The path is clear for Northern Illinois after Fresno State stumbled on Black Friday: Defeat Bowling Green in the MAC title game and head to the BCS for the second consecutive year.


Northern Illinois’ bid would occur due to 1) Being in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and 2) Finishing ahead of a BCS conference champion. (In this case, American champ Central Florida.) They would also earn an automatic bid by finishing in the Top 12. The Huskies are currently 14th.

A few assorted notes:

The SEC is still very tricky: The Cotton Bowl could easily take LSU, but considering the Tigers played TCU in Dallas to open the 2013 season, perhaps you could see a 11-2 Missouri team land there instead. There is also the factor of how much the appeal of what could be Johnny Manziel’s final collegiate game will outweigh the Aggies being 8-4.

Warm weather Irish?: The Pinstripe Bowl still makes the most sense for the Irish, but Eric Hansen at the South Bend Tribune reported earlier this week that Brian Kelly’s team may be looking for a better climate. It will require some deal making, but it’s certainly possible.


More teams than bowls: There are more bowl eligible teams than there are open spots. It seems safe to assume that bigger schools (Oregon State, Washington State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse) will find homes before smaller ones, but if there is a strong local candidate, you could see some smaller schools with motivated (and nearby) fan bases slide in instead. Right now the Cougars are slotted for the Heart of Dallas Bowl (Leach returns to Texas!), but they could easily head to New Mexico, forcing Arizona into the free-for-all.

And nowthe rest of the bowls. A * denotes a team filling in for another conference that couldn’t fulfill all of its postseason obligations. A # and bolded team name denotes that the team has already accepted the bid:

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Albuquerque, N.M. – Dec. 21
Pac-12 No. 7 vs. MW No. 4 or 5

Arizona vs. Boise State


Las Vegas Bowl
Las Vegas - Dec. 21
MW No. 1 vs. Pac-12 No. 5

Fresno State vs. USC

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Boise, Idaho – Dec. 21
MAC No. 3 vs. MW No. 6

Buffalo vs. Colorado State

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
New Orleans – Dec. 21
C-USA No. 6 vs. Sun Belt No. 1

Tulane# vs. Louisiana-Lafayette#

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St Petersburg
St Petersburg, Fla. – Dec. 23
C-USA No. 4 vs. AAC No. 6

Florida Atlantic vs. Syracuse*

Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl
Honolulu – Dec. 24
C-USA No. 2 vs. MW No. 5

East Carolina vs. San Jose State

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Detroit – Dec. 26
MAC No. 1 vs. Big Ten No. 8

Ball State vs. Pittsburgh*


San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego – Dec. 26
Army/MAC vs. MW No. 2

Toledo vs. San Diego State

Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman
Annapolis, Md. – Dec. 27
C-USA No. 5 vs. ACC No. 8

Middle Tennessee vs. Maryland

Texas Bowl
Houston – Dec. 27
Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6

Minnesota vs. Texas Tech

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
San Francisco – Dec. 27
BYU vs. Pac-12 No. 6

BYU# vs. Washington

New Era Pinstripe Bowl
New York – Dec. 28
AAC No. 4 vs. Big 12 No. 7

Rutgers vs. Notre Dame*

Belk Bowl
Charlotte, N.C. – Dec. 28
AAC No. 3 vs. ACC No. 5

Cincinnati vs. Boston College

Russell Athletic Bowl
Orlando, Fla. – Dec. 28
ACC No. 3 vs. AAC No. 2

Miami (FL) vs. Louisville


Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Tempe, Ariz. – Dec. 28
Big Ten No. 4 of 5 vs. Big 12 No. 4

Michigan vs. Texas

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, Texas – Dec. 30
MWC No. 3 vs. C-USA No.3/Navy

Utah State vs. Navy#

Music City Bowl
Nashville, Tenn. – Dec. 30
SEC No. 7 vs. ACC No. 6

Vanderbilt vs. North Carolina

Valero Alamo Bowl
San Antonio – Dec. 30
Pac-12 No. 2 vs. Big 12 No. 3

Oregon vs. Oklahoma

Holiday Bowl
San Diego – Dec. 30
Big 12 No. 5 vs. Pac-12 No. 3

Kansas State vs. Stanford

AdvoCare V100 Bowl
Shreveport, La. – Dec. 31
ACC No. 7 vs. SEC No. 10

Georgia Tech vs. Oregon State*


Hyundai Sun Bowl
El Paso, Texas – Dec. 31
ACC No. 4 vs. Pac-12 No. 4

Virginia Tech vs. UCLA

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Memphis, Tenn. – Dec. 31
C-USA No. 1 or American vs. SEC No. 8 or 9

Marshall vs. Ole Miss

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Atlanta – Dec. 31
ACC No. 2 vs. SEC No. 5

Duke vs. Texas A&M Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, Fla. – Jan. 1
Big Ten No. 4 or 5 vs. SEC No. 6

Nebraska vs. Georgia

Heart of Dallas Bowl
Dallas – Jan. 1
Big Ten No. 7 vs C-USA

Washington State* vs. Rice

Capital One Bowl
Orlando, Fla. – Jan. 1
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2

Wisconsin vs. South Carolina

Outback Bowl
Tampa, Fla. – Jan. 1
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3

Iowa vs. LSU


AT&T Cotton Bowl
Arlington, Texas – Jan. 3
Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3 or 4

Baylor vs. Missouri

BBVA Compass Bowl
Birmingham, Ala – Jan. 4
SEC No. 8 or 9 vs. American No. 5

Mississippi State vs. Houston

GoDaddy Bowl
Mobile, Ala. – Jan. 5
Sun Belt No. 2 vs. MAC No. 2

Arkansas State# vs. Bowling Green