The CFN BCS & January Bowl Projections
Posted Aug 18, 2011

Preview 2011 - The preseason look and projections for the 2010-2011 bowl matchups with all the January games and the BCS bowls.

Preview 2011 

Bowl Projections, January Games
- Part One (most of the 2011 bowls) 

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TicketCity Bowl
January 2, 2012 Dallas, TX, 12:00 pm ESPNU
Payout: $2.2 million
Big Ten No. 6 vs. C-USA  
Way Too Early Projection: Illinois vs. SMU
Top Three Other Options: 1) Penn State, 2) Houston, 3) Northwestern

WHY? Illinois and Northwestern will be the most likely options from the Big Ten. Conference USA gets the slot this year, and it'll either be SMU or Houston to keep the Texas crowd close.

Capital One Bowl
January 2, 2012  Orlando, FL, 1:00 pm ESPN
Payout: $9.2 million
Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Way Too Early Projection: Michigan vs. Arkansas
Top Three Other Options: 1) Nebraska, 2) Wisconsin, 3) LSU

WHY? Michigan might have been a total dud last year in the Gator Bowl, but it's still Michigan and it might end up winning the Legends. The Wolverines, Nebraska, or Wisconsin are top options, while the third wheel between Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas will get the bid.

Gator Bowl
January 2, 2011 Jacksonville, FL, 1:00 pm ESPN2
Payout: $5.4 million
Big Ten No. 4 or 5 vs. SEC No. 6
Way Too Early Projection: Michigan State vs. Mississippi State  
Top Three Other Options: 1) Michigan, 2) Georgia, 3) Nebraska

WHY? Mississippi State obliterated Michigan in the last Gator Bowl. Michigan State was a complete and utter disaster in the loss to Alabama in the Capital One. Each team will be hoping for a bigger Florida bowl, but they'd wage a terrific battle if they got the matchup in Jacksonville.

Outback Bowl
January 2, 2012 Tampa, FL, 1:00 pm ABC
Payout: $7 million
Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3, 4 or 5
Way Too Early Projection: Nebraska vs. Florida
Top Three Other Options: 1) Wisconsin, 2) South Carolina, 3) Ohio State

WHY? The Florida vs. South Carolina loser, with Georgia in the mix, will almost certainly end up here to face the Wisconsin vs. Nebraska loser. The Gators won a thriller over Penn State last year, and the bowl would love nothing more than to bring the Huskers in for a marquee matchup of big names.

AT&T Cotton Bowl  
January 6, 2012  Arlington, TX, 8:00 pm FOX
Payout: $7.25 million
Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC No. 3, 4, or 5 (West)
Way Too Early Projection: Texas vs. Auburn
Top Three Other Options: 1) Texas A&M, 2) LSU, 3) Oklahoma State

WHY? Texas in the Cotton Bowl would be a dream come true for those who'd like to see Jerry World filled, but Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, or Oklahoma wouldn't be disappointing. Auburn isn't going to be the Auburn of last year, but getting the defending national champs would make Fox happy. Bowl   
January 8, 2012   Mobile, AL 9:00 pm ESPN
Payout: $1.5 million
MAC No. 2 vs. Sun Belt
Way Too Early Projection: Northern Illinois vs. FIU
Top Three Other Options: 1) Western Michigan, 2) Arkansas State, 3) Toledo

WHY? Toledo and Western Michigan could be in the discussion from the MAC. Troy makes geographic sense, and even though the Trojans will probably win the title, they might find a way to get to Mobile.
BBVA Compass Bank Bowl
January 7, 2012, Birmingham, AL, 1:00 pm ESPN
Payout: $1.925 million
Big East No. 4 vs. SEC (or MAC if no Big East or SEC)
Way Too Early Projection: Cincinnati  vs. Ole Miss
Top Three Other Options: 1) Connecticut, 2) South Florida, 3) Mississippi State

WHY? Louisville or Syracuse might end up being the right choice because of the slot, but Cincinnati, or Connecticut would also work. Ole Miss will probably squeak out six wins to get out of the brutal SEC West alive. Don't rule out Kentucky getting six wins and the bid.


Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO 
January 2, 2012 Pasadena, CA, 5:00 pm ESPN
Payout: $36 million
Big Ten No. 1 vs. Pac-12 No. 1
Way Too Early Projection: Ohio State vs. Oregon
Top Three Other Options: 1) Wisconsin, 2) Nebraska, 3) Arizona State

WHY? Ohio State is still the most talented team in the Big Ten, even without Terrelle Pryor and even with Luke Fickell on the sidelines. With an us-against-the-world mentality, the Buckeyes will beat the Michigan-Nebraska winner in the inaugural Big Ten championship. However, put Wisconsin in Pasadena if the NCAA decides to hit the Buckeyes with something more - even though it doesn't appear likely. Oregon has too many issues on the offensive line and defensive front to get back to the national championship, but it'll find its way to a Pac-12 title.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 
January 2, 2012 Glendale, AZ, 8:30 pm ESPN
Big 12 No. 1 vs. BCS
Way Too Early Projection: Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia
Top Three Other Options: 1) Oklahoma, 2) Missouri, 3) Texas A&M

WHY? Assuming the Fiesta Bowl loses a Big 12 team to the BCS Championship, it'll get its pick of at-large teams. Oklahoma State fits the mold with the Big 12 conference tie-in, while getting West Virginia and its rabid fan base is always desirable for the Fiesta.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
January 3, 2012   New Orleans, LA, 8:30 pm ESPN
SEC No. 1 vs. BCS at-large
Way Too Early Projection: LSU vs. Wisconsin
Top Three Other Options: 1) Alabama, 2) Florida, 3) South Carolina

WHY? Wisconsin will beat Nebraska to end up earning the higher slot in the BCS rankings and the higher spot in the pecking order. The Sugar Bowl will LOVE to get the Badger fans to come down to New Orleans. The LSU vs. Alabama loser will almost certainly end up here, but don't dismiss the idea of the SEC Championship loser, which could possibly be Georgia, Florida, or South Carolina, getting in.

Discover Orange Bowl
January 4, 2012  Miami Gardens, FL, 8:00 pm ESPN
ACC No. 1 vs. BCS at-large
Way Too Early Projection: Florida State vs. Boise State
Top Three Other Options: 1) Virginia Tech, 2) North Carolina, 3) Clemson

WHY? Florida State is the cream of the ACC crop, but North Carolina and Clemson will be in the thick of the fight. West Virginia or South Florida might be an option, depending on who wins the Big East, but the TCU vs. Boise State winner will have to go somewhere and would likely play in the Sugar Bowl or in the Fiesta Bowl.

BCS Championship
January 9, 2012  New Orleans, LA, 9:00 pm ESPN
BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2
Way Too Early Projection: Alabama vs. Oklahoma
Top Three Other Options: 1) LSU, 2) Oregon, 3) Boise State

WHY? The call is for the LSU vs. Alabama winner to end up winning the SEC title and getting the nod in the national championship. However, there will be a little bit of controversy as we have Bama going 11-2 and getting into the title game over a 12-1 Oregon. Oklahoma won't get through the season unscathed, but it will likely finish 11-1 to get to its second BCS Championship game in four years.

- Part One (the December bowls)