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Preview 2009 - Early Bowl Projections 5/19
Alabama WR Julio Jones
Alabama WR Julio Jones
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 19, 2009


It's May. Yeah, the bowl season is still seven months away, but that doesn't mean it's not goofy fun to speculate. From the MagicJack to the Cotton, the New Orleans to the Maaco, here are the ridiculously way-too-early projections for all the bowl games (changed since May 4th because of the new ACC tie-ins).


2009-2010 Bowl Projections

BCS Picks - May 19
 

It's May, so let's get a few things out of the way before proceeding with the goofy but fun exercise to get the fires burning in the off-season.

First, this is a nearly-impossible puzzle to put together correctly in the first week of December with all the inside information possible, much less now, and there will be changes in the bowl tie-ins, the seedings, and the conference pecking order before the dust settles at the end of the season. Some of the bowls aren't even sure which teams from which conferences will be available to them, so while a slot might make sense, things get out of whack when bowls jump the gun with invites or go with geographical matchups over good football pairings. The goal here is to attempt to account for the self-interests of the bowls that'll want to sell tickets and generate publicity. More on that in a moment.

Second, remember that schedules mean everything. Some teams might be better than others but are predicted to go to lesser bowl games because their records might not be as strong as other possible choices. The best educated guess is taken at every turn.

Third, not everyone will get the call. There are only so many available slots, so several worthy teams, especially from the MAC and Sun Belt, might get shut out due to a lack of at-large bids available. 

Finally, don't yell at us if you don't like where your team is predicted to go. This will all change this before the season starts and will be updated every week throughout the season. If it looks like some team that we have playing in December looks like a world-beater, it'll obviously be predicted to go to another bowl as the year goes on.

One more thing before kicking this off. There's a big, fat matzo ball hanging out there that'll determine most of the bowl selections: the economy.

With the concept of disposable income a distant memory for many college football fans, the bowls will be working extra hard to make sure that they can get at least one team with a fan base within driving distance. The BCS bowls will still try to get the best matchups possible, but for the mid-range bowls it'll likely be all about geography.

MagicJack St. Petersburg Bowl
Dec. 19 / 8 p.m. ET  St. Petersburg, Fl.
Tie-Ins:
Big East vs. Conference USA 
Way Too Early Projection: South Florida vs. Southern Miss
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) East Carolina, 2) UCF, 3) Tulsa, 4) Marshall, 5) Memphis

Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 20 / 8:00 p.m. ET  Orlando, Fla. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 4 vs. Big Ten No. 4 or No. 5
Way Too Early Projection: Clemson vs. Illinois
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Wisconsin, 2) Miami, 3) Florida State, 4) North Carolina, 5) Iowa

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

Dec. 20 / 8:15 p.m. ET New Orleans, La. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Sun Belt No. 1 vs. C-USA 
Way Too Early Projection: Troy vs. Marshall
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Middle Tennessee, 2) Arkansas State, 3) Florida Atlantic, 4) Memphis, 5) Rice

Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
Dec. 22 / 8 p.m. ET Las Vegas, Nev. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac-10 No. 4
Way Too Early Projection: TCU vs. Arizona State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Utah, 2) BYU, 3) Oregon, 4) California, 5) Oregon State

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 23 / 8 p.m. ET San Diego, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Pac 10 
Way Too Early Projection: BYU vs. UCLA
Top 5 Others Considered:
1) Utah, 2) TCU, 3) Arizona, 4) Arizona State, 5) Oregon State

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Dec. 24 / 8 p.m. ET  Honolulu, Hawaii ESPN
Tie-Ins: Conference USA vs. WAC 
Way Too Early Projection: Tulsa vs. Hawaii
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) East Carolina, 2) Southern Miss, 3) Houston, 4) Memphis, 5) Marshall


Motor City Bowl
Dec. 26 / 7:30 p.m. ET  Detroit, Mich. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 7 vs. MAC 
Way Too Early Projection: Michigan vs. Central Michigan
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Minnesota, 2) Western Michigan, 3) Northern Illinois, 4) Illinois, 5) Michigan State 


Emerald Bowl
Dec. 26 / 8:00 p.m. ET  San Francisco, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 7 vs. Pac-10 No. 5
Way Too Early Projection: Boston College vs. Oregon State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Arizona State, 2) Arizona, 3) California, 4) Florida State, 5) NC State


Meineke Car Care Bowl
Dec. 26 / 4:30 p.m. ET Charlotte, N.C. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 6 vs. Big East 
Way Too Early Projection: Florida State vs. Rutgers
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) North Carolina, 2) NC State, 3) Cincinnati, 4) Connecticut, 5) Boston College

Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl

Dec. 27 / 8:15 p.m. ET Nashville, Tenn. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC vs. SEC No. 5
Way Too Early Projection: Miami vs. Tennessee
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Vanderbilt, 2) Clemson, 3) Georgia Tech, 4) Auburn, 5) Alabama

New Mexico Bowl

TBA Albuquerque, N.M. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. WAC 
Way Too Early Projection: Colorado State vs. Nevada
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Air Force, 2) Fresno State, 3) Louisiana Tech, 4) BYU, 5) New Mexico


Independence Bowl
Dec. 28 / 5 p.m. ET  Shreveport, La. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big 12 No. 7 vs. SEC No. 8
Way Too Early Projection: Colorado vs. Vanderbilt
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Kansas, 2) Texas A&M, 3) South Carolina, 4) Auburn, 5) Tennessee

EagleBank Bowl
Dec. 29 / 4:30 p.m. ET Washington, D.C.ESPN
Tie-Ins: Army or C-USA vs. ACC No. 8 
Way Too Early Projection: Memphis vs. Maryland
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Marshall, 2) Tulsa, 3) NC State, 4) Wake Forest, 5) Boston College

Pacific Life Holiday Bowl
Dec. 30 / 8 p.m. ET San Diego, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac-10 No. 2
Way Too Early Projection: Nebraska vs. Oregon
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) California, 2) Oklahoma State, 3) Oklahoma, 4) Texas, 5) Arizona State


Texas Bowl
Dec. 30 / 8 p.m. NFL Network
Tie-Ins: Houston, Texas
Big 12 vs. Navy (or C-USA)
Way Too Early Projection: Texas A&M vs. Navy
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Texas Tech, 2) Colorado, 3) Kansas, 4) Missouri, 5) Houston 

Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl
TBA  Boise, Idaho ESPN2
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. WAC
Way Too Early Projection: Air Force vs. Fresno State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Boise State, 2) Nevada, 3) Colorado State, 4) BYU, 5) Utah


Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 Fort Worth, Texas ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Conference USA 
Way Too Early Projection: Utah vs. East Carolina
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Houston, 2) TCU, 3) Tulsa, 4) BYU, 5) Colorado State


Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 / 2 p.m. ET. El Paso, Texas CBS
Tie-Ins: Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame vs. Pac-10 No. 3
Way Too Early Projection: Kansas vs. California
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Texas Tech, 2) Oregon, 3) Nebraska, 4) Oregon State, 5) Missouri

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Dec. 31 / 7:30 p.m. ET  Atlanta, Ga. ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 2 vs. SEC
Way Too Early Projection: North Carolina vs. Kentucky
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Virginia Tech, 2) Alabama, 3) Georgia Tech, 4) LSU, 5) Ole Miss


Insight Bowl
Dec. 31 / 6 ET Tempe, Ariz. NFL Network
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12 No. 6
Way Too Early Projection: Minnesota vs. Missouri
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Kansas, 2) Illinois, 3) Northwestern, 4) Michigan, 5) Texas Tech


Outback Bowl
Jan. 1 / 11 a.m. ET Tampa, Fla. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC
Way Too Early Projection: Iowa vs. LSU
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Ole Miss, 2) Georgia, 3) Penn State, 4) Michigan State, 5) Alabama

Capital One Bowl

Jan. 1 / 12 p.m. ET Orlando, Fla. ABC
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2
Way Too Early Projection: Michigan State vs. Georgia
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Penn State, 2) Ohio State, 3) Wisconsin, 4) Iowa, 5) Florida

Konica Minolta Gator Bowl

Jan. 1 / 1 p.m. ET  Jacksonville, Fla. CBS
Tie-Ins: ACC No. 3 vs. Big 12/Big East/Notre Dame 
Way Too Early Projection: Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Miami, 2) Florida State, 3) North Carolina, 4) Virginia Tech, 5) Clemson  


International Bowl
Jan. 2 / 12 p.m. ET Toronto, Canada ESPN2
Tie-Ins: Big East vs. MAC No. 4 or 5
Way Too Early Projection: Cincinnati vs. Western Michigan
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Connecticut, 2) Louisville, 3) Northern Illinois, 4) Bowling Green, 5) Temple


PapaJohn’s.com Bowl
Jan. 2 / 1 p.m. ET Birmingham, Ala. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big East vs. SEC
Way Too Early Projection: Pitt vs. Auburn
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Connecticut, 2) Cincinnati, 3) Arkansas, 4) South Carolina, 5) Rutgers


AT&T Cotton Bowl
Jan. 2 / 2 p.m. ET Dallas, Texas FOX
Tie-Ins: Big 12 No. 2 vs. SEC 
Way Too Early Projection: Oklahoma State vs. Alabama
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Texas, 2) Texas Tech, 3) LSU, 4) Florida, 5) Georgia

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Jan. 2 / 4:30 p.m. ET Memphis, Tenn. ESPN
Tie-Ins: C-USA No. 1 vs. SEC No. 6
Way Too Early Projection: Houston vs. Arkansas
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Tennessee, 2) Southern Miss, 3) East Carolina, 4) Auburn, 5) South Carolina  

Alamo Bowl

Jan. 2 / 9 p.m. ET  San Antonio, Texas ESPN
Tie-Ins: Big Ten No. 4 or No. 5 vs. Big 12 No. 4
Way Too Early Projection: Wisconsin vs. Texas Tech
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Iowa, 2) Michigan State, 3) Illinois, 4) Nebraska, 5) Oklahoma State

GMAC Bowl

TBA  Mobile, Ala.  ESPN
Tie-Ins: ACC vs. MAC/WAC
Way Too Early Projection: Wake Forest vs. Louisiana Tech
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Maryland, 2) Virginia, 3) Middle Tennessee, 4) Central Michigan, 5) Western Michigan

Rose Bowl presented by Citi
Jan. 1. Pasadena, Calif. ABC
*BCS vs. BCS  (Big Ten Champion vs. Pac 10 Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection:  Ohio State vs. Oklahoma
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) USC, 2) Penn State, 3) Michigan State, 4) Oregon, 5) Texas

How many times has Ohio State been to the Rose Bowl under Jim Tressel? Zero. The Buckeyes haven't been in Pasadena since the thrilling 1997 Rose Bowl win over Arizona State, and they haven't played Oklahoma since a 24-14 win in Norman in 1983. The Sooners beat Washington State 34-14 in the 2003 Rose Bowl and have lost five BCS games (and five of six bowl games) ever since. The Rose Bowl will likely get its second choice of at-large teams, and while it'll be pressured to take Boise State, it'll most likely take the Big 12's second best team.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Jan. 1 New Orleans, La. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS  (SEC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection:  Ole Miss vs. West Virginia 
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) LSU, 2) Georgia, 3) Florida, 4) Alabama, 5) Boise State

Assuming the SEC champion is No. 1 and off to the national championship, the Sugar Bowl will get the first choice of teams and it'll most certainly take the second best SEC team. Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Georgia or even Florida; throw a dart and you might have the right SEC representative. Boise State might be the call if the Fiesta doesn't have an interest, but geographically is makes more sense for the Broncos to go to Glendale and the Big East champion, possibly West Virginia, to go to New Orleans. The Mountaineers stunned Georgia the last time they were in the Sugar, played in Atlanta in 2006.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 4 / 8:00 ET Phoenix, Ariz. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (Big 12 Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection:  Texas vs. Boise State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Oklahoma, 2) Oklahoma State, 3) Penn State, 4) Ohio State, 5) Nebraska

With all due respect to Oklahoma State and Nebraska, the October 17th Texas vs. Oklahoma showdown will likely determine the Big 12's automatic Fiesta Bowl bid. The Fiesta would LOVE to get the second Big Ten team in Glendale, and will consider West Virginia, but it would likely go after Boise State, because it makes a bit more geographic sense. The Orange picks ahead of the Fiesta in the at-large pecking order and isn't going to want the Broncos.

FedEx Orange Bowl
Jan. 5  Miami Gardens, Fla. FOX
*BCS vs. BCS (ACC Champion, if available)
Way Too Early Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Penn State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) North Carolina, 2) Georgia Tech, 3) Pitt, 4) Clemson, 5) Miami

The Big Ten will likely get two teams into the BCS, and assuming the Sugar Bowl gets the first pick of automatic teams and will take an SEC team, and if USC gets into the national title and the Rose Bowl gets the first or second pick, that'll mean the No. 2 Big Ten team will either go to the Fiesta or the Orange. The Orange might give thought to West Virginia and its rabid fan base, but the game would get more overall attention by taking Penn State or Ohio State. Virginia Tech has one of the easiest/most favorable schedules of all the ACC teams that'll be in the hunt for Miami. Even so, if you want to argue that North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami, Clemson, Florida State, or some other ACC team might be here, you have a solid chance of being right.

BCS National Championship
Jan. 7. Pasadena, CA FOX
*BCS #1 vs. BCS #2 
Way Too Early Projection: USC vs. Florida
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Texas, 2) Oklahoma, 3) Ohio State, 4) West Virginia, 5) LSU

After winning three straight national championships, the SEC champion will likely be automatically in if all things are equal. The Texas vs. Oklahoma winner will likely have an inside track, but that team will have a landmine or two to deal with and probably won't go unbeaten. If USC beats Ohio State in Columbus, and doesn't brain-cramp in Pac 10 play, it'll play an SEC team in a bowl game for the first time since losing to Auburn 16-7 in the 1987 Citrus Bowl. The Trojans will likely drop one game with a brutal road schedule, but it still might not be enough to keep them out of the title shot.