ASK CFN - The Bowl Matchups (1/22)
Washington QB Jake Locker
Washington QB Jake Locker
Posted Jan 21, 2010

What bowl games are tied into what conferences? Why does everyone love Jake Locker? When was the last time Florida played a non-conference, regular season game outside of it's own state? These questions and more in the latest ASK CFN.


Jan. 22

Fire over your questions, comments, and baskets of mini-muffins to

I might not be able to answer them all, but I promise they're all read. Any e-mails sent to this address may be published or edited unless requested otherwise. (Please put ASK CFN in the subject line, and PLEASE keep the questions short ... it makes my life easier.)

By Pete Fiutak

Q: I understand many of the non-BCS bowl games have changed conference affiliations after this recently completed season. What are the updated bowl tie-ins starting in 2010? - GJ

A: Realizing that the conferences don't always go according to finish, this is the best I could come up with (with a few educated guesses along the way). …

1) Orange, 2) Chick-fil-A vs. SEC, 3) Champs Sports vs. Big East No. 2, 4) Sun vs. Pac 10 No. 4, 5) Meineke Car Care vs. Big East No. 4, 6) Music City vs. SEC No. 7, 7) Independence vs. Mountain West No. 3, 8) EagleBank vs. MAC No. 4, 9) Emerald

Big East
1) BCS, 2) Champs Sports vs. ACC No. 3, 3) Yankee vs. Big 12 No. 7, 4) Meineke Car Care vs. ACC No. 4, 5) International vs. MAC No. 3, 6) St. Petersburg vs. Conference USA No. 6

Big Ten
1) Rose vs. Pac 10, 2) Capital One vs. SEC No. 2, 3) Outback vs. SEC, 4) Gator vs. SEC, 5) Insight vs. Big 12 No. 4, 6) Dallas Football Classic vs. Conference USA, 7) Texas vs. Big 12 No. 6

Big 12
1) Fiesta, 2) Cotton vs. SEC, 3) Alamo vs. Pac 10 No. 2, 4) Insight vs. Big Ten No. 5, 5) Holiday vs. Pac 10 No. 3, 6) Texas vs. Big Ten No. 7, 7) Yankee vs. Big East No. 3

Conference USA
1) Dallas Football Classic vs. Big Ten No. 6, 2) Liberty vs. SEC No. 8, 3) Hawaii vs. WAC No. 4, 4) Armed Forces vs. Mountain West No. 4, 5) New Orleans vs. Sun Belt No. 1, 6) St. Petersburg vs. Big East No. 6

Army – EagleBank, Navy - Poinsettia

1) Little Caesars vs. Army, 2) GMAC vs. ACC No. 9, 3) International vs. Big East No. 5, 4) EagleBank vs. ACC No. 8

Mountain West
1) Las Vegas vs. Pac 10 No. 5, 2) Poinsettia vs. Navy or WAC No. 5, 3) Independence vs. ACC No. 7, 4) Armed Forced vs. Conference USA No. 4, 5) New Mexico vs. WAC No. 3, 6) Humanitarian vs. WAC No. 2

Pac 10
1) Rose vs. Big Ten, 2) Alamo vs. Big 12 No. 3, 3) Holiday vs. Big 12 No. 5, 4) Sun vs. ACC No. 5, 5) Las Vegas vs. Mountain West No. 1, 6) Emerald vs. WAC No. 1

1) Sugar, 2) Capital One vs. Big Ten No. 2, 3 or 4) Outback vs. Big Ten No. 3, 3 of 4) Cotton vs. Big 12 No. 2, 5) Chick-fil-A vs. ACC No. 2, 6) Gator vs. Big Ten, 7) Music City vs. ACC No. 6, 8) Liberty vs. Conference USA, 9) vs. Sun Belt No. 2

Sun Belt
1) New Orleans vs. Conference USA No. 5, 2) vs. SEC No. 9

1) Emerald vs. Pac 10 No. 6, 2) Humanitarian vs. Mountain West No. 4, 3) New Mexico vs. Mountain West No. 5, 4) Hawaii vs. Conference USA No. 3

Q: Please tell me what I'm missing about Jake Locker. If everyone was down so much on Pat White last year, why are they all so high on this guy? You said it yourself, the guy can't throw. - RL

A: He looks the part. He's much bigger than White at 6-3 and 226 pounds, he might be even faster, and he has a far livelier arm. However, a ton of scouts fall in love with the measurables and miss out on the obvious play on the field. He might have the raw skills of a John Elway, but he has yet to show he can be consistent enough to be much more than a developmental prospect at the next level … a highly paid one. There's another school of thought that believes that he could turn into a monster once he gets a little talent around him; part of the reason his stats are so mediocre is because his receivers were lousy. I think he needs to rock this year or he'll be a bigger, faster Rick Mirer.

Q: Does Brian Kelly leave for Notre Dame if Cincinnati is in a playoff for the national championship? - ES

A: No. Forget the playoff; Kelly said he wouldn't have left the team early if Cincinnati was playing for the national title. If Notre Dame REALLY wanted Kelly and he really was the guy who was going to lead the program to glory, couldn't it have waited a month to get him? Schools want to get going right away, and sometimes that means missing out on the coaches who fit the best. The Bearcats missed out on having Kelly for the biggest game of the year, but after Notre Dame said it wanted him, it was time to go to his new gig and get to work. Remember, bowl games are exhibitions.

Q: After you complained that the Heisman should go to the best player in CFB, even if he is a defensive player – Ndamukong Suh - you present a list of next year's Heisman candidates and do not list a single defensive player. Not in your list of top 20 candidates for next year, or among the 10 players that would be candidates if they stay another year, or among the 10 players who deserve a chance but won't get one because of where they play.

You list 40 Heisman candidates for next season, and not one of them is a defensive player. Suh didn't win, and that starts when people like you don't even acknowledge that a defense player could win before the season starts. Had you and others been talking about Suh before the season, or at least early in the season, Suh would have had a better chance. Stop being part of the problem, Pete. Defense is half the game, half of the best players in college football - and half of your list - should be defensive players, with a rare P or K thrown in for the sake of reality.
- BG

A: I feel like our pre-preseason Heisman lists are all about reality, but before you call me part of the problem, remember, I voted for Suh and pointed out why. But Suh didn't come close to getting past Mark Ingram and Toby Gerhart, and neither will a defensive player this year. The Heisman pieces are always supposed to be a reflection of reality without trying to make kingmakers, and no, a defensive player isn't going to win no matter how much a few columnists might try to champion the idea.

Q: I have a group that goes to a game every year. Three years in we've done: UF at LSU '07 (when Miles went for it on 4th over and over and over), OSU at UW '08 (Pryor supposed coming out party), Red River Rivalry '09 – should have been the Heisman/Championship decider.

Our criteria are basically that we want, over the years, to see lots of schools, games that are meaningful, and go to places that are fun (party schools are a plus).

Should we go to Va Tech to see Boise St.? Should we wait and see who Kiffin picks a fight with and go watch the fireworks (assuming that we'll one day see the Trojans at South Bend)? Is it the right year to go see a game at the Horseshoe? Will Iowa be good enough to justify a trip? Is there a good game I'm missing?
- JH

A: Start with the fun aspect. Fortunately, the Princeton Review's top-ranked party schools also have solid football teams: Penn State, Florida, Ole Miss, Georgia, Ohio, West Virginia, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida State, and Colorado.

Penn State is worth the trip, but is tough to get to. Florida is an experience and I've always had great times there. You've been to Wisconsin, which is a must for any fan of having fun, and the other schools on the list are worth it just from the drinky aspect. However, I must admit that there's a gaping hole in my own college football résumé having never been to Oxford to see an Ole Miss game. I've been told that a trip there has to be on the college football bucket list for an atmosphere and, um, scenery unlike any other. And yes, to answer your question, Iowa is worth it with the Ohio State game on November 20th the one to get to.

Boise State vs. Virginia Tech sounds good, but you don't want to make your big trip to Landover, Maryland. Penn State at Alabama on September 11th should be a major scene, but Florida at Bama on October 2nd might be bigger. Texas at Nebraska on October 16th would be slice of something considering that should be the big game of the day.

In the end, if you want to have the most fun, go to see UNLV at Hawaii on December 4th. It's Honolulu in December, and that's one of the most unique college football scenes you'll ever see.

Q: when was the last time that the Florida Gators played a regular season non-conference game OUTSIDE of the state of Florida?? - JN

A: September 21st, 1991. Syracuse 38, Florida 21. Before that there was a 38-13 win over Memphis in 1989. Oooooooh.

Q: I have a question concerning 'weaker' conferences and how the better teams in these conferences would fair with a BCS conference schedule. I have a friend who worked for Ohio State and is now working for a Mountain West team. He says the biggest differences between the Utahs, TCUs, Boise States and the Ohio States, Alabamas and Texas's is not the starters but the depth on the teams. He feels that the best of the 'weaker' conferences wouldn't survive a full season in a BCS conference because they don't have the depth at each position to do so. I'm sorry to use the 'BCS' term loosely, there can be a big difference between the top BCS conferences and the rebuilding ones in a given year, but what do you think? - PF

A: Right. That's why a Boise State, or any other top team from a non-BCS school, has a fighting chance in a one-game bowl slot, but would struggle over the course of a big-time conference season. It's even more pronounces in the FCS ranks. A top FCS team has the starters to play with several of the FBSers, but it doesn't have the backups to keep fresh or be strong when the top players get banged up. Remember, many of the starters on the non-BCS teams weren't recruited by the big names, while many of the recruits who sit on the benches of Ohio State, Alabama, and Texas would be stars on any non-BCS conference teams.