Tuesday, October 16, 2012

College Football 2012 - Bowl Bubble Watch

Washington (3-3) - at Arizona (L), Oregon State (L), at California (L), Utah (W), at Colorado (W), at Washington State (W), projected record 6-6 (the next 3 weeks could go either way, so a 1-2 stretch should make them safe with the last 3 being the easiest on the schedule, although 2 are on the road)

Arizona (3-3) - Washington (W), USC (L), at UCLA (L), Colorado (W), at Utah (W), Arizona State (L), projected record 6-6 (huge game vs Washington this week will likely determine the fate for the rest of the year)

California (3-4) - Stanford (L), at Utah (W), Washington (W), Oregon (L), at Oregon State (L), projected record 5-7 (Stanford at home or at Oregon State best chances to get to 6-6)

Utah (2-4) - at Oregon State (L), California (L), Washington State (W), at Washington (L), Arizona (L), at Colorado (W), projected record 4-8 (can get to 6-6 if they play better and beat Cal and Arizona at home)

PAC-12 Reset:
1.  Oregon Ducks (BCS National Title Game)
2.  USC Trojans (Rose Bowl)
3.  Oregon State Beavers (Alamo Bowl)
4.  Arizona State Sun Devils (Holiday Bowl)
5.  Stanford Cardinal (Sun Bowl)
6.  UCLA Bruins (Las Vegas Bowl)
7.  Washington Huskies (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl)
8.  Arizona Wildcats (New Mexico Bowl)
9.  California Golden Bears
10. Utah Utes
11. Washington State Cougars
12. Colorado Buffaloes

Big 10
Note:  Many Bowl Projections are leaving 8 Big Ten Teams in this week.  I am going with 7, as you see right now I am moving the Golden Gophers out this week.

Michigan State (4-3) - at Michigan (L), at Wisconsin (L), Nebraska (W), Northwestern (W), at Minnesota (W), projected record 7-5 (staring at 4-5 with two tough road games, the Nebraska game could make or break the season)

Iowa (4-2) - Penn State (W), at Northwestern (L), at Indiana (W), Purdue (W), at Michigan (L), Nebraska (L), projected record 7-5 (look safe after impressive win in East Lansing)

Purdue (3-3) - at Ohio State (L), at Minnesota (W), Penn State (L), at Iowa (L), at Illinois (W), Indiana (W) - projected record 6-6 (with games at OSU and Iowa, a split in the Minnesota/Penn State games is paramount)

Minnesota (4-2) - at Wisconsin (L), Purdue (L), Michigan (L), at Illinois (W), at Nebraska (L), Michigan State (L), projected record 5-7 (the game vs Purdue next week will loom large for both teams, a loss there and an upset of one of the Michigan squads would likely be necessary)

Big 10 Reset:
1.  Ohio State Buckeyes
2.  Michigan Wolverines (Rose Bowl)
3.  Nebraska Cornhuskers (Outback Bowl)
4.  Penn State Nittany Lions
5.  Wisconsin Badgers (Capital One Bowl)
6.  Northwestern Wildcats (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
7.  Iowa Hawkeyes (Gator Bowl)
8.  Michigan State Spartans (Heart of Dallas Bowl)
9.  Purdue Boilermakes (Texas Bowl)
10. Minnesota Golden Gophers
11. Indiana Hoosiers
12. Illinois Fighting Illini
(currently not filling Little Caesars bowl slot)

Note:  Other Bowl Projections still have as many as 11 SEC teams bowl-eligible.  As you see below, there is a good chance that number gets to 10, but 11 is a stretch unless there are big upsets.

Tennessee (3-3) - Alabama (L), at South Carolina (L), Troy (W), Missouri (W), at Vanderbilt (W), Kentucky (W), projected record 7-5 (the Vols are included because they are staring 3-5 straight in the face.  With Troy and Kentucky at home, it really comes down to splitting the Missouri/Vandy games.)

Vanderbilt (2-4) - Auburn (W), Massachusetts (W), at Kentucky (W), at Ole Miss (L), Tennessee (L), at Wake Forest (W) - projected record 6-6 (with 6 winnable games, the Commodores need to get it started this week against Auburn and win the close ones down the stretch)

Missouri (3-4) - Kentucky (W), at Florida (L), at Tennessee (L), Syracuse (W), at Texas A&M (L), projected record 5-7 (the game at Tennessee will be a huge game for both teams, but Missouri just hasn't been healthy enough to compete in the SEC this season)

Arkansas (3-4) - Ole Miss (W), Tulsa (W), at South Carolina (L), at Mississippi State (L), LSU (L), projected record 5-7 (Arkansas is playing better, but they likely need an upset at Mississippi State to get to 6-6)

Ole Miss (4-3) - at Arkansas (L), at Georgia (L), Vanderbilt (W), at LSU (L), Mississippi State (L), projected record 5-7 (it is still hard to say if the Rebels are ready for this step, but next week's game at Arkansas looms large)

SEC Reset:
1.  Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS National Title Game)
2.  Florida Gators (Sugar Bowl)
3.  LSU Tigers (Cotton Bowl)
4.  South Carolina Gamecocks (Capital One Bowl)
5.  Mississippi State Bulldogs (Outback Bowl)
6.  Georgia Bulldogs (Chick Fil-A Bowl)
7.  Texas A&M Aggies (Gator Bowl)
8.  Tennessee Volunteers (Music City Bowl)
9.  Vanderbilt Commodores (Liberty Bowl)
10. Ole Miss Rebels
11. Arkansas Razorbacks
12. Missouri Tigers
13. Auburn Tigers
14. Kentucky Wildcats
(currently not filling Independence or BBVA Compass bowl slots)

Big 12
Note:  Projecting 9 teams in from the Big 12, but as you can see below that is with 4 teams at 6-6 and three of them beating Texas Tech, which now looks more daunting than it did a week ago.  In all likelihood, one of these teams will drop-off.

Oklahoma State (3-2) - Iowa State (W), TCU (W), at Kansas State (L), West Virginia (L), Texas Tech (W), at Oklahoma (L), at Baylor (L), projected record 6-6 (I still don't know how good the Cowboys are, so with only 3 wins to date they have to be considered a bubble team)

TCU (5-1) - Texas Tech (W), at Oklahoma State (L), at West Virginia (L), Kansas State (L), at Texas (L), Oklahoma (L), projected record 6-6 (only need one more win, but if they don't get it the next two weeks, then where?)

Baylor (3-2) - at Texas (L), at Iowa State (L), Kansas (W), at Oklahoma (L), Kansas State (L), Texas Tech (W), Oklahoma State (W) - projected record 6-6 (I can't drop them out of the bowls based on one bad performance, but finding 6 wins will be tough without improved play)

Iowa State (4-2) - at Oklahoma State (L), Baylor (W), Oklahoma (L), at Texas (L), at Kansas (W), West Virginia (L), projected record 6-6 (right now I have both in, but the winner of the Baylor/Iowa State game could be for the 8th and final bid from the Big 12)

Big 12 Reset:
1.  Kansas State Wildcats (Fiesta Bowl)
2.  Oklahoma Sooners (Sugar Bowl)
3.  West Virginia Mountaineers (Alamo Bowl)
4.  Texas Longhorns (Cotton Bowl)
5.  Texas Tech Red Raiders (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
6.  Oklahoma State Cowboys (Holiday Bowl)
7.  TCU Horned Frogs (Pinstripe Bowl)
8.  Iowa State Cyclones (Texas Bowl)
9.  Baylor Bears (Heart of Dallas Bowl**)
10. Kansas Jayhawks

Duke (5-2) - North Carolina (L), at Florida State (L), Clemson (L), at Georgia Tech (L), Miami FL (W), projected record 6-6 (not really sure which one they will win, but they still have five chances to get one)

Virginia Tech (4-3) - at Clemson (L), at Miami FL (L), Florida State (L), at Boston College (W), Virginia (W), projected record 6-6 (may have turned the corner last week, so winning any of the next three doesn't seem so far-fetched)

Maryland (4-2) - NC State (L), at Boston College (W), Georgia Tech (W), at Clemson (L), Florida State (L), at North Carolina (L), projected record 6-6 (would behoove the Terps to win 2 of the next 3 and lock it up)

Georgia Tech (2-4) - Boston College (W), BYU (L), at Maryland (L), at North Carolina (L), Duke (W), at Georgia (L), projected record 4-8 (a 3-game winning streak would be very helpful to Tech, who is capable of turning it around after playing well at Clemson)

Wake Forest (3-3) - at Virginia (L), Clemson (L), Boston College (W), at NC State (L), at Notre Dame (L), Vanderbilt (L), projected record 4-8 (a loss at Virginia in two weeks would be devastating)

ACC Reset
1.  Florida State Seminoles (Orange Bowl)
2.  Clemson Tigers (Chick Fil-A Bowl)
3.  North Carolina Tar Heels
4.  Miami Hurricanes (Russell Athletic Bowl)
5.  North Carolina State Wolfpack (Belk Bowl)
6.  Virginia Tech Hokies (Sun Bowl)
7.  Maryland Terrapins (Music City Bowl)
8.  Duke Blue Devils (Independence Bowl)
9.  Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
11. Virginia Cavaliers
12. Boston College Eagles
(currently not filling Military Bowl slot)

Big East
Pittsburgh (2-4) - at Buffalo (W), Temple (W), at Notre Dame (L), at Connecticut (W), Rutgers (L), at South Florida (W), projected record 6-6 (I am giving Pitt the benefit of the doubt, but they have no margin for error)

Temple (3-2) - Rutgers (L), at Pittsburgh (L), at Louisville (L), Cincinnati (L), at Army (W), Syracuse (W), projected record 5-6 (the task for the Owls is to win one of the next four to make the Army and Syracuse games meaningful.  Temple may regret not scheduling a 12th game against an FCS team.)

South Florida (2-4) - at Louisville (L), Syracuse (W), Connecticut (W), at Miami FL (L), at Cincinnati (L), Pittsburgh (L), projected record 4-8 (Some still think the Bulls have the talent to win 4, I don't think so)

Big East Reset:
1.  Rutgers Scarlett Knights (Orange Bowl)
2.  Louisville Cardinals (Russell Athletic Bowl)
3.  Cincinnati Bearcats (Belk Bowl)
4.  Pittsburgh Panthers (Pinstripe Bowl)
5.  Temple Owls
6.  South Florida Bulls
7.  Syracuse Orange
8.  Connecticut Huskies
(currently not filling BBVA Compass Bowl or Beef O'Brady's Bowl slots)

Other Conferences/Independents
Houston (3-3) - at SMU (W), UTEP (W), at East Carolina (W), Tulsa (L), at Marshall (L), Tulane (W). projected record 7-5

Marshall (2-4) - at Southern Miss (W), UCF (L), Memphis(W), at UAB (W), Houston (W), at East Carolina (L), projected record 6-6

SMU (2-4) - Houston (L), Memphis (W), at UCF (L), Southern Miss (W), at Rice (W), Tulsa (L), projected record 5-7

Bowling Green (4-3) - at UMass (W), Eastern Michigan (W), at Ohio (L), Kent State (L), Buffalo (W), projected record 7-5

Ball State (4-3) - at Central Michigan (W), at Army (W), at Toledo (L), Ohio (L), at Miami(OH) (L), projected record 6-6

Western Michigan (3-4) - at Kent State (L), Northern Illinois (L), at Central Michigan (W), at Buffalo (W), Eastern Michigan (W), projected record 6-6

Miami(OH) (3-4) - Ohio (L), at Buffalo (W), Kent State (L), at Central Michigan (L), Ball State (W), projected record 5-7

Central Michigan (2-4) - Ball State (L), Akron (W), Western Michigan (L), at Eastern Michigan (W), Miami(OH) (W), at UMass (W), projected record 6-6

Air Force (3-3) - New Mexico (W), Nevada (L), at Army (W), at San Diego State (L), Hawaii (W), at Fresno State (L), projected record 6-6

New Mexico (4-3) - at Air Force (L), Fresno State (L), at UNLV (L), Wyoming (W), Nevada (L), at Colorado State (W), projected record 6-7

Arkansas State (4-3) - at LA-Lafayette (L), at North Texas (W), LA-Monroe (L), at Troy (W), Middle Tennessee (W), projected record 7-5

Troy (3-3) - FIU (W), at Florida Atlantic (W), at Tennessee (L), Navy (L), Arkansas State (L), at Middle Tennessee (L), projected record 5-7

San Jose State (4-2) - at UTSA (W), Texas State (W), at Idaho (W), at New Mexico State (W), BYU (L), Louisiana Tech (L), projected record 8-4

Navy (3-3) - Indiana (W), at East Carolina (L), Florida Atlantic (W), at Troy (W), Texas State (W), Army (W), projected record 8-4

Other Conferences/Independents Reset:
1.  Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Fiesta Bowl)
2.  Ohio Bobcats (Little Caesars Bowl)
3.  Boise State Broncos (Las Vegas Bowl)
4.  Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
5.  Tulsa Golden Hurricane (Liberty Bowl)
6.  Northern Illinois Huskies (GoDaddy.com Bowl)
7.  Nevada Wolfpack (Poinsettia Bowl)
8.  Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (New Orleans Bowl)
9.  Toledo Rockets (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
10. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (GoDaddy.com Bowl)
11. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (BBVA Compass Bowl**)
12. BYU Cougars (Poinsettia Bowl)
13.  Kent State Golden Flash (Military Bowl**)
14.  Utah State Aggies (Independence Bowl**)
15.  Fresno State Bulldogs (Hawaii Bowl)
16.  UCF Golden Knights (Armed Forces Bowl)
17.  Middle Tennesse State Blue Raiders (Little Caesars Bowl**)
18.  San Diego State Aztecs (New Mexico Bowl)
19.  East Carolina Pirates (New Orleans Bowl)

Other Projected Bowl Eligible Teams:
Marshall Thundering Herd (Beef O'Brady's Bowl)
Houston Cougars (Hawaii Bowl)
Air Force Falcons (Armed Forces Bowl)
Navy Midshipmen (Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl)
Bowling Green Falcons (BBVA Compass Bowl**)
Arkansas State (Beef O'Brady's Bowl**)
San Jose State (Military Bowl**)

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