Monday, October 22, 2012

College Football 2012 - Week 8 Bowl Bubble Watch

Washington (3-4) - Oregon State (L), at California (L), Utah (W), at Colorado (W), at Washington State (W), projected record 6-6 (the next 2 weeks are big so the Huskies aren't forced to win three in a row)

Arizona (4-3) - USC (L), at UCLA (L), Colorado (W), at Utah (W), Arizona State (L), projected record 6-6 (with a home game vs Colorado, the Wildcats just need to find one other victory)

California (3-5) - at Utah (W), Washington (W), Oregon (L), at Oregon State (L), projected record 5-7 (the loser of the game against Utah this week is realistically eliminated from bowl contention)

Utah (2-5) - California (L), Washington State (W), at Washington (L), Arizona (L), at Colorado (W), projected record 4-8 (it doesn't look good for the Utes this year)

PAC-12 Reset:
1.  Oregon Ducks (BCS National Title Game)
2.  USC Trojans (Rose Bowl)
3.  Oregon State Beavers (Alamo Bowl)
4.  Stanford Cardinal (Sun Bowl)
5.  Arizona State Sun Devils (Holiday Bowl)
6.  UCLA Bruins (Las Vegas Bowl)
7.  Arizona Wildcats (New Mexico Bowl)
8.  Washington Huskies (Kraft Fight Hunger 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 (4-4) - at Wisconsin (L), Nebraska (W), Northwestern (W), at Minnesota (W), projected record 7-5 (staring at 4-5, the Nebraska game could make or break the season)

Iowa (4-3) - at Northwestern (L), at Indiana (W), Purdue (W), at Michigan (L), Nebraska (L), projected record 6-6 (back to being squarely on the bubble, an upset at Northwestern would make things more comfortable)

Purdue (3-4) - at Minnesota (W), Penn State (L), at Iowa (L), at Illinois (W), Indiana (W) - projected record 6-6 (a huge game with Minnesota this week that could be a bowl elimination game)

Minnesota (4-3) - at Purdue (L), Michigan (L), at Illinois (W), at Nebraska (L), Michigan State (L), projected record 5-7 (with their two best shots at winning being on the road, it looks like another year home for the holidays for the Gophers)

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

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 (3-4) - 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 (3-4) - Massachusetts (W), at Kentucky (W), at Ole Miss (L), Tennessee (L), at Wake Forest (W) - projected record 6-6 (a close win against Auburn leads into two winnable games upcoming, which would leave them only needing one of the last three)

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 this 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 (Capital One Bowl)
4.  Mississippi State Bulldogs (Cotton Bowl)
5.  South Carolina Gamecocks (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 7 teams in from the Big 12, but the likelihood of an 8th is still there.  TCU is a good team with a brutal finishing schedule.

Oklahoma State (4-2) - TCU (W), at Kansas State (L), West Virginia (L), Texas Tech (W), at Oklahoma (L), at Baylor (L), projected record 6-6 (The Cowboys looked pretty good this week, but the schedule remains an obstacle)

TCU (5-2) - at Oklahoma State (L), at West Virginia (L), Kansas State (L), at Texas (L), Oklahoma (L), projected record 5-7 (only need one more win, but who are they going to beat?)

Baylor (3-3) - at Iowa State (W), Kansas (W), at Oklahoma (L), Kansas State (L), Texas Tech (L), Oklahoma State (W) - projected record 6-6 (I am not sure how they beat both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, so a win at Iowa State this week might be a necessity)

Iowa State (4-3) - Baylor (L), Oklahoma (L), at Texas (L), at Kansas (W), West Virginia (L), projected record 5-7 (pivotal game vs Baylor this week, with the loser in great danger of missing a bowl)

Big 12 Reset:
1.  Kansas State Wildcats (Fiesta Bowl)
2.  Oklahoma Sooners (Sugar Bowl)
3.  Texas Tech Red Raiders (Alamo Bowl)
4.  Texas Longhorns (Cotton Bowl)
5.  West Virginia Mountaineers (Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl)
6.  Oklahoma State Cowboys (Holiday Bowl)
7.  Baylor Bears (Texas Bowl)
8.  TCU Horned Frogs
9.  Iowa State Cyclones
10. Kansas Jayhawks
(currently not filling Pinstripe Bowl slot)

Virginia Tech (4-4) - at Miami FL (L), Florida State (L), at Boston College (W), Virginia (W), projected record 6-6 (could easily win at Miami, FL this week and earn some breathing room)

Maryland (4-3) - at Boston College (W), Georgia Tech (W), at Clemson (L), Florida State (L), at North Carolina (L), projected record 6-6 (if they lose to BC or Georgia Tech, things will get tough)

Georgia Tech (3-4) - BYU (W), at Maryland (L), at North Carolina (L), Duke (W), at Georgia (L), projected record 5-7 (beating BYU and Maryland will give them their best chance)

Wake Forest (4-3) - Clemson (L), Boston College (W), at NC State (L), at Notre Dame (L), Vanderbilt (L), projected record 5-7 (BC is one, where is the other?)

ACC Reset
1.  Florida State Seminoles (Orange Bowl)
2.  Clemson Tigers (Chick Fil-A Bowl)
3.  North Carolina State Wolfpack (Russell Athletic Bowl)
4.  North Carolina Tar Heels
5.  Miami Hurricanes (Belk Bowl)
6.  Virginia Tech Hokies (Sun Bowl)
7.  Duke Blue Devils (Music City Bowl)
8.  Maryland Terrapins (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 (3-4) - 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 (3-3) - at Pittsburgh (L), at Louisville (L), Cincinnati (L), at Army (W), Syracuse (W), projected record 5-6 (This weeks game at Pittsburgh may likely determine the 4th bowl slot from the Big East.)

South Florida (2-5) - Syracuse (W), Connecticut (W), at Miami FL (L), at Cincinnati (L), Pittsburgh (L), projected record 4-8 (It's now or never for the Bulls in 2012)

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 (3-4) - UTEP (W), at East Carolina (W), Tulsa (L), at Marshall (L), Tulane (W). projected record 6-6

Marshall (3-4) - UCF (L), Memphis(W), at UAB (W), Houston (W), at East Carolina (L), projected record 6-6

SMU (3-4) - Memphis (W), at UCF (L), Southern Miss (W), at Rice (W), Tulsa (L), projected record 6-6

Bowling Green (5-3) - Eastern Michigan (W), at Ohio (L), Kent State (L), Buffalo (W), projected record 7-5 (likely gets bowl-eligible this week)

Ball State (5-3) - at Army (W), at Toledo (L), Ohio (L), at Miami(OH) (L), projected record 6-6

Western Michigan (3-5) - 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 (2-5) - Akron (W), Western Michigan (L), at Eastern Michigan (W), Miami(OH) (W), at UMass (W), projected record 6-6

Air Force (4-3) - Nevada (L), at Army (W), at San Diego State (L), Hawaii (W), at Fresno State (L), projected record 6-6

New Mexico (4-4) - 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 (4-3) - at Florida Atlantic (W), at Tennessee (L), Navy (L), Arkansas State (L), at Middle Tennessee (L), projected record 5-7

San Jose State (5-2) - Texas State (W), at Idaho (W), at New Mexico State (W), BYU (L), Louisiana Tech (L), projected record 8-4

Navy (4-3) - 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 ( Bowl)
7.  Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (New Orleans Bowl)
8.  Toledo Rockets (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
9.  Nevada Wolfpack (Poinsettia Bowl)
10. Kent State Golden Flash (Beef O'Brady's Bowl**)
11. Utah State Aggies (Independence Bowl**)
12. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers ( Bowl)
13. UCF Golden Knights (Armed Forces Bowl)
14. Fresno State Bulldogs (Hawaii Bowl)
15. San Diego State Aztecs (New Mexico Bowl)
16. BYU Cougars (Poinsettia Bowl)
17. East Carolina Pirates (New Orleans Bowl)
18. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns (BBVA Compass Bowl**)
19. Middle Tennesse State Blue Raiders (Pinstripe Bowl**)

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

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