2013-14 College Football Bowl Game Projections (Updated 10/13)

Last Updated: October 13th, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Bowl ProjectionsThe 2013 college football season is now halfway over with, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are going to be taking a look at all 35 of the bowl games and trying to project which 70 of the teams in college football are going to be playing in bowl games when push comes to shove in December and January.

Be sure to Bookmark This Page (Internet Explorer Only), as this will also act as your 2013-14 bowl schedule, with the bowl dates and times for all of the biggest games of the postseason!

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List of Bowl Eligible Teams By Conference (through Week 7)
AAC: Louisville Cardinals
ACC: Clemson Tigers, Virginia Tech Hokies
Big XII: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Big Ten: Ohio State Buckeyes
MAC: Ball State Falcons, Northern Illinois Huskies
Pac-12: Oregon Ducks
SEC: Missouri Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers

Right now, there are only 11 bowl eligible teams, but that list is clearly going to be growing as the season wears on, as there are even a few conferences that have not been accounted for the season yet when it comes to bowl eligibility.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Saturday, December 21st, 2:00 ET
Utah Utes vs. UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (Pac-12 #7 vs. MWC #5)
New Mexico Bowl Projection: Utah’s win over Stanford puts it back on the Pac-12 bowl ladder, and it gives the team the assurance that it is absolutely going to be playing in the second season this year. UNLV already has four wins, and it is on the best run that Head Coach Bobby Hauck has been on in his coaching tenure in Sin City. The Las Vegas Bowl might reach to keep the Rebs at home, but if not, this is a logical spot to be falling to.

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl – Saturday, December 21st, 3:30 ET
Boise State Broncos vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (MWC #1 vs. Pac-12 #5)
Las Vegas Bowl Projections: Arizona State has earned its way up the Pac-12 bowl ladder, but the bottom line is that this conference is so good that something has to give. QB Taylor Kelly and the crew are awesome, and it would be a shame if it were to lose in the Pac-12 title game and end up getting dropped all the way here to Las Vegas as a result. This is about the best that Boise State can hope for, though winning out and winning the Mountain West keeps the door to the BCS at least slightly ajar.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Saturday, December 15th, 5:30 ET
San Jose State Spartans vs. Bowling Green Falcons (MWC #6 vs. MAC #3)
Potato Bowl Projections: It’s not a great matchup by any stretch of the imagination, but it would be interesting to see QB David Fales take on this Bowling Green defense, which is quietly one of the better ones amongst mid-major teams in the country. The Spartans have a lot of work to do in the second half of the season to get to six wins, but it has enough winnable games on the docket where it shouldn’t be a massive problem. The hope is that that last game of the year against Fresno State isn’t the maker or breaker.

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Saturday, December 21st, 9:00 ET
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns vs. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (Sun Belt #1 vs. C-USA #7)
New Orleans Bowl Projections: The Cajuns have a tough game early this week on the road against Western Kentucky. Win that game though, and it could be clear sailing to the Sun Belt title and the bid to the New Orleans Bowl. MTSU has a long road ahead of it in Conference USA just to qualify for a bowl game, but we have held firm with this being one of the top teams in the conference.

Beef O’Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl – Monday, December 23rd, 2:00 ET
Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Tulane Green Wave (AAC #6 vs. C-USA #5)
Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Projections: The Green Wave back in a bowl game! Tulane has been one of the pleasant surprises this year in Conference USA, and though we don’t think that it is going to last, this is a nice spot for them to be going for a bowl game after a 7-5 season. Rutgers has only had two losses this year to Fresno State and Louisville, and this is surely one of the better teams in the AAC. It’s just not good enough to win more than eight or nine games at the most in front of QB Gary Nova.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl – Tuesday, December 24th, 8:00 ET
Rice Owls vs. Wyoming Cowboys (C-USA #2 vs. Hawaii/MWC #5)
Hawaii Bowl Projections: It wouldn’t be the prettiest Hawaii Bowl ever, but at least it would be a plausible one. East Carolina and Tulsa feel like they are always contenders for the Hawaii Bowl, and this year is going to be no exception on both accounts. Wyoming played out of its mind against Nebraska, and it ended up snaring a win last week to level itself at 1-1. The Cowboys are going to be a tough sell to get to six wins in the Mountain West, but someone is going to do it, and the boys from Laramie are a real possibility.


Little Caesars Pizza Bowl – Thursday, December 26th, 6:00 ET
Arkansas State Red Wolves vs. Toledo Rockets (Big Ten #8/Sun Belt #3 vs. MAC #2)
Little Caesars Bowl Projections: Arkansas State is really only the third best team out of the Sun Belt, as we think that there is a real drop from Western Kentucky and Louisiana Lafayette down to the rest of the pack. The Red Wolves have the easiest schedule left of the bunch and are the most likely to get to eight wins, though seven will probably be enough. Toledo’s losses at the start of the year to Florida and Missouri don’t look all that bad now. The Rockets are legitimately one of the best teams in the MAC and will get some respect for sticking with both of the SEC East teams.

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl – Thursday, December 26th, 9:30 ET
Army Black Knights vs. San Diego State Aztecs (Army/At Large vs. MWC #2)
Poinsettia Bowl Projections: Keeping San Diego State at home still makes the most sense for as long as it is a team that we think is going to reach bowl eligibility. It’s going to take one upset this year for the Aztecs to get the job done, but we think they’ll reach six. Army too, needs to go 3-2 in its last five games to get into the Poinsettia Bowl, and it very well could come down to the Army/Navy Game to determine whether the Cadets are bowling or not. We think they’ll be good, with or without the win over the Middies.

Military Bowl – Friday, December 27th, 2:30 ET
Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Arizona Wildcats (C-USA #6/MAC #4 vs. ACC #8)
Military Bowl Projections: All of these teams in the Pac-12 have to end up somewhere for bowl games, and replacing the ACC seems like a logical choice in the Military Bowl. It’s not an ideal bowl spot for the boys from Tucson, but bowl bids are bowl bids. That’s sort of what Tulsa would feel like at this point as well. This very well could end up being an at large vs. at large game when push comes to shove, especially if two of the three of Clemson, Miami, and Florida State end up in the BCS and the ACC perhaps doesn’t end up represented this deep down the ladder.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas – Friday, December 27th, 6:00 ET
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Northwestern Wildcats (Big 12 #6 vs. Big Ten #6)
Meineke Car Care Bowl Projections: You’ll notice that our projections for Big Ten bowl teams stop here. Perhaps Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, or Illinois will become eligible, but all of those teams are going to need at least one massive upset to keep the bowl dream alive. Northwestern, which probably is legitimately one of the Top 25 teams in the land won’t need any help to get in. It just has to take care of business. TCU too, is one of these teams that we think is very good, though pushing Oklahoma and LSU yet coming up short in both games doesn’t prove a ton.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Friday, December 27th, 9:30 ET
BYU Cougars vs. USC Trojans (BYU/ACC #9 vs. Pac-12 #6)
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Projections: We have a really good feeling that this is going to be what the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl looks like this year. BYU has already beaten one of the big boys of college football in Texas, and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl would love to bring a big name here to this bowl game this year to take on the Cougs. USC is about as big of a name as it gets, and with new Head Coach Ed Orgeron leading this team back in the right direction again, the hope for going bowling is increased.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl – Saturday, December 28th, 12:00 ET
Kansas State Wildcats vs. Houston Cougars (Big 12 #7 vs. AAC #4)
Pinstripe Bowl Projections: Head Coach Bill Snyder has a team that is going to have to struggle just to get into a bowl game this year. With just two wins in its first six games and no wins in its first three in conference play, the Cats have some work to do, though the schedule pretty much gives them five wins for sure. It’s a question as to whether that sixth will get scratched out. Houston is quietly 5-0 this year, and there is no way that the AAC is going to keep this team from winning at least eight or nine.

Belk Bowl – Saturday, December 28th, 3:20 ET
Duke Blue Devils vs. UCF Knights (ACC #5 vs. AAC #3)
Belk Bowl Projections: Once we get down to the sixth team in the ACC, we’re doing a lot of guessing. None of the rest of these teams strike us as teams that are absolutely going to bowl games this year. Duke is already at four wins, and we have to think that it is going to scratch out two more somewhere in the second half of the season to qualify for a bowl game. UCF has played tough this year, and it is one gaffe against South Carolina away from being perfect to this point in the season. Still, we have to assume that the team is going to lose to Louisville, which would pretty much end any BCS dreams in the first year in an automatic qualifying conference.

Russell Athletic Bowl – Saturday, December 28th, 6:45 ET
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (AAC #2/Notre Dame vs. ACC #3)
Russell Athletic Bowl Projections: V-Tech is very quietly a 6-1 team this year, and that one loss came at the hands of Alabama. We aren’t sure whether the Hokies or the Hurricanes will get the nod here, and odds have it, the winner will go to Atlanta, while the loser will come to Orlando. For as much as we would love to see Notre Dame drop, we have to imagine that the Russell Athletic Bowl is going to take the Fighting Irish unless it wants to keep the hometown team in UCF. The Knights have a lot of work to do to move up from here, though.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – Saturday, December 28th, 10:15 ET
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Michigan Wolverines (Big 12 #4 vs. Big Ten #5)
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Projections: Points would surely be aplenty in this one, as the Wolverines would take on the Cowboys in a wild Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on the final Saturday of the year. We’re projecting both of these teams to be beaten at least twice over the course of the rest of the year, which is going to be a sin for both teams. Both had to think that the BCS was a great accomplishment this year, but both are now stuck in the middle rung of their respective conferences bowl ladders.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl – Monday, December 30th, 11:45 ET
Navy Midshipmen vs. Utah State Aggies (Navy/C-USA #3 vs. MWC #4)
Armed Forces Bowl Projections: Not a lot is changing right now on the MWC bowl ladder, as we still think that Utah State is going to be third best in the Mountain Division. QB Chuckie Keeton has done a great job this year, but this defense still isn’t good enough to beat the big boys in conference play as we see it. Navy just needs to get to six wins, and it should be alright, even without the Army/Navy Game at the end of the year. There are enough cupcakes left on the schedule, though the Commander-In-Chief Trophy would be the biggest reward of the season.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl – Monday, December 30th, 3:15 ET
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Missouri Tigers (ACC #6 vs. SEC #7)
Music City Bowl Projections: Missouri is the ninth best team as we see it right now in the conference, and that’s saying something considering the fact that it is still undefeated and just went on the road and beat a Top 10 team in Georgia. However, losing QB James Franklin for the rest of the regular season is going to be a killer for this team. Pitt only has two losses this season to Florida State and V-Tech, and this is a team that is going to be happy to be going anywhere but Birmingham for its bowl game after three consecutive trips to the BBVA Compass Bowl the past three seasons.

Valero Alamo Bowl – Monday, December 30th, 6:45 ET
UCLA Bruins vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Pac-12 #2 vs. Big 12 #3)
Alamo Bowl Projections: Both of these teams are undefeated at this point in the season, and both are going to try to convince us that they are worthy of being BCS teams. UCLA can prove it this week on the road against Stanford, while Texas Tech’s only road into the biggest bowl games of the year is by winning the Big XII, something that is definitely at least plausible at this point. If this was the game at the Alamo Bowl, it would be a heck of a showdown in which a ton of points would be put on the board for sure.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl – Monday, December 30th, 10:15 ET
Washington Huskies vs. Texas Longhorns (Pac-12 #3 vs. Big 12 #5)
Holiday Bowl Projections: The Huskies have dropped to 4-2, but we still think that they are amongst the best 25 teams in the land this year. Their losses to Oregon and Stanford can’t be considered the end of the world, and winning out might even keep a slight door open for the BCS to at least consider, especially if Stanford slides again. Texas made a huge step in the right direction when it won the Red River Rivalry, and a few more big wins like that, and Head Coach Mack Brown will be talking about the BCS as perhaps the Big XII champs.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl – Tuesday, December 31st, 12:30 ET
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Wyoming Cowboys (ACC #7 vs. MWC #3)
Independence Bowl Projections: The Cowboys can definitely ball this year, and their 2-0 start in the Mountain West is going to help out quite a bit. Imagine how good this team could have been had QB Austyn Carta-Samuels not transferred to Vandy! Meanwhile, Georgia Tech’s triple option has been causing all sorts of problems in the ACC, and though this team won’t be back in the ACC title game once again this year, it will have enough to comfortably get into a bowl game.

Hyundai Sun Bowl – Tuesday, December 31st, 2:00 ET
Maryland Terrapins vs. Oregon State Beavers (ACC #4 vs. Pac-12 #4)
Sun Bowl Projections: Does anyone realize that Oregon State hasn’t lost a game since losing to Eastern Washington to start off the season? The Beavers are legit, and they could still be a surprising player in the race in the Pac-12 North this year. Maryland’s chances of winning the ACC title went up in smoke when the team was beaten by seemingly 100 against Florida State on the road last week, and though the Terps are going to have more troubles at the quarterback position this year, they’ll still figure out how to get to at least seven wins to ensure a spot in a game no worse than the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl – Tuesday, December 31st, 4:00 ET
Marshall Thundering Herd vs. SMU Mustangs (C-USA #1 vs. SEC #8/AAC #7)
Liberty Bowl Projections: The Thundering Herd are already the only team on the East side of Conference USA to not lose a game, and save for East Carolina, this is the only team worth a hoot on this side of the conference. SMU only has one win, and asking it to win five more is going to be tough. Head Coach June Jones will get this figured out though, as the rest of the season isn’t nearly as bad as what we have seen early on in the season.

Chick-Fil-A Bowl – Tuesday, December 31st, 8:00 ET
Miami Hurricanes vs. Ole Miss Rebels (ACC #2 vs. SEC #5)
Chick-fil-A Bowl Projections: Head Coach Gus Malzahn has done a remarkable job with the Tigers this year, and they could be set for one of the big time bowl games this year. Ole Miss has been fighting all year long against one of the toughest schedules in the land. The next five games are all at home though, and there isn’t another game played outside of Mississippi. Finishing 8-4 is a distinct possibility, and we think that would be good enough to land the SEC #5 spot.

Heart of Dallas Bowl – Wednesday, January 1st, 12:00 ET
North Texas Mean Green vs. East Carolina Pirates (Big Ten #7 vs. C-USA #4)
Heart of Dallas Bowl Projections: If North Texas gets to six wins this year, the Mean Green could find themselves with a spot in a bowl game. They have a better fan base that will probably travel, especially in the Lone Star State than some of these teams from the Mountain West that might have bigger enrollments. It’s a gutsy pick to make, but for now, we love what UNT is bringing to the table. East Carolina is bringing a lot of offense to the table, but a horrifyingly bad defense. The points would be flying onto the board if this was how this panned out.

Gator Bowl – Wednesday, January 1st, 12:00 ET
Michigan State Spartans vs. Florida Gators (Big Ten #4 vs. SEC #6)
Gator Bowl Projections: The final score of this game might legitimately be 7-3. Michigan State and Florida are all about their defense, and neither team has an offense whatsoever, especially with both starting quarterbacks from the outset of the year now sitting on the bench. Michigan State could quietly make it to the Big Ten Championship Game. Florida could still win the SEC East as well, but that looks significantly less likely. A 7-5 season is a lot more likely in Gainesville as we see it.

Capital One Bowl – Wednesday, January 1st, 1:00 ET
Wisconsin Badgers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (Big Ten #2 vs. SEC #2)
Capital One Bowl Projections: South Carolina is the one team that hasn’t lost to a team that it probably had no business losing to, and as a result, it deserves its spot in the Capital One Bowl. Wisconsin has only been beaten twice this year, and the bowl selection committees are going to have no problem overlooking the game against Arizona State as a game that should have been won and the game against Ohio State as one that could have been won. The Badgers probably aren’t being beaten again this year, and this would be a fitting bowl game to go to.

Outback Bowl – Wednesday, January 1st, 1:00 ET
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs (Big Ten #3 vs. SEC #4)
Outback Bowl Projections: Nebraska is once again going to be one of the best teams in the Big Ten, and once again, that probably isn’t going to be good enough to seriously challenge for the Rose Bowl bid. QB Taylor Martinez has been out, and the truth of the matter is that few outside of Lincoln have even noticed. This team will be remembered for its collapse against UCLA. Georgia meanwhile, was shocked at home by Mizzou last weekend, and that is really going to knock it down the bowl ladder. The good news is that the toughest games are now all said and done with, though there are a few games which could provide trips ahead.

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – Wednesday, January 1st, 5:00 ET
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS vs. BCS)
Rose Bowl Projections: Though Stanford was beaten by Utah, it still has every chance to get into the BCS. The Pac-12 is going to bring two teams in all likelihood, and one of those teams is going to have two losses. Regardless of whether the Cardinal lose to the Ducks or not, Pasadena is probably the location due to the fact that Oregon would be in the National Championship Game if it wins that game, and probably in the Sugar Bowl if it lost. Ohio State has beaten Wisconsin and Northwestern, but you can already see in the polls that it is going to be the fourth best of the undefeated teams this year after Alabama, Oregon, and the winner of the Clemson/Florida State game. The Buckeyes need three teams to lose in front of them to get into the Promised Land.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl – Wednesday, January 1st, 8:30 ET
Baylor Bears vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (BCS vs. BCS)
Fiesta Bowl Projections: And here we have our non-AQ school busting the BCS! Fresno State has eight more wins that it needs to get in order to be in the BCS, but it is clear that this is going to happen for either Fresno State or Northern Illinois this year if this is how it pans out. These two are in the Top 25 early enough in the season to continue to matriculate their way up the rankings, and we don’t think that the Big XII is going to have a team in the Top 14 this year, which will make it very easy to get a team like Fresno in. Baylor is the best of the worst right now in the wide open Big XII, and though this conference might be very good from top to bottom, it has nothing in terms of being top heavy, and that is going to cost the conference. It’s going to be fun to watch Head Coach Art Briles’ team in whatever bowl game it goes to.

Allstate Sugar Bowl – Thursday, January 2nd, 8:30 ET
LSU Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles (BCS vs. BCS)
Sugar Bowl Projections: We’re flipping in LSU at this point even though the Bayou Bengals were beaten by Georgia “Between the Hedges” a few weeks ago. QB Zach Mettenberger and the gang have proven that they are the real deal, and even though this team isn’t going to win the SEC West, going 10-2 and losing to Georgia and Alabama is good enough to stay in the BCS race as we see it. FSU probably needs to beat two of the three of Clemson, Miami, and Florida to get into the BCS this year, though if it beats Clemson, odds have it, it will be in the ACC Championship Game and will get into the ACC title game regardless of what happens against the Canes. The story of QB Jameis Winston continues to grow.

Discover Orange Bowl – Friday, January 3rd, 8:30 ET
Clemson Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals (BCS vs. BCS)
Orange Bowl Projections: Even though the Tigers are underdogs this week to Florida State, we are still projecting them as the ACC champs, as we think that they have a great chance of winning that game. We have no reason to believe that either Clemson or Louisville are slipping at this point in their own conferences. The Cards will probably run the table and put up a stink for the National Championship Game, but the BCS isn’t going to allow it. The Tigers have a loss coming to South Carolina, but we think they have proven to be the best team in the ACC this year thus far.

AT&T Cotton Bowl – Friday, January 3rd, 7:30 ET
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Texas A&M Aggies (Big 12 #2 vs. SEC #3)
Cotton Bowl Projections: We’re getting closer to a Texas/Texas A&M Cotton Bowl, but instead, we think that there is going to be a rematch of last year’s game. The Aggies could still be thinking about the BCS, but we think that they are going to be losing at LSU later this year to drop out of the game. There are a lot of great teams in the SEC West, but none are more logical to bring to the Lone Star State than A&M. Oklahoma’s loss to Texas was shocking, and it probably took it right out of the BCS picture for the time being. There’s a lot of work to do to win this conference, but someone with two Big XII defeats will probably ultimately take the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl.

BBVA Compass Bowl – Saturday, January 4th, 1:00 ET
Auburn Tigers vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (SEC #9 vs. AAC #5/Sun Belt #4)
BBVA Compass Bowl Projections: Auburn would be carrying the hometown crowd here to the Compass Bowl, and we would have no doubt that this would be a great game. Cincy could be a factor in the AAC this year, but things are going to really have to get going under QB Brendon Kay if that is going to turn out to be the case. This would also be an interesting matchup between Bearcats’ Head Coach Tommy Tuberville and the Auburn team that he helped put on the map for a good chunk of his coaching career.

GoDaddy.com Bowl – Sunday, January 5th, 9:00 ET
Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (MAC #1 vs. Sun Belt #2)
GoDaddy.com Bowl Projections: If the Hilltoppers can beat ULL this week on national television, our perception changes of this club quite a bit. It might all of a sudden become the favorite to win the conference. There are clearly only going to be a few bids up for grabs in the Sun Belt, and WKU is going to want to make sure that it snares one of them. Northern Illinois might be a BCS team once again this year, but it is going to need both Boise State and Fresno State to lose once again in all likelihood to have any chance of that happening.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game – Monday, January 6th, 8:30 ET
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oregon Ducks (BCS #1 vs. BCS #2)
National Championship Game Projections: We’re halfway through the season, and the plan that we had at the start of the year really has no choice but to stay in place. Oregon might have the best team in the nation, but it is never going to hop Alabama to be the #1 team in the land for as long as the Crimson Tide are alive and kicking. This would be the National Championship Game for the ages, as this would be the best Oregon team that we have seen in quite some time with a potential Heisman Trophy winner in QB Marcus Mariota going against a team going for its third straight National Championship and the fourth in the last five seasons. We’re not so sure that it won’t be Oregon against the ACC winner or Ohio State this year though, as we do think that Alabama could trip at some point. We aren’t replacing the Tide until they do, though.

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