Projecting all 35 bowl matchups
There are 35 bowls this season, including several that have changed sponsors
Many bowls, including the Alamo and Gator, have changed conference partners
Texas, which played for the 2010 BCS title, is not projected to play in a bowl
So you're trying to figure out where your team might be spending the holidays (or Jan. 9, as it may be)? Do you find it difficult navigating a lineup of 35 bowl games that often place more importance on number of alumni than number of wins when choosing their teams? No worries -- I'm here to do it for you.
First, a quick refresher and primer on changes to the 2010-11 lineup.
After the No. 1 and 2 teams are slotted and replaced, the BCS at-large selection order this year is 1) Sugar, 2) Orange and 3) Fiesta. Also, this year only, the Rose Bowl is obligated to take the highest-ranked non-AQ team (currently TCU) if it loses one of its champions (currently projected to be Oregon).
This season marks the start of a new four-year cycle of contracts, and many bowls have changed conference partners. Pac-10 fans: You're in the Alamo Bowl now. ACC fans: No more Gator Bowl. Big Ten fans: You can now play on New Year's Day even if you're the eighth-best team. Big 12 fans: Ever been to the Bronx in December?
There are two new games, the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium (Big 12 vs. Big East) and the Dallas Football Classic at the Cotton Bowl (Big Ten vs. Big 12). Meanwhile, several have changed names. The Las Vegas Bowl is now the Maaco Bowl. The former EagleBank Bowl is now the Military Bowl. The former PapaJohns.com Bowl is now the BBVA Compass Bowl (???). And, yes, the GMAC Bowl is now the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Fast forward through the game to get to the commercials.
As always, it's important to remember that most bowls are not obligated to choose their teams in exact order of conference standings. For instance, "ACC No. 3" means "third choice of ACC teams" -- not "the ACC's third-place team."
As of now, I'm projecting 71 eligible teams for 70 spots. Texas is not one of them.
|Jan. 1||Rose: Wisconsin (Big Ten champ) vs. TCU (at-large)|
|Jan. 1||Fiesta: Nebraska (Big 12 champ) vs. Pittsburgh (Big East champ)|
|Jan. 3||Orange: Virginia Tech (ACC champ) vs. Ohio State (at-large)|
|Jan. 4||Sugar: LSU (at-large) vs. Boise State (at-large)|
|Jan. 10||BCS Championship: Oregon (BCS No. 1) vs. Auburn (BCS No. 2)|
|Dec. 18||New Mexico: BYU (MWC) vs. Miami of Ohio (WAC*)|
|Dec. 18||Humanitarian: Fresno State (WAC) vs. Toledo (MAC No. 3)|
|Dec. 18||New Orleans: Troy (Sun Belt No. 1) vs. UTEP (C-USA)|
|Dec. 21||Beef 'O'Brady's: Tulsa (C-USA) vs. Louisville (Big East)|
|Dec. 22||Maaco: Utah (MWC No. 1) vs. Cal (Pac-10 No. 5)|
|Dec. 23||Poinsettia: San Diego State (MWC No. 2) vs. Navy (Navy)|
|Dec. 24||Hawaii: Hawaii (WAC) vs. Southern Miss (C-USA)|
|Dec. 26||Little Caesars: Temple (MAC No. 1) vs. Iowa State (Big Ten No. 8*)|
|Dec. 27||Independence: Air Force (MWC No. 3) vs. Georgia Tech (ACC No. 7)|
|Dec. 28||Champs Sports: Syracuse (Big East No. 2) vs. NC State (ACC No. 3)|
|Dec. 28||Insight: Missouri (Big 12 No. 4) vs. Michigan (Big Ten No. 5)|
|Dec. 29||Military: East Carolina (C-USA) vs. Maryland (ACC No. 8)|
|Dec. 29||Texas: Illinois (Big Ten No. 6) vs. Baylor (Big 12 No. 6)|
|Dec. 29||Alamo: Stanford (Pac-10 No. 2) vs. Oklahoma State (Big 12 No. 3)|
|Dec. 30||Armed Forces: SMU (C-USA) vs. Army (MWC*)|
|Dec. 30||Pinstripe: Rutgers (Big East No. 4) vs. Texas A&M (Big 12 No. 7)|
|Dec. 30||Music City: North Carolina (ACC No. 6) vs. Kentucky (SEC No. 7)|
|Dec. 30||Holiday: Arizona (Pac-10 No. 3) vs. Kansas State (Big 12 No. 5)|
|Dec. 31||Meineke Car Care: West Virginia (Big East No. 3) vs. Clemson (ACC No. 5)|
|Dec. 31||Sun: Miami (ACC No. 4) vs. Oregon State (Pac-10 No. 4)|
|Dec. 31||Liberty: UCF (C-USA No. 1) vs. Georgia (SEC No. 8)|
|Dec. 31||Chick-fil-A Florida State (ACC No. 2) vs. South Carolina (SEC No. 5)|
|Jan. 1||Dallas Classic: Northwestern (Big Ten No. 7) vs. Texas Tech (Big 12 No. 8)|
|Jan. 1||Capital One: Alabama (SEC No. 2) vs. Iowa (Big Ten No. 2)|
|Jan. 1||Outback: Michigan State (Big Ten No. 3) vs. Florida (SEC)|
|Jan. 1||Gator: Penn State (Big Ten No. 4) vs. Mississippi St. (SEC No. 6)|
|Jan. 6||GoDaddy.com: Northern Illinois (MAC No. 2) vs. La.-Monroe (Sun Belt No. 2)|
|Jan. 7||Cotton: Oklahoma (Big 12 No. 2) vs. Arkansas (SEC)|
|Jan. 8||BBVA Compass: USF (Big East) vs. Ohio (SEC No. 9*)|
|Jan. 9||Kraft Fight Hunger: Boston College (Pac-10 No. 6*) vs. Nevada (WAC)|
Teams in bold have accepted bowl invitation
* -- replacement team for conference without enough eligible teams
#DearAndy: Big Ten football, Baylor Bears, and bacon
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