Omar-Rashon Borja’s Week 3 Bowl Projections

Find out if your team made Omar-Rashon Borja’s bowl projections after Week Two. A lot of movement happened after a wild week.

Did your team make Omar-Rashon Borja’s Bowl Projections?
Source: BGSU Centennial Sports Blog

Bahamas Bowl (December 16, 11 AM ET, ESPN, Conference USA vs. MAC):

Western Kentucky vs. Ohio

New Orleans Bowl (December 16, 2:15 PM ET, ESPN, Conference USA vs. Sun Belt):

Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina

Cure Bowl (Orlando, FL) (December 16, 3:30 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):

Eastern Michigan vs. South Alabama

New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM) (December 16, 5:45 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. Group of Five):

New Mexico State vs. Air Force

The Conference USA bowl race will be strange. At the start of the 2020-2025 bowl cycle, the then 14-team conference received seven bowl slots. Now the conference has nine members at the start of the 2023 season. To make matters even more ridiculous, two schools, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State are ineligible for bowl games since it is their first year at the FBS level. Hypothetically, all-seven bowl eligible Conference USA teams could make a bowl.

The Bahamas Bowl could pick a team that has never been to the bowl and Liberty is the first that comes to mind. This could create one of the more high-powered bowl matchups of the postseason against MAC frontrunner, Ohio.

LA Bowl (December 16, 7:30 PM ET, ABC, Mountain West #1 vs. PAC-12 #6):

Wyoming vs. Utah

At this point, I really have no idea who is going to win the Mountain West and take the bid to the LA Bowl. Air Force’s offense looked sluggish in its first game against an FBS opponent in Sam Houston. Boise State whiffed on their two games against the Power Five. Wyoming with its win against Texas Tech looks like the best team in the conference. Of course, it is still early.

Independence Bowl (Shreveport, LA) (December 16, 9:15 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #7 vs. Big 12 #7):

Cincinnati vs. Washington State

Myrtle Beach Bowl (December 18, 2:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):

Georgia State vs. East Carolina

Frisco Bowl (Frisco, TX) (December 19, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):

Rice vs. Texas State

Trade one Lone Star State team for another here as Rice takes UTEP’s place in the Frisco Bowl with their win over Houston. I’m not sure many people predicted that Rice and not UTSA would be the AAC team to defeat Houston, but here we are. Suddenly, games against USF, Tulsa, UConn, and Charlotte look winnable. Add in their home game against Texas Southern and this looks like at least a six-win team.

Boca Raton Bowl (December 21, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN Group of Five vs. Group of Five):

Marshall vs. FAU

Buffalo’s loss to Fordham drops them from my bowl projections. Last season, Buffalo lost to Holy Cross and still made the Camellia Bowl, but Holy Cross went 11-0 in the regular season. Fordham is not a bad team by any means, but one that lost by 21 to an Albany team that finished in the middle of the pack in the CAA in 2022. There is little room for error for a Buffalo team that plays both Ohio and Toledo in conference and hosts Liberty out of conference too.

Taking their place is FAU, making their third appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl. The Owls have winnable games against Tulsa, Charlotte, USF, UAB, and ECU.

Gasparilla Bowl (December 22, 6:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):

TCU vs. Louisville

Birmingham Bowl (December 23,12:00 PM ET, ABC, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/AAC/ACC/SEC):

Troy vs. South Carolina

I firmly believe with how weak the American is this year, they will vacate this bowl and allow nearby Troy to become the first Sun Belt team to play a Power Five school in a bowl game.

Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, AL) (December 23, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN, Sun Belt vs. MAC):

Northern Illinois vs. Appalachian State

Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, TX) (December 23, 3:30 PM ET, ABC, Army/Mountain West/AAC vs. Big 12 #7):

SMU vs. Oklahoma State

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise, ID) (December 23, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. MAC):

Utah State vs. Miami (OH)

Despite only being four hours away from Boise, the Aggies have not appeared in the Potato Bowl since 2015. Sending the Aggies to Boise will help a bowl that consistently struggles with attendance. Last season, the Potato Bowl matchup of San Jose State-Eastern Michigan only drew 10,122 fans.

68 Ventures Bowl (Mobile, AL) (December 23, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five):

Georgia Southern vs. Ball State

Las Vegas Bowl (December 23, 7:30 PM ET, ESPN, PAC-12 #3 vs. Big Ten #4):

Illinois vs. Colorado

Hawaii Bowl (December 23, 10:30 PM ET, ESPN, Mountain West vs. AAC):

Boise State vs. UTSA

Believe it or not, the Mountain West bowl picture starts in Hawaii. Obviously, traveling to the islands is a major undertaking for any athletic department, so the Mountain West looks to benefit the teams with their selection. Teams who have appeared recently and those that play road games at Hawaii during the season are virtually eliminated. As a result, do not expect San Jose State, Nevada, Colorado State, Air Force, or San Diego State to play in this game.

Boise State-UTSA is an intriguing matchup between one Group of Five blueblood and a rising Group of Five powerhouse. ESPN loves pairing UTSA in these type of games as the Roadrunners played 2021 Mountain West champion San Diego State in the 2021 Frisco Bowl and 2022 Sun Belt champion Troy in last year’s Cure Bowl.

Quick Lane Bowl (December 26, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, MAC vs. Big Ten #8):

Central Michigan vs. UNLV

Death, taxes, and the Big Ten not being able to send a team to the Quick Lane Bowl. A Big Ten school has not appeared in the Quick Lane Bowl since 2018.

UConn’s loss to Georgia State drastically decreased my confidence in them reaching Bowl eligibility. The Huskies likely need to pull an upset against Tennessee, Duke, James Madison, and Boston College. The Boston College game looks like more of a swing game now than the surefire win many thought it would be.

For now, UNLV takes their place as a 6-6 at-large out of the Mountain West. This will be there first Bowl since 2013 and second bowl of the millennium.

First Responder Bowl (December 26, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, Group of Five vs. Group of Five/Big 12):

Kansas vs. Missouri

Guaranteed Rate Bowl (December 26, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, Big Ten vs. Big 12 #6):

Michigan State vs. BYU

Military Bowl (Annapolis, MD) (December 27, 2:00 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):

Navy vs. Wake Forest

Shockingly, Navy has not appeared in their home stadium’s bowl since 2017, instead going to the Liberty Bowl in their last bowl season in 2019. The two schools have 12 meetings in a series that dates back to 1929.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl (Charlotte, NC)(December 27, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. SEC):

Duke vs. Mississippi State

Duke is the North Carolina team of the year for the Mayo Bowl, having not appeared in the bowl since 2012, back when it was the Belk Bowl.

Holiday Bowl (San Diego, CA) (December 27, 8:00 PM ET, FOX, PAC-12 #4 vs. ACC):

Notre Dame vs. Washington

The Holiday Bowl wanted Notre Dame badly last year. This year they will get their wish. Washington could be just on the outside of the New Year’s Six and Notre Dame will likely be ranked during bowl season, making this arguably the best bowl outside of the New Year’s Six.

Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) (December, 27, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big 12 #4):

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

Fenway Bowl (Boston, MA) (December 28, 11:00 AM ET, ESPN, ACC vs. AAC):

Syracuse vs. Memphis

A strong season sends Memphis to the Fenway Bowl to play its proposed 1990 Metro Conference mate, Syracuse. Surprisingly, the two have never met.

Pinstripe Bowl (Bronx, NY) (December 28, 2:15 PM ET, ACC vs. Big Ten):

Pitt vs. Iowa

Pop Tarts Bowl (Orlando, FL) (December 28, 5:45 PM ET, ACC vs. Big 12 #3):

Miami vs. UCF

The Pop Tarts Bowl choosing the obvious popular geographic pick could send solid teams like Kansas State and brand-names such as Oklahoma down the Big 12 bowl selection order. However, a UCF-Miami matchup is too easy to pass up. The Knights’ fight for bragging rights in Florida draws fans in as the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl featuring Florida and UCF drew a sellout crowd.

Alamo Bowl: (San Antonio, TX) (December 28, 9:15 PM ET, PAC-12 #2 vs. Big 12 #2):

UCLA vs. Texas Tech

Gator Bowl: (Jacksonville, FL) (December 29, 12:00 PM ET, SEC vs. ACC)

Ole Miss vs. NC State

Sun Bowl: (El Paso, TX) (December 29, 2:00 PM ET, ACC vs. PAC-12 #5):

Clemson vs. Oregon State

After appearing in the Duke’s Mayo Classic in 2021 and having appeared in Charlotte so many times over the years, I have Duke going to the Duke’s Mayo Bowl and national power Clemson receiving the Sun Bowl invite due to their recent success and national following.

Liberty Bowl (Memphis, TN) (December 29, 3:30 PM ET, SEC vs. Big 12 #5):

Kansas State vs. Kentucky

Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) (December 30, 2:00 PM ET, SEC vs. Big Ten):

Arkansas vs. Wisconsin

Arizona Bowl (Tucson, AZ) (December 30, 4:30 PM ET, Barstool, MAC vs. Mountain West):

Bowling Green vs. San Diego State

Reliaquest Bowl (Tampa, FL) (January 1, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN, SEC vs. Big Ten #3):

Maryland vs. Florida

Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ABC, SEC vs. Big Ten #2):

Tennessee vs. Ohio State

New Year’s Six:

Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX) (December 29, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN)

Alabama vs. Washington

Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) (December 30, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN)

Tulane vs. LSU

I have 11-1 Tulane taking the New Year’s Six bid from the Group of Five. UTSA looks less and less like an AAC contender each week. The Roadrunners lost to a Houston team that lost to Rice and escaped the Texas State game with a seven-point win. This would be the first Tiger Rag game since 2007.

Orange Bowl (Miami, FL) (December 30, 4:00 PM ET)

North Carolina vs. Alabama

Clemson’s loss to Duke is an indicator that they may not even make the ACC title game. North Carolina has an easier schedule than Duke, as they dodge Florida State and Notre Dame. As a result, I have them in the ACC title game as the Duke-UNC winner and in the Orange Bowl.

I expect the Tennessee-Alabama game winner to end up here. If Tennessee wins, they likely end the season at 11-1 with a loss to Georgia. If Alabama wins, both teams likely finish with two losses, with Alabama likely losing to Georgia in the national title game.

Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, AZ) (January 1, 1:00 PM ET, ESPN)

USC vs. Penn State

College Football Playoff Semifinals

Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) (January 1, 5:00 PM ET, ESPN)

#2 Michigan vs. #3 Texas

Texas takes USC’s spot in the playoff purely due to the lack of depth in the Big 12. USC has to get through Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Notre Dame. Texas’ toughest tests are Kansas State, Oklahoma, and maybe Texas Tech.

Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) (January 1, 8:45 PM ET, ESPN)

#1 Georgia vs. #4 Florida State

Florida State’s dominant win over LSU gives me every impression that they can run the table in the ACC. If they lose to Clemson, replace the Noles with the Tigers in this spot.