Bowl Projections: Week 11

With the Pac 12 up for grabs now, Oregon could be heading to South Beach in January.
© Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Big Ten

Brian Bennett and Adam Rittenberg |

There were some shake-ups in the Big Ten standings in Week 11, but our bowl projections remain the same.

The one that will probably jump out to you is Michigan in the Gator Bowl and Minnesota -- despite its 8-2 record and shiny new USA Today coaches' poll ranking -- slotted behind in the Texas Bowl. But as we've said, perception and fan bases still have more to do with bowl selection than anything. Michigan, even if it finishes only, say, 7-5, would still be a very attractive team for a bowl like the Gator. Remember that bowl took a 6-6 Ohio State team in 2011.

Of course, if the Wolverines don't improve and they lose out to go 6-6, all bets are off. Hardly any of their fans would want to go see them in the postseason, and Michigan could end up at the bottom of the projections -- maybe even in Detroit. And Minnesota can really help its own cause by beating Wisconsin and/or Michigan State in its final two games.

We still don't have the Badgers in a BCS game, but the win over BYU helped their cause. Wisconsin has an excellent chance of finishing 10-2 with an asterisk next to one of those losses. A team riding a seven-game winning streak would make bowls very interested. Ohio State is an Alabama or Florida State loss from getting into the BCS title game. And if Northwestern (versus Michigan) or Indiana (at Wisconsin) happens to win this week, we will project another Big Ten bowl team next Sunday.

The latest projections:

Rose Bowl Presented by VIZIO, Jan. 1: Ohio State
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: Wisconsin
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan State
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Dec. 28: Nebraska Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: Michigan
Texas Bowl, Dec. 27: Minnesota
Heart of Dallas Bowl, Jan. 1: Iowa
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26: Not filled



David Ching |

The most coveted slots in this week's SEC bowl projections are a mess, with several teams still holding out hope of appearing in one of the league's marquee bowl destinations.

The bowl assignment that still seems as sure as ever, though, is Alabama reaching the BCS Championship Game. The Crimson Tide's second-half dismantling of LSU on Saturday made Pasadena look like a predictable destination, although Alabama still has a couple of tricky games left at Auburn and potentially against whichever team advances from the SEC East free-for-all to the league championship game.

The East race could go down to the wire, although this weekend's South Carolina-Florida and Auburn-Georgia matchups could provide some clarity, while bringing our bowl projections into tighter focus as well.

We're also down a team after Saturday's results. Vanderbilt's 34-17 win over Florida on Saturday knocked the Gators out of our projections, dropping the list of expected SEC bowl participants from 11 to 10. At 4-5 and with games remaining against South Carolina, Georgia Southern and Florida State, we no longer envision the Gators reaching bowl eligibility.

VIZIO BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 6: Alabama
Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 2: Auburn
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1: South Carolina
AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan. 3: Texas A&M
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1: Missouri
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Georgia Gator Bowl, Jan. 1: LSU
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30: Ole Miss
AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31: Tennessee
BBVA Compass Bowl, Jan. 4: Vanderbilt


Big 12

Brandon Chatmon |

We’re finally getting answers. Baylor sent a clear message to the rest of the conference -- and the nation -- with its second-half domination of Oklahoma, while Oklahoma State continues to roll, Texas survived and Kansas State is playing as well as anyone.

Here are our Week 11 bowl projections for the Big 12:

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1): Baylor vs. BCS at-large
AT&T Cotton Bowl (Jan. 3): Oklahoma State vs. SEC No. 3/4
Valero Alamo Bowl (Dec. 30): Texas vs. Pac-12 No. 2
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Dec. 28): Oklahoma vs. Big Ten No. 4/5
National University Holiday Bowl (Dec. 30): Kansas State vs. Pac-12 No. 3
Texas Bowl (Dec. 27): Texas Tech vs. Big Ten No. 6
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28): West Virginia vs. American No. 4
Heart of Dallas Bowl (Jan. 1): None available vs. Big Ten No. 7



Ted Miller |

Washington and USC gave the Pac-12 eight bowl-eligible teams with only seven contracted bowls.

We're still projecting the Pac-12 to get two BCS bowl teams, despite Stanford knocking Oregon out of the national title game. We're also projecting nine conference teams to become bowl eligible, which means the conference will have a free agent. To be honest, we have no idea where that free agent -- we're projecting Utah -- might end up.

There, in fact, might not be an available spot. There are 35 bowls with 70 spots to fill. At present, there are 57 bowl-eligible teams with 20 needing just one more win.

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO (Jan. 1, 2014): Stanford vs. Big Ten
Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: Oregon vs. ACC
Valero Alamo Bowl (Dec. 30): UCLA vs. Big 12
National University Holiday Bowl (Dec. 30): Arizona State vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun Bowl (Dec. 31): Oregon State vs. ACC
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 21): Washington vs. MWC
Fight Hunger Bowl (Dec. 27): USC vs. BYU
Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 21): Arizona vs. MWC
New Era Pinstripe Bowl (Dec. 28): Utah vs. American



Andrea Adelson |

Beyond the top games, the rest is a muddled mess. North Carolina and Maryland are not listed here, but they easily could be bowl-eligible. Maryland should be able to pick up one more win (at Virginia Tech, Boston College, NC State), but given the performance against Syracuse on Saturday, it also is conceivable the Terps lose out. North Carolina could get to six, too (at Pitt, Old Dominion, Duke), but we only included teams with five or more wins at this point. We'll revisit next week.

VIZIO BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 6: Florida State
Discover Orange Bowl, Jan. 3: Clemson
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31: Virginia Tech
Russell Athletic Bowl, Dec. 28: Miami
Hyundai Sun Bowl, Dec. 31: Pitt
Belk Bowl, Dec. 28: Duke
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Dec. 30: Georgia Tech
AdvoCare V100 Bowl, Dec. 31: Boston College
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman, Dec. 27: Syracuse


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