Insider: Bowl Game Scenarios in Sunshine State

Sunday Night  all the bowl  matchups  will be announced. We will have coverage of every in-state bowl game as well as the national championship game here on ESPNFlorida.com  all month long  with previews, podcasts, audio coverage of all bowl games in the state as well as BCS National Championship Game.  Here a look at possible bowl game matchups in the sunshine state with all the different scenarios to be played out this weekend.

Beef O’ Brady Bowl  December 20,2011  St Petersburg, Florida  8pm. Big East # 5 vs C-USA

FIU is pushing very hard to get in this game being just 3.5-4 hours drive away. The Panthers got help on thursday night with West Virginia win over South Florida eliminating the Bulls (5-7) from bowl contention. FIU will be keeping in an eye on this weekend games between Syracuse at Pittsburgh and Cincinnati vs Connecticut.  UConn is 5-6  while winner of Pittsburgh-Syracuse game will be 6-6 and bowl eligible. Panther fans  will be rooting for Cincinnati to eliminate UConn from bowl contention.

Word out of Tampa is that the bowl does want FIU  and would take them if being able to. If Cincinnati beats Connecticut, then look for  FIU to take the spot of Big East and take on Marshall.  If Cincinnati loses to UConn, Pittsburgh  defeats Syracuse and Houston is in the BCS then the bowl game will go for  FIU vs Pittsburgh game as C-USA will then drop Marshall to New Orleans Bowl under this scenario as C-USA would not  fill up all bowl game ties.

Prediction-   FIU   vs Pittsburgh

Champs Sports Bowl  December 29,2011  Orlando, Florida  530pm.# 3 vs Big East # 2 or Notre Dame.

The Champs Sports Bowl can pick Notre Dame instead of a Big East team once in the current four-year period between 2010-2013. Expect Notre Dame to be taken this season as they are by far the best option against  Cincinnati, Louisville, and  West Virginia  alternatives.
 The question is who will Notre Dame play against?  The ideal pick is Florida State  and that will happen if Clemson defeats Virginia Tech in ACC Championship Game. But if Virginia Tech beats Clemson , then Florida State may end up back in Atlanta in Chick-Fil A Bowl on December 31  over a Clemson team that would be on a 3 game losing streak  plus  if Chick-Fil A picks Auburn from SEC, They wont take Clemson in what would be a rematch. If Florida ends up in Atlanta over Auburn then look for Clemson to end up in Atlanta and FSU in Orlando. Otherwise Clemson-Notre Dame  will most likely be the matchup.
 But I don’t think Atlanta wants FSU for 2nd straight year in Atlanta , Orlando wants FSU-Notre Dame , and the Noles  want Orlando according to  people  close to program I spoke to in Gainesville last weekend . So I predict  something will be worked out to make everyone happy with maybe Virginia or Georgia Tech entering the mix for Atlanta.
Prediction-  Notre Dame  vs Florida State

Capital One Bowl    Jan 2, 2012   Orlando, Florida  1pm.  SEC # 2 vs Big 10 # 2

According to my sources within the SEC,  If LSU defeats Georgia this weekend, then look for Arkansas  to go to Cotton bowl which is what Razorbacks and SEC prefer.  That will leave South Carolina and Georgia  for Cap One Bowl to pick from.  Georgia last appearance was in 2009 while South Carolina has not played in Orlando under Steve Spurrier.Georgia would be coming off a lost, along with Spurrier factor  look for Cap One to take South Carolina over Georgia.  If Georgia upsets LSU, Georgia would go to Sugar Bowl, LSU and Alabama play for National Title, then all bets are off as Arkansas  may end up in Orlando under that scenario.

With Michigan State having played in the Cap One Bowl  last season and Wisconsin having been a frequent visitor in Orlando recently with two appearances in Champs Sports Bowl (2008,2009)and Cap One Bowl (,2006,2007)Look for Nebraska to get the nod.

Prediction-  Nebraska  vs South Carolina

Outback Bowl    Tampa, Florida    1pm.  Big 10 # 3  vs  SEC # 3,4, or 5.

The Outback Bowl will pick after Cap One Bowl, LSU  wins over Georgia,  Outback will pick from whoever left between Georgia and South Carolina  against the loser of the Big 10 title game between Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Prediction-  Georgia  vs Michigan State

Gator Bowl   Jacksonville, Florida   1pm.  SEC # 6 vs Big 10 # 4 or # 5

Last weekend covering FSU- Florida game  in Gainesville, all people close to Florida pretty much told me  that Gator Bowl would take them  and set up a match up against Ohio State  in the ” Urban Meyer Bowl”.  There is a chance  Florida may go to Atlanta  for Chick Fil A Bowl  as they have priorty over Gator Bowl in order of picking SEC Teams and may take the Gators depending on who  is the ACC opponent as well as if  Georgia upsets LSU. But I have heard  that Auburn will be the selection in Atlanta leaving the Gators  available for  a return trip to Jacksonville.

Prediction –  Ohio State  vs Florida

Orange Bowl  Miami Gardens, Florida.  January 4, 2012.  ACC Champion vs Big East Champion.

Orange Bowl has last pick so they will be stuck with Big East Champion unlike last year when they took Stanford over Big East Champion (UConn).  So this year it will be the winner of Virginia Tech-Clemson game against  West Virginia  if  Cincinnati defeats Connecticut on saturday. If Connecticut defeats Cincinnati  then Louisville  with a 7-5 overall record and losses to FIU and Marshall this season at home would represent the Big East.

If your the Orange Bowl you are hoping for West Virginia in the worst way. Clemson would be the preference due to the fact that Virginia Tech has  been to Orange Bowl  three of the last four seasons (2008,2009,2011)  and Clemson travels very well and has not played in the Orange Bowl in 30 years (1982) when the Tigers won national championship over Nebraska.  A matchup between Clemson-West Virginia  would it least be new and unique  and sell tickets. Worst case scenario would be Louisville against Virginia Tech.

Prediction- West Virginia  vs Virginia Tech

 

 

 

 

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