Week 12 Bowl Projections

Now that we're getting down to the end of the regular season, I decided to roll out my first bowl projections of the season. I've used my ratings to project every remaining regular season game, assuming that the favorite wins every remaining game. That's obviously not going to happen, but in lieu of simulating the rest of the season many times it seems like the best solution to me.

I have Washington as a 50.5% favorite against Washington State so I've projected the Huskies as Pac-12 champions and in the Rose Bowl. This puts Washington State at 10-2 and in the Fiesta Bowl. However, if Washington State were to win the Pac-12 at 12-1, it would give the last NY6 spot to a team like Penn State, Florida or Texas. Whichever team it is, it would cause a chain reaction through the rest of the bowls where every team from that conference moves up a spot.

10 years ago, most conferences had a pretty defined ranking of their bowl tie-ins, which made bowl projections much cleaner. However, now a lot more conferences (the SEC and ACC are two good examples of this) have a tier system for their bowls instead of hard rankings. This allows me to have a bit more flexibility in creating some interesting matchups. Some of the fun ones include the Todd Graham Bowl (Pitt vs. ASU), the latest chapter in the storied Army vs. North Texas rivalry, and Tennessee vs. Memphis to determine the best team in the state.

After slotting in teams by their conference tie-ins, I had 4 open spots (Independence, First Responder, Armed Forces and Frisco Bowls) and 8 extra bowl-eligible teams (Arizona, Wake Forest, Army, BYU, Nevada, Toledo, Coastal Carolina and Louisiana). I ended up leaving Arizona, Wake Forest, Coastal Carolina and Louisiana out.

New Year's Six:
Cotton (Playoff Semifinal): #1 Alabama vs. #4 Michigan
Orange (Playoff Semifinal): #2 Clemson vs. #3 Notre Dame
Peach: West Virginia vs. LSU
Fiesta: UCF vs. Washington State
Rose: Ohio State vs. Washington
Sugar: Georgia vs. Oklahoma

Non-New Year's Six:
Citrus: Penn State vs. Florida
Outback: Michigan State vs. Kentucky
Sun: Arizona State vs. Pittsburgh
TaxSlayer: Wisconsin vs. South Carolina
Holiday: Northwestern vs. Stanford
Liberty: Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State
Redbox: Purdue vs. Oregon
Military: Miami (FL) vs. Cincinnati
Arizona: San Diego State vs. Arkansas State
Belk: Auburn vs. Syracuse
Alamo: Texas vs. Utah
Camping World: Iowa State vs. Boston College
Music City: Missouri vs. Duke
Texas: Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M
Pinstripe: Iowa vs. NC State
Independence: Virginia vs. Toledo*
Cheez-It: Baylor vs. USC
Quick Lane: Georgia Tech vs. Eastern Michigan*
First Responder: North Texas vs. Army
Hawaii: Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech
Dollar General: Northern Illinois vs. Georgia Southern
Armed Forces: Houston vs. Nevada*
Birmingham: Tennessee vs. Memphis
Famous Idaho Potato: Boise State vs. Buffalo
Bahamas: Western Michigan vs. Middle Tennessee
Gasparilla: South Florida vs. FIU
Frisco: SMU vs. BYU*
Boca Raton: Temple vs. UAB
New Orleans: FAU vs. Appalachian State
Camellia: Ohio vs. Troy
Las Vegas: Cal vs. Utah State
Cure: Tulane vs. ULM
New Mexico: Fresno State vs. Marshall

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