Early thoughts on the Sun Belt bowl situation.
It is still far too early to start trying to figure out how the overall FBS bowl picture will look with any confidence.
The computer models give the Sun Belt a shot at five bowl eligible, maybe six.
Troy is projected to finish the league 8-0 with Appalachian State at 7-1. The Red Wolves are projected to 6-2. Georgia Southern tabbed to go 5-3, South Alabama looks to be eligible at 4-4 in the Sun Belt. Idaho isn’t a big favorite against anyone other than Texas State but not a big underdog either. If they can manage two more wins they would be eligible.
Making the assumption that the current computer models will be the outcome, let’s try to guess the bowl selections.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has the first selection. If Troy performs to the computer models, they will be 11-1 and an obvious selection for New Orleans.
Dollar General Bowl. The folks in Mobile have made it clear they like the best possible match-up, so unless ESPN steps in to convince NOLA to release Troy to create a Troy-Western Michigan match-up in Mobile, they will likely go with Appalachian State since the Mountaineers are projected to have 9 wins.
Third selection belongs to the Raycom Camellia Bowl. While South Alabama is projected to finish 5th they will be a strong consideration. They did a good job bringing a crowd to the game in 2014 and project to have an 8-4 record with two impressive wins despite four league losses. If AState is on the table at 6-6, I suspect USA will have the advantage.
The fourth selection goes to the Cure Bowl in Orlando. Think this one is easy, Georgia Southern is the nearest to Orlando and Georgia Southern fans were miffed last year that Georgia State ended up in the “better” Cure Bowl while they were given the “bad” assignment of Mobile.
Final selection is the Nova Home Loans Bowl in Tucson. Based on the projected finishes, unless Montgomery selects AState, this is where the Red Wolves most likely end up unless AState out-performs the computer projections.