Southern Bowl predictions - Week 1

Dawg Post Editor Dean Legge boldy goes where CBS, ESPN, and Fox won't go and predicts where all of the Southern schools are going bowling.

ACC

FSU– when Florida State beats Clemson on Saturday night they will lock up the ACC title outright. If, somehow, they don't beat the Tigers they will have a showdown with NC State to determine the ACC Champion and BCS representative. But none of that will happen and Florida State will play in the Orange Bowl.

Best case scenario – Orange (BCS)

Worst case scenario – Gator Bowl

Probable Bowl – Orange (BCS)

N.C. State, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and Virginia – this is where it gets tricky. The ACC is so bunched up in the middle that knowing where the teams are headed is very difficult to predict. More than any other team Georgia Tech controls its own destiny because of their wins over the Maryland, NC State, and Wake Forest. If the Jackets win out they will play in the Gator Bowl.

At the same time Maryland also controls its own destiny; but they lost to the Jackets and therefore are lower on the bowl totem pole at this time. NC State could also wind up in the Gator but they need to beat Maryland in order to get there. Virginia has the most difficult schedule remaining and therefore has the best chance to leapfrog teams. One thing that could go against Virginia is if Virginia Tech somehow falls to the Gator Bowl. A game between the two will not happen twice within a month's time.

N.C. State

Best case scenario – BCS at large (Orange, but they would need a miracle for this to happen)

Worst case scenario – Tire

Probable Bowl – Tangerine

Maryland

Best case scenario – Gator

Worst case scenario – Tire

Probable Bowl - Peach

Georgia Tech

Best case scenario – Gator

Worst case scenario – Tire

Probable Bowl - Gator

Wake Forest

Best case scenario – Peach

Worst case scenario – Humanitarian

Probable Bowl – Tire

Virginia

Best case scenario – Gator

Worst case scenario – No Bowl

Probable Bowl - None

Clemson – The Tigers are in one of the most interesting positions of any other Southern team. Tommy Bowden will be fired at the end of the season and that's not good for bowl travel. At the same time Clemson will be no worse than 6-6 and possibly 7-5 after the season. The last thing that they want to do is return to Boise to play in the Humanitarian and that probably won't happen. If Virginia makes itself bowl eligible and the Tigers beat South Carolina they will be in position to go to the new Houston Bowl. The matchup in Columbia will likely be a play in game for that bowl because if the Cocks can't beat the Tigers then the SEC won't have enough bowl teams to fill its slots therefore Clemson will go.

Best case scenario – Tire

Worst case scenario – No Bowl

Probable Bowl - Houston

Big East

Virginia Tech – this week's game against Pitt can seal the deal in terms of the winner of the Big East. If the Hokies beat Pitt they will play in the Orange Bowl probably against Florida State. If they don't win then there is no telling what will happen with the Big East race.

Best case scenario – Orange (BCS)

Worst case scenario – Gator

Probable Bowl – Orange (BCS)

Miami – The Hurricanes are usually a lock for a New Year's Day bowl but this season their schedule sets up a little more difficult. They must beat Tennessee this weekend to keep their BCS at-large hopes alive and have to beat Pitt to avoid 3rd place in the Big East at the end of the year. But even with a 3rd place finish I don't think that Miami will fall below the Gator Bowl. If the Canes do get to the BCS they will not be playing Florida State for the 2nd time in a season which probably means that they will be headed out to Tempe again.

Best case scenario – Fiesta (BCS)

Worst case scenario – Gator

Probable Bowl – Fiesta (BCS)

SEC East

Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee – the big three in the SEC East hate one another so much that it seems so ironic that they would be forced to root for one another in order to keep their championship hopes alive. All three teams have losable games (Auburn, Miami, and Florida State) that they must still play. Georgia could struggle with Tech; Tennessee with Kentucky; and Florida with South Carolina but those are all games that the big three should win.

With that in mind the journey to determine the SEC East Champion could come down to a vote, particularly if Georgia beats Auburn. The Dawgs will have the best overall record and will be ranked in the Top 10 of the BCS if they get past Auburn. If that happens Georgia will be voted to go to Atlanta; if not Tennessee will go. I don't see a scenario where Tennessee would be voted to win the East. The point is to give the SEC the best chance to win the national title and right now that's LSU. Florida has already beaten the Tigers and that could be a reason that they would be voted to play them again.

Tennessee deserves a slot in the Peach Bowl but because they went last season they won't return this season. That means that they could slide as far down as the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Florida won't return to the Outback two seasons in a row. Florida fans have shown that they will travel to Atlanta to play in the SEC title game. That means that they would travel there for the Peach as well. The Citrus has not had Georgia in a decade. Dawg fans will not be happy with a Purdue-Georgia matchup. If they play a Big 10 opponent they want it to be Michigan or Ohio State.

The SEC East is a total mess.

Georgia

Best case scenario – BCS (Fiesta or Orange)

Worst case scenario – Outback

Probable Bowl - Citrus

Florida

Best case scenario – BCS (Fiesta or Orange)

Worst case scenario – Outback

Probable Bowl – Peach

Tennessee

Best case scenario – BCS (Fiesta or Orange)

Worst case scenario – Music City

Probable Bowl - Outback

South Carolina – If South Carolina can get to 6 wins they will play in a bowl, probably the Houston Bowl. But the difficulty for the program is to get to the 6 win mark. I really have a difficult time with a team going to a bowl game when they have only won 2 SEC games all season long. I don't think that South Carolina deserves a bowl game but they will get it if they can beat Clemson. The Independence would be interested in the Cocks if they can beat the Tigers and Arkansas.

South Carolina

Best case scenario – Independence

Worst case scenario – No bowl

Probable Bowl - Houston

SEC West

Mississippi – the Rebels can lose to Auburn and still have all of their goals within reach. However, a win over LSU is the only way for them to get to the BCS. Ole Miss is the only team in the SEC West that has not played in the SEC title game.

Best case scenario – BCS (Fiesta or Orange)

Worst case scenario – Houston

Probable Bowl – Music City

LSU – a BCS game is probably in the Tigers' future. If they can keep winning they could be playing in their own state for the national title.

Best case scenario – BCS (Sugar, Fiesta, or Orange)

Worst case scenario – Citrus

Probable Bowl - Fiesta

Auburn – The Tigers can't afford any more slip ups if they want to play on New Year's Day. Losing to Georgia would be ok but a loss to the Rebels would drop the Tigers a long way down in the SEC bowl race. Auburn should handle Bama but they won't be able to catch LSU in order to win the West.

Best case scenario – Cotton

Worst case scenario – Independence

Probable Bowl - Cotton

Arkansas – once a top ten team, the Hogs are now struggling to get to a respectable bowl. If they lose to South Carolina they will wind up in the Houston Bowl. If they win they will do no worse than the Independence. Upsetting LSU could help Arkansas get to the Cotton, but that's not likely.

Best case scenario – Cotton

Worst case scenario – Houston

Probable Bowl - Independence

Not going bowling this season – Duke, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, and Alabama. FSU --- FedEx Orange Bowl

Georgia Tech --- Toyota Gator Bowl

Maryland --- Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

NC State --- Mazda Tangerine Bowl

Wake Forest --- Continental Tire Bowl

Clemson --- Houston Bowl (from SEC)

Virginia Tech --- FedEx Orange Bowl

Miami --- Tostidos Fiesta Bowl

LSU --- Tostidos Fiesta Bowl

Georgia --- Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl

Tennessee --- Outback Bowl

Florida --- Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Auburn --- Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl

Mississippi --- Music City Bowl

Arkansas --- MainStay Independence Bowl


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