Saturday, November 5, 2011

bowl possibilities for UVA

It's so much fun to say that.  Makes me all tingly.

While we're still riding high, let's have us a look at what might be UVA's postseason destination this year.  The last time we went bowling, it was to the Gator Bowl; this is no longer an option.  In between then and now, the ACC changed up its affiliations.  It should cheer your heart somewhat that Boise is also no longer an option.  Here they are, in order from top to bottom:

Orange Bowl (Miami)
former Peach Bowl (Atlanta)
CS Bowl (Orlando)
Sun Bowl (El Paso)
former Tire Bowl (Charlotte)
Music City Bowl (Nashville)
Independence Bowl (Shreveport)
Military Bowl (Washington, DC)
Hunger Bowl (San Francisco)

(As you might guess, I don't do corporate bowl names.  I might abbreviate if I have to so you know what I'm talking about.  Citrus Bowl forever.)

Let's just assume the Peach and CS Bowls are out - that ship has already sailed.  You can't get there by losing to Southern Miss.  The Hunger Bowl is out too.  We're not going to San Francisco.  There's no way a bowl in DC, which picks 8th, is gonna pass on a local team with a fanbase excited to go to the postseason.  Even if we lose the next three games we have a spot in DC.

The Orange Bowl is technically a possibility, but you know very well what must be done to get there and the probability of that happening is so puny it's not worth our time.  The Sun Bowl is slightly more of a possibility; it's the guaranteed worst-case scenario for teams that lose the ACCCG, and an 8-4 UVA team could possibly sneak in there, depending on some circumstances.  It's not likely, though.  (UVA controls its destiny, so 9-3 means ACCCG.  But let's chill out on that for now.)

Really, it's the bowls 5 through 8 we should focus on.  Here's a breakdown:

-- The former Tire Bowl

Matchup: Big East #3
Potential opponents: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville, West Virginia, Rutgers

Editorial: I wouldn't expect Cincy; they seem likely enough to get through the Big East schedule and get to the BCS.  But they might not; the Big East is ridiculous to predict.  The rest is just an absurd mixing bowl of mediocrity and anyone might end up anywhere.  Pitt and WVU would be intriguing, of course, as rematches of previous bowls in the same stadium.

-- Music City Bowl

Matchup: SEC #7/#8
Potential opponents: Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State

Editorial: As with Cincy, I wouldn't bet on Florida.  I mean, you never know, but honestly I can't imagine 6 or 7 bowls passing on them.  Vanderbilt would be interesting; you know people would love the academic angle to it.  And since James Franklin left Maryland and took the head coaching job there, they've been a recruiting rival.

-- Independence Bowl

Matchup: MWC #3
Potential opponents: Wyoming, San Diego State, Air Force

Editorial: Bet you'd love to see Wyoming again.  Truthfully, in the MWC there's Boise, TCU, and not much else.  Still, some of these teams could end up providing a challenge, depending on how things shake out in that conference.

-- Military Bowl

Matchup: Navy or whoever
Potential opponents: Navy or whoever

Editorial: Navy has the tie-in, but they'd have to win out to get eligible; they have SMU next week, and if they get past the Mustangs, they might just get in there even though they started the season 2-6.  The Army game is obviously a major hurdle too.  This bowl has no tie-ins this year except for the ACC and Navy.  If Navy doesn't make it, my guess is the bowl would invite a CUSA team if they could get one (it would have to be the 7th team; Marshall?) and a MAC team otherwise (Temple?)  Come to think of it, they might take Temple even if they could get a CUSA team.

This is a fun thing to do, I'm gonna do it every week now that doing it doesn't apply a jinx the size of Ralph Friedgen.


Chief Wahoo said...

With 9 possible bowl eligible teams in the ACC and the hunger bowl being a secondary tie in, whats the chance we get left out?

Brendan said...

A couple hundredths of a percentage point.

One, the Hunger Bowl's primary ties are Army and the Pac-12, and Army ain't gonna make it.

Two, the bowl in DC will not pass on the team whose fans all live in its backyard.

Three, even in the extremely, extremely unlikely event that the Military Bowl passes on UVA and the Hunger Bowl doesn't take an ACC team, there are always bowls that can't fill their game from their contracts and have to pick a team from at-large somewhere. They'd certainly pick us over some 7-5 MAC or Sun Belt team.

Don't even worry about it. Those are three events that are extremely unlikely even by themselves, and all three of them would have to happen for UVA to be left out. It is in the nature of a UVA fan to worry about this, I know, but our Eeyore days are over.