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Conference USA Bowl Projections Roundup: C-USA not expected to maximize bowl tie-ins

After as many as seven teams were picked to reach a bowl game last week nearly every projection now expects only six teams to make it.

NCAA Football: Miami Beach Bowl-Western Kentucky vs South Florida Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Conference USA could have had as many as eight teams reach a bowl game this postseason. For a league that lacks a national stage, the opportunity to have eight chances to change their image would have been huge.

Instead Charlotte was upset by Rice and UTEP could not keep FAU from driving 96 yards for the win. Now C-USA isn’t expected to maximize their bowl tie-ins for the second straight year.

Here are the tie-ins for C-USA.

  1. Boca Raton Bowl vs MAC Tuesday, December 20. (Boca Raton, FL)
  2. Hawai’i Bowl vs MWC Saturday, December 24. (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  3. New Mexico Bowl vs MWC Saturday, December 17. (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  4. Bahamas Bowl vs AAC or MAC Friday, December 23. (Nasau, Bahamas)
  5. New Orleans Bowl vs Sun Belt Saturday, December 17. (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  6. Heart of Dallas Bowl vs Big Ten Tuesday, December 27. (Dallas, Texas)
  7. Independence Bowl vs ACC/SEC Monday, December 26. (Shreveport, Louisiana)

Note: These tie-ins are from Conference USA. However, there’s loopholes that may send a C-USA team elsewhere. Whoever wins the conference gets first dibs out of the tie-ins then everyone falls in line after. The Independence Bowl is a back-up slot should the ACC or SEC not have a team eligible to play in the game.

SB Nation: 6 Teams

New Orleans: La Tech

New Mexico: UTSA

Boca Raton: Old Dominion

Hawaii: Southern Miss

Independence: Middle Tennessee

Heart of Dallas: Western Kentucky

Analysis: The mothership didn’t really change much from last week except for the fact that they now have Middle Tennessee in Shreveport. The Bowl matchups in this projection have two C-USA teams taking on a P5 team as MTSU would play Ole Miss and WKU would play Northwestern.

College Football News: 6 Teams

New Orleans: La Tech

New Mexico: Southern Miss

Boca Raton: Western Kentucky

Hawaii: Old Dominion

St. Petersburg: UTSA

Heart of Dallas: Middle Tennessee

Analysis: Hard to determine if either Louisiana Tech won the conference or WKU in this projection as I could see WKU deciding to end their season in Florida two years in a row but a few of these pairings don’t make any sense.

I would assume Heart of Dallas would choose UTSA over MTSU because not only would UTSA finish ranked higher than MTSU in this scenario due to their head-to-head win but they also would attract more fans.

NBC Sports: 7 Teams

New Orleans: Louisiana Tech

New Mexico: UTSA

Boca Raton: Old Dominion

Famous Idaho Potato: North Texas

Bahamas: Western Kentucky

Hawaii: Southern Miss

Heart of Dallas: Middle Tennessee

Analysis: This was the only projection that still thinks C-USA will have seven teams go bowling as they see North Texas winning their final two games to make it. The best matchup would be Louisiana Tech taking on Sun Belt champ Troy. Unfortunately if this projection holds true no C-USA team would play a P5 opponent.

Campus Insiders: 6 Teams

New Orleans: Louisiana Tech

New Mexico: Western Kentucky

Boca Raton: Old Dominion

Hawaii: Middle Tennessee

Independence: UTSA

Heart of Dallas: Southern Miss

Analysis: As I said last week, a C-USA East team is not going to the New Mexico Bowl if a Texas school is bowl eligible. The most enticing matchup would be Louisiana Tech against Louisiana Lafayette. UTSA would be the only team to play a P5 opponent as they are predicted to play Wake Forest.


The matchups in these bowl projections left me wanting more. Consistently the New Orleans Bowl appeared to have the best bowl game matchups.

What did you think about the projections?