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Conference USA Bowl Projections Roundup: So many teams are going bowling this year

Who’s going where this postseason?

R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl - Southern Miss v Louisiana Lafayette Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Bowl season is around the corner so it’s time to finally start taking bowl projections seriously! Well, kinda. Welcome to the first edition of Conference USA Bowl Projections Roundup, where we collect a list of bowl projections from various college football publications around the web to see who will be bowling where.

With a month left in the season it’s time to see who is pegged to go where, and go through the yearly tradition of making fun of publications that place a Conference USA East team in the New Mexico Bowl.

Let’s take a look at Conference USA’s bowl tie-ins before we start assessing the bowl projections.

  1. New Orleans Bowl vs Sun Belt Saturday, December 16 (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  2. New Mexico Bowl vs MWC Saturday, December 16 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  3. Boca Raton Bowl vs MAC Tuesday, December 19 (Boca Raton, Florida)
  4. St. Petersburg Bowl vs American Thursday, December 21 (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  5. Bahamas Bowl vs MAC Friday, December 22 (Nassau, Bahamas)
  6. Armed Forces Bowl vs Army Saturday, December 23 (Fort Worth, Texas)
  7. Independence Bowl vs ACC/SEC Monday, December 27 (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 USA Championship gets first dibs out of the tie-ins then everyone falls in line after. C-USA is on pace to have more than seven bowl eligible teams. Tanner has a great article on how those teams might end up in Power Five bowls this year.

SB Nation: 10 Teams

New Orleans: Louisiana Tech

Cure: Southern Miss

New Mexico: UTSA

Boca Raton: FAU

St. Petersburg: FIU

Bahamas: UAB

Armed Forces: North Texas

Hawaii: WKU

Independence: Middle Tennessee

Belk: Marshall

Analysis: Wow. Out of Conference USA’s 14 teams as many as 10 could reach the postseason this year and that’s what the mothership is projecting. It seems like in this scenario they see FAU winning the conference and choosing to stay home and play USF. Marshall gets snatched up by the Belk Bowl due to the SEC not having enough bowl eligible teams. I don’t have a problem with this projection. The New Orleans Bowl probably wants UAB and their Cinderella story, but it’d be hard to pass up La Tech should the Bulldogs become bowl eligible.

CBS Sports: 10 Teams

New Orleans: Louisiana Tech

Cure: Marshall

New Mexico: North Texas

Boca Raton: FIU

St. Petersburg: FAU

Bahamas: WKU

Armed Forces: UTSA

Heart of Dallas: Southern Miss

Quick Lane: Middle Tennessee

Independence: UAB

Analysis: Almost identical to SB Nation’s but just flips some teams around. The matchups in this one are more fun though. FAU plays USF again, but this time it’s in St. Petersburg. I don’t think FAU wants to stay home so I see this as the more realistic outcome with FIU playing in enemy territory for their bowl game. UNT and UTSA flipping bowl trips from last season is pretty funny. Does UNT want to stay home and play Army again? The better opponent from a perception standpoint is in Albuquerque, as San Diego State is projected to be there. Marshall playing App State in the Cure Bowl would be awesome and I would totally be there for it. La Tech playing the Ragin’ Cajuns in New Orleans would also be interesting.

College Football News: 10 Teams

New Orleans: Louisiana Tech

New Mexico: UTSA

Boca Raton: FAU

St. Petersburg: FIU

Bahamas: WKU

Birmingham: UAB

Armed Forces: North Texas

Quick Lane: Southern Miss

Independence: Marshall

Music City: Middle Tennessee

Analysis: At this point a running theme is taking place. Marshall and Middle Tennessee are matched up against P5 teams. C-USA unfortunately has zero bowl tie-ins with P5 opponents. With the P5 not slated to fill their tie-ins I’d like to see whoever wins C-USA obtain that at-large spot, but I’m not sure how feasible that might be. This is the first projection that has UAB staying close to home and this might be the more realistic destination as the Blazers would be a huge draw. Especially if old C-USA rival Memphis turns out to be the opponent like this projection offers.

Sports Illustrated: 9 Teams

New Orleans: Southern Miss

New Mexico: North Texas

Boca Raton: UAB

Frisco: Middle Tennessee

St. Petersburg: Marshall

Bahamas: FAU

Armed Forces: WKU

Heart of Dallas: UTSA

Independence: FIU

Analysis: Ah yes, leave it up to none other than SI to give us our first head-scratching projection. I guess FAU won C-USA and decided they didn’t want to play in front of their fans? FAU isn’t going to Bahamas. While seeing my UAB friends in Boca again would be awesome, I don’t see the Boca Raton Bowl as a likely landing spot.


Out of the above projections, my favorite is CBS Sports. The matchups are ideal and the destinations for each C-USA team are plausible. What’s your favorite projection? What would your projection be? For the remainder of the season we’ll keep track of bowl projections for C-USA every Sunday.