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Projecting all 35 bowl matchups


Official bowl bids are slowly trickling in, and as of writing this Wednesday night, I'd correctly tabbed the first eight. Having said that, I've made several revisions elsewhere since Sunday based on the latest chatter across the business.

• Reports out of Atlanta on Saturday indicate the Outback Bowl, ever the contrarian, is leaning toward 7-5 Florida over 9-4 South Carolina, which shook up my projections for that and several other SEC bowls.

• The ACC's entire lineup is becoming almost impossible to predict. It starts with the uncertainty regarding the Champs Sports Bowl, which holds the third pick and is deciding between NC State and Maryland. If it goes with the Wolfpack (as I expect), the Terps, plagued by poor home attendance this season, may fall all the way to the ACC's eighth pick, the Military Bowl in nearby Washington D.C.

• Meanwhile, Miami (7-5) was initially expected to plummet following the ouster of Randy Shannon, but word is the Sun Bowl, which picks right after the Champs, is still focused on the Hurricanes, especially since the CBS-televised game may be looking at an at-large team from the MAC as the other participant.

• As I wrote Sunday night, various parties are trying to broker a deal to send either 11-1 Nevada or 10-1 Boise State to face 10-2 Utah in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl gets first pick of the two and favors the Broncos, but Nevada fans have been heavily lobbying the San Francisco game to take the Wolfpack -- and Boise fans have been lobbying it to let them go.

• As always, it's important to remember that most bowls are not obligated to choose their teams in exact order of conference standings. For instance, "ACC No. 3" means "third choice of ACC teams" -- not "the ACC's third-place team."

• The necessary 70 teams are already eligible, and as many as four more could get there this weekend. However, I'm projecting the final number to be 71, with 6-6 Western Michigan the lone team left out.