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Roberts Poll: Bowl Projection Edition

With bowl season upon us, we turn to the Roberts Poll for a guess at bowl pairings.

81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Western Michigan v Wisconsin Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In this installment of the Roberts Poll, we dig into the big question for half of the MAC: who is going to which bowl? Bear in mind that these are projections, not official bowl bids. We used the Roberts Poll and this SB Nation article on bowl tie-ins to determine reasonable pairings. We intentionally avoided same-conference games and games that previously occurred in the season.

If you are unfamiliar with the Roberts Poll, you are missing out. This is the formula we use to rank the teams. It basically comes down to a mathematical formula that takes the quality of a win or loss and combines it with margin of victory to assign a team points.

MAC Bowls:

This year, six MAC teams have already secured bowl eligibility, with two more on the cusp of sealing it in the next two weeks. Miami-Ohio Redhawks need to win their last two games, which the Roberts Poll predicts is going to happen. Additionally, the Buffalo Bulls need to win their last two games to earn a possible bowl berth, but the Roberts Poll suggests they should not hold their breath.

Five of the six teams attending bowls have the added benefit of traveling to a much warmer climate. Based on teams that have already secured bowl eligibilty, this is what the bowl picture will look like for the MAC teams:

AutoNation Cure Bowl
Orlando, FL
Dec 16
Akron Zips vs Arkansas State Red Wolves

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Montgomery, AL
Dec 16
Northern Illinois Huskies vs Appalachian St. Mountaineers

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
Nassau, BAH
Dec 22
Ohio University Bobcats vs Marshall Thundering Herd

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Boise, ID
Dec 22
Toledo Rockets vs Fresno State Bulldogs

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, TX
Dec 23
Central Michigan Chippewas vs Colorado Buffaloes

Dollar General Bowl
Mobile, AL
Dec 23
Western Michigan Broncos vs Georgia State Panthers

Of these six bowl games, the Roberts Poll predicts four victories based on the overall strength of the MAC this year. Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, and Western Michigan are expected to beat their respective opponents. Because each game was hand-paired with comparable teams, each bowl game ought to be a thriller.

College Football Playoff:

Adjusting for the Miami (FL) being a game behind because of hurricanes, we adjusted their score and determined that they would be CFP-eligible. Alabama, Wisconsin, and Georgia make up the remaining three teams.

CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game
Pasadena, CA
Jan 1
#2 Wisconsin Badgers vs #3 Georgia Bulldogs

CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, LA
Jan 1
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #4 Miami-Florida Hurricanes

According to Roberts Poll points, Alabama and Wisconsin will meet in the CFP National Championship Game, with the Crimson Tide earning the final win.

CFP National Championship Game
Atlanta, GA
Jan 8
#1 Alabama vs #2 Wisconsin

Other Bowls:

None of the MAC schools are projected to make it into the elite New Year’s Six games this year. It is worth mentioning that both the Army Black Knights and UCF Knights made it the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, respectively.

Some other noteworthy games include the Foster Farms Bowl, which features the Minnesota Golden Gophers taking on the similarly-colored Arizona State Sun Devils. This year’s Texas Bowl is projected to include the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies. Personally I find this funny, because there will be a 100% certainty to hear “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. The UCLA Bruins will face the bitter Detroit cold in the Quick Lane Bowl against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in another fun match-up.

2017-18 Bowl Projections

Date Bowl Home Away
Date Bowl Home Away
Dec 16 Las Vegas Wyoming Utah
Dec 16 R + L Carriers New Orleans Florida Int. Utah State
Dec 16 Gildan New Mexico Air Force UTSA
Dec 19 Boca Raton SMU Southern Miss
Dec 20 Frisco North Texas Colorado State
Dec 21 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla UAB Navy
Dec 23 Birmingham Houston Ole Miss
Dec 24 Hawai'i Boise State South Florida
Dec 26 Cactus Iowa State California
Dec 26 Quick Lane UCLA Mid Tenn State
Dec 26 Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Florida Atlantic Kansas State
Dec 27 Texas Texas A&M Texas
Dec 27 New Era Pinstripe Iowa Boston College
Dec 27 Foster Farms Minnesota Arizona State
Dec 27 Walk-On's Independence Missouri Texas Tech
Dec 28 Military Memphis Virginia
Dec 28 Camping World Oklahoma State Georgia Tech
Dec 28 Valero Alamo Washington West Virginia
Dec 28 SDCCU Holiday Arizona Michigan State
Dec 29 Goodyear Cotton Washington St Notre Dame
Dec 29 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Northwestern NC State
Dec 29 Belk Kentucky Wake Forest
Dec 29 Hyundai Sun Stanford Louisvile
Dec 29 NOVA Home Loans Arizona San Diego State Troy
Dec 30 Capital One Orange Penn State Virginia Tech
Dec 30 PlayStation Fiesta USC Army
Dec 30 AutoZone Liberty TCU South Carolina
Dec 30 TaxSlayer Michigan LSU
Jan 1 Chick-fil-A Peach Oklahoma UCF
Jan 1 Citrus Ohio State Auburn
Jan 1 Outback Clemson Mississippi State
Spencer Roberts

Who do you think will win these bowl match-ups? Comment below to lock in your answer before the schedule changes again next week!