Hur­ri­canes bowl plans take turn

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS THURSDAY - By David Furones

What ap­peared to be a promis­ing fin­ish for the Mi­ami Hur­ri­canes head­ing into the fi­nal two games turned se­verely down­hill with losses to FIU and Duke.

Talk of a pos­si­ble Or­ange Bowl invitation, in the event Clem­son made the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off and no other ACC team ended up in the fi­nal CFP rank­ings, was thrown out the win­dow.

Mi­ami (6-6) was al­ready bowl el­i­gi­ble be­fore the two dis­ap­point­ing losses to end the sea­son, but the Hur­ri­canes sig­nif­i­cantly dam­aged the cal­iber of bowl game they will play in.

Af­ter the Or­ange Bowl, games with ACC tie-ins are the Cit­rus Bowl (Or­lando), Sun Bowl (El Paso), Belk Bowl (Char­lotte), Mu­sic City Bowl (Nashville), Camp­ing World Bowl (Or­lando), Pin­stripe Bowl (New York), Mil­i­tary Bowl (An­napo­lis), Quick Lane Bowl (Detroit), In­de­pen­dence Bowl (Shreve­port, Louisiana) and the Gas­par­illa Bowl (Tampa), where either an ACC or Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (AAC) team faces a Con­fer­ence USA op­po­nent.

Here’s a look at where an­a­lysts are pro­ject­ing the Hur­ri­canes to be headed, with a break­down of each sce­nario:

In­de­pen­dence Bowl vs. Louisiana Tech

In­de­pen­dence

Bowl vs. FAU

The In­de­pen­dence Bowl is on Dec. 26 (4 p.m.) at In­de­pen­dence Sta­dium in Shreve­port, Louisiana.

Louisiana Tech is just about an hour away from Shreve­port. There would be an­other story line against La. Tech in that UM coach Manny Diaz was de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor there in 2014. That year, cur­rent Mi­ami de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Blake Baker was Diaz’s safeties coach. Baker then spent the next four sea­sons as the Bull­dogs’ de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor be­fore re­unit­ing with Diaz in Co­ral Gables this sea­son.

If a Mi­ami-FAU pair­ing hap­pened, it would pit two South Florida schools — that are sep­a­rated by just 51 miles — against one an­other. Mi­ami can’t af­ford to lose to FIU and FAU in the same sea­son, so the Hur­ri­canes bet­ter bring it if they end up in this sit­u­a­tion.

Also pro­ject­ing a Mi­ami-FAU In­de­pen­dence Bowl matchup are Sta­dium’s Brett McMur­phy and 247 Sports.

In an ear­lier pre­dic­tion, Bon­agura had UM play­ing UCF in Shreve­port. A Mi­ami-UCF matchup could have the ob­vi­ous in­trigue of an in-state bat­tle against the Knights, who are al­ways ea­ger to prove them­selves against Power

5-con­fer­ence op­po­nents. Reach­ing New Year’s Six bowl games af­ter go­ing 25-1 over the past two sea­sons, UCF was 9-3 this year with the losses to Pitts­burgh, Cincin­nati and Tulsa.

Birm­ing­ham

Bowl vs. Tu­lane

The Birm­ing­ham Bowl is on Jan. 2 (at 3 p.m.) at Le­gion Field in Birm­ing­ham, Alabama.

Palm has Mi­ami re­plac­ing an SEC team that would nor­mally play in this game as Mis­souri is fac­ing a post­sea­son sus­pen­sion. The SEC is ex­pected to get three teams into New Year’s Six bowl games.

He has LSU in the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off, Georgia in the Sugar Bowl and Florida in the Or­ange Bowl. All of this means the SEC doesn’t have enough bowl-el­i­gi­ble teams for its al­lot­ted bids and needs re­place­ments to fill those slots.

Quick Lane Bowl vs.

Michi­gan State

The Quick Lane Bowl is on Dec. 26 (8 p.m.) at Ford Field in Detroit.

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