Hurricanes bowl plans take turn
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
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.
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.
The Quick Lane Bowl is on Dec. 26 (8 p.m.) at Ford Field in Detroit.