In the dead of the off-season interesting articles pop up at college football sites. There a list of previewing the top non-conference games, counting down the top whatever list, and then there are the way too early post spring bowl projections.
That is exactly what College Football News did and below is their projections.
Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
Dec. 22 / 8 p.m. ET Las Vegas, Nev. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West No. 1 vs. Pac-10 No. 4
Way Too Early Projection: TCU vs. Arizona State
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Utah, 2) BYU, 3) Oregon, 4) California, 5) Oregon
San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 23 / 8 p.m. ET San Diego, Calif. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Pac 10
Way Too Early Projection: BYU vs. UCLA
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Utah, 2) TCU, 3) Arizona, 4) Arizona State, 5) Oregon State
New Mexico Bowl
TBA Albuquerque, N.M. ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. WAC
Way Too Early Projection: Colorado State vs. Nevada
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Air Force, 2) Fresno State, 3) Louisiana Tech, 4) BYU, 5)
New Mexico Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 Fort Worth, Texas ESPN
Tie-Ins: Mountain West vs. Conference USA
Way Too Early Projection: Utah vs. East Carolina
Top 5 Others Considered: 1) Houston, 2) TCU, 3) Tulsa, 4) BYU, 5) Colorado State
The big major gaffe is that they left of the Humanitarian Bowl that for 2009 will feature the WAC against the MWC. Typically this bowl game features the conference champ, typically Boise State.
The 2009 season could have Boise State in a BCS game again which would put the runner up either Fresno State or Nevada against if I am correct the 5th choice of the MWC. The Mountain West representative would most likely be Air Force, but to go ahead and add another possibility it has to be UNLV.
According to the bowl projections Scout.com believes the finish will be TCU, BYU, and then Utah. Nothing to argue about with this projection, the only exception would be that the Maaco Vegas Bowl has first choice and the way teams are cutting back and trying to save money bowls might be looking to do the same.
The bowls are a business and the trip from Fort Worth, Texas to Vegas is not a short trip and BYU has been there the past four years, so it is possible that the Vegas bowl would take Utah if they finish in the top three in order to secure more ticket sales and fans to Vegas.
This is all conspiracy even though bowls have been known to bring 'shoe in' teams who bring fans, and that is why the New Mexico Bowl and Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth want their home schools to ensure as many fans as possible.
These early bowl projections are just fun and good debate during the middle of the off season, because if one looks at the calender we are four months removed from the BCS title game and four months until 2009 kickoff.