Babbling about bowl projections

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It would be easy to sit here and type Maryland could easily parlay its 4-1 start into a trip to the Gator Bowl.

Or the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Or the Champs Sports Bowl.

Heck, even the Orange Bowl.

But it’s too early to think about those sorts of things too seriously.

Maybe not by too much. But certainly by a little bit.

Here’s why.

There’s 34 bowl games, and thus 68 teams needed to fill every last slice of postseason glory.

And right now, there are zero teams eligible to play in a bowl game.

None.

Now, there’s seven teams already with five victories to their credit, and a sixth will officially make them good to go for the postseason. They include…

* South Florida, which plays host to Pittsburgh on Thursday

* Utah, which will meet Oregon State in Salt Lake City on Thursday

* Penn State, bound for Purdue for a Saturday showdown

* Alabama, which entertains Kentucky on Saturday in Tuscaloosa

* Ball State, a team visiting erratic Toledo on Saturday

* Fortuitous Connecticut, which will press its luck at North Carolina on Saturday night

* And Northwestern, which follows this week’s bye with winnable games against Michigan State and Purdue (at home) and then Indiana and Minnesota (on the road).

When there are teams actually eligible for the postseason, then it’s officially time to ponder the possibilities. But until then – and it won’t happen until later this week – it’s probably not the best thing to waste your time arguing about. It’s just too soon.

Patrick Stevens

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