UCF is heading to a bowl recreation for the 8th immediately season; that a lot is bound, following Saturday’s 27-13 victory towards Houston. The Knights completed 6-6, together with a 3-6 mark in its first run during the Large 12.
The positioning and date for that bowl, then again, stays a thriller for any other week. And in response to the projections of a number of primary media retailers, there’s quite a lot of possible results.
UCF may just acquire an additional house recreation, or shuttle a number of hundred miles on both sides of Christmas. Projected warring parties come with a blood rival, a top-25 relative FBS newcomer and a few Energy 5 bluebloods.
Let’s read about the probabilities for UCF, in response to projections revealed from USA Lately, ESPN, CBS Sports activities, Fox Sports activities, 247Sports, Yahoo! Sports activities, Wearing Information, the Motion Community and Athlon Sports activities.
247Sports/Athlon Sports activities: Gasparilla Bowl vs. South Florida
Let’s first deal with the elephant within the room.
With each UCF and USF attaining bowl eligibility Saturday, and with this making logistical and advertising and marketing sense, any other Conflict on I-4 may just occur. However that does not essentially imply it’ll on the finish of the day.
It could be a job reversal for UCF in comparison to its 2021 Gasparilla Bowl travel, the place it knocked off an in-state Energy 5 rival in Florida. South Florida made giant strides below first-year trainer Alex Golesh, a former Knights assistant below Josh Heupel, and dual-threat quarterback Byrum Brown posed massive issues for the Knights’ protection ultimate November because the Bulls climbed out of a 28-0 hollow and took UCF to the cord.
Motion Community: Gasparilla Bowl vs. James Madison
It is a long way much more likely UCF will search to play a bowl recreation in Tampa than it’ll to play USF — particularly at the Bulls’ house box. Tampa is a 90ish-minute force and the Dec. 22 scheduling permits enthusiasts to wait and get house in a number of time to have fun Christmas.
James Madison was once considered one of 3 benefactors with a scarcity of six-win groups; the Dukes, in the second one 12 months in their FBS transition and thus no longer bowl eligible, had two prior appeals for bowl eligibility denied through the NCAA. However because of best 79 of the 82 slots being robotically crammed through eligible groups that went 6-6 and higher, James Madison and Jacksonville State will pass bowling for the 1st time. At 5-7, Minnesota will fill the overall spot.
The Dukes, representing the Solar Belt Convention, opened the season with 10 immediately wins, peaked on the No. 18 spot in The Related Press Best 25 and feature the No. 1 run protection in school soccer, permitting simply 61.5 yards in keeping with recreation.
USA Lately: Gasparilla Bowl vs. Syracuse
Proceeding the UCF-to-Tampa pattern, here is a matchup towards a fellow 6-6 Energy 5 staff, albeit person who not too long ago fired its head trainer.
Dino Babers misplaced his activity with one recreation to head, however the Orange hung on to overcome Wake Wooded area on Saturday with a game-sealing interception on the function line. Syracuse is bowl-eligible for the second one immediately season, a program first since 2012-13.
USA Lately bowl projections:Michigan again in School Soccer Playoff box after beating Ohio State
The Athletic reported Monday night time that Georgia defensive backs trainer Fran Brown is the favourite to land the Syracuse activity. As for the present squad, LeQuint Allen is without doubt one of the Orange’s height offensive guns, totaling 1,062 dashing yards and 9 touchdowns.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: First Responder Bowl vs. Syracuse
UCF headed to Dallas — Arlington, technically — ahead of the season for its first style of the Large 12’s media days and, in Schlabach’s estimation, may just wrap up 2023 there as neatly.
This recreation takes position the day after Christmas, by no means a great situation for touring fan beef up, at the campus of former American Athletic Convention rival SMU. West Virginia was once the ultimate Large 12 staff to look on this contest in 2017, then referred to as the Center of Dallas Bowl.
Fox Sports activities: Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs. Miami
That is, objectively, essentially the most a laugh selection in all the checklist, despite the fact that the Large 12 does no longer have a standard association with the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. It is in most cases an ACC program clashing towards a consultant of both the SEC or the Large 10 — equivalent to ultimate 12 months’s matchup pitting N.C. State towards Maryland.
Then again, there is a lot to love if it is a chance. Charlotte is a readily to be had day by day flight from Orlando, and in-state Energy 5 rival Miami makes for a fascinating opponent. Hurricanes middle Matt Lee, defensive again Davonte Brown and operating backs trainer Tim Harris Jr. had been Knights only a unmarried season in the past.
Then there is a time-honored custom — since Duke’s changed into the sponsor in 2020, anyway — of dousing the victorious head trainer with a huge jar of mayonnaise. Gus Malzahn bathing in mayo would make for a heck of a strategy to spherical off an ancient season.
Yahoo! Sports activities: Song Town Bowl vs. Wisconsin
This is any other probably interesting vacation spot with a bowl alliance caveat. The Song Town Bowl is in most cases reserved for the SEC and Large 10.
This could also be the most recent bowl recreation at the checklist, kicking off at 1 p.m. on Dec. 30. As necessary as bowl-week practices are, the time beyond regulation would theoretiocally give UCF’s training team of workers a chance to basically focal point on recruiting for the 1st part of December — preserving its height avid gamers, scouting the switch portal and wrapping up its record-setting highschool magnificence.
Wisconsin has made just one prior travel to Nashville, a 2003 loss to Auburn. The Badgers completed 7-5, defeating Large 10 West foes Nebraska and Minnesota within the ultimate two weeks to make sure bowl eligibility.
Luke Fickell might be a well-known title to Knights enthusiasts; the first-year Wisconsin boss coached the former six seasons at Cincinnati. The similar may also be stated of Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai, who led SMU into the Soar Space ultimate October however had his 17-game landing cross streak snapped through the Knights’ secondary.
CBS Sports activities: Remedy Bowl vs. Arkansas State
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports activities’ bowl knowledgeable, has the Knights staying house for the vacation season. FBC Loan Stadium changed into the legitimate house web page of the Remedy Bowl again in September.
This is able to be a rematch from the 2016 Remedy Bowl, performed at Tenting Global Stadium. Arkansas State prevailed 31-13 as Justice Hansen and Kendall Sanders hooked up for 3 landing passes.
UCF ended that 12 months 6-7, after which received its subsequent 25 video games in a row — making back-to-back New 12 months’s Six bowls.
Wearing Information: Independence Bowl vs. USC
Shreveport, L. a.. — with all due admire — most likely would possibly not height the Knights’ checklist of most well-liked bowl locations, particularly making an allowance for the quantity of touring they did all over the common season.
Then again, a chance to head head-to-head with preseason Pac-12 favourite USC for the 1st time surely makes it slightly extra attention-grabbing. Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and presumptive No. 1 pick out within the NFL draft, will certainly skip the sport to organize for the professionals. However Lincoln Riley’s offense will nonetheless have a number of playmakers at the box.
USC ended the 12 months on a three-game slide, together with an unpleasant 38-20 defeat to crosstown rival UCLA.
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: Independence Bowl vs. California
ACC-bound Cal — sure, it’s nonetheless extraordinarily bizarre — pulled off a three-game profitable streak to near its marketing campaign and surge into bowl season. The Golden Bears defeated Washington State, rival Stanford and UCLA, with the latter two victories coming at the street.
Must this matchup occur, UCF’s protection would face a top-10 nationwide rusher for the 3rd time in 4 video games. Jadyn Ott is recently tenth within the FBS with 1,260 yards; Oklahoma State’s Ollie Gordon II is No. 1 (1,580) and Texas Tech’s Tahj Brooks is 3rd (1,443).
And, after all, the Knights characteristic a top-10 rusher of their very own in RJ Harvey, sitting 9th at 1,296 yards to head in conjunction with his 16 dashing touchdowns — tied for the second-most in one season in UCF program historical past.