The preseason CBS Sports Bowl Projections went up today and they predict that the Clemson football team will play the Auburn Tigers in the Orange Bowl. CBS’ projections, handled by Jerry Palm, come about a week after Phil Steele released his projections, whichhad Clemson taking on the Florida Gators in the Belk Bowl.
Why the major disparity? Well, for one thing, these projections are all being made without a minute of football in the books. So, as analytical and informed as Steele and Palm both are, the projections are largely subjective. Ultimately the biggest difference between the CBS Sports bowl projections and Steele’s was that Steele projected the North Carolina Tar Heels to win the Orange Bowl bid.
The other big factor is likely the state of Notre Dame football. Steele had Clemson falling all the way to the Belk Bowl thanks, in part, to Notre Dame stealing the ACC’s bid to the Russel Athletic Bowl. Since Steele’s projections came out, Notre Dame has been slammed by an academic scandal which has so far resulted in the suspension of four players. The four players they lost–DE Ishaq Williams, WR DaVaris Daniel, DB KeiVarae Russell, and LB Kendall Moore– included three projected starters and one key reserve.
In all likelihood, this explains why CBS has the Irish playing in the Sun Bowl against the Washington Huskies.
Either way, these projections (while still mostly pointless at this time of the year) will probably be much more welcome to Clemson football fans than Steele’s were.
Here is how the rest of the ACC fared in the CBS Sports bowl projections:
Russell Athletic Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Kansas State
St. Petersburg Bowl: Boston College vs. Central Florida
Military Bowl: North Carolina vs. Tulsa
Independence Bowl: Miami vs. Texas Tech
Pinstripe Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Northwestern
Belk Bowl: Duke vs. Mississippi State
Music City Bowl: Louisville vs. Missouri
Detroit Lions Bowl: NC State vs. Troy
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Auburn
Rose Bowl (College Football Playoff Semi-Final): Florida State vs. Ohio State